David C Watt, ChairDavid Watt was, until recently, Executive Director of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Scotland. His IoD experience brings knowledge of business and commerce as well as governance, while much of his prior working life was in education.
Lifelong learning is a passion for David who also has extensive experience in both the public and voluntary sectors. He is a Director of a number of SMEs and an Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines Reserves in Scotland.
Antony Martin, Depute Chair
Antony Martin was a local councillor in Fife between 1992 and 2017 representing a Dunfermline ward. He has a particular interest in further education particularly its role in economic development. He was Chair of Opportunities Fife Partnership which promotes skills and training in Fife during his time as an elected member.
Antony served on the Forth Estuary Transport Authority and its predecessor The Forth Road Bridge Joint Board for 20 years. Serving as Convener for 4 years.
He owned and managed a very successful fashion agency for 30 years representing many premium brands and giving him an inset to the pressure and difficulties working in the private sector.
Hugh Hall, Principal and Chief Executive
Hugh Hall was born and brought up in the east end of Glasgow and began his working life straight from school in the local Benefits Agency office in Easterhouse. Hugh is a chartered accountant, with expertise in transformational change, governance and major project development and delivery. His life has been devoted to public service. He has held a number of senior appointments in a wide range of organisations and was previously Chief Operating Officer at the University of Strathclyde. In 2009, he was awarded the Public Sector Finance Director of the Year award in recognition of his leadership role in the transformation of Scotland’s enterprise network.
His non-executive roles past and present include: eight years as a member of Court at Edinburgh Napier University, Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy in Scotland, Chair of Forth Valley College, Chair of Colleges Scotland and Chair of Scotland’s Children’s Lottery.
Shona Cochrane has been working with skills based thinking, learning and enterprise programmes for many years.
Shona is an experienced educationalist and author. As a teacher, Shona has taught in London, Malaysia and Glenrothes High School and Queen Anne High School in Fife. She has also been an Enterprise in Education Adviser and National Curriculum Adviser with Skills Development Scotland (formerly Careers Scotland).
After achieving an M.Ed Pupil Support in 2005, Shona went on to have her book on study skills, ‘Learn to Learn’, published in 2012 and she introduced the ‘Learn to Learn’ and ‘Reflective Thinking’ programmes at Queen Anne High School. Shona’s interests include skiing and classic cars.
Originally from the West Of Scotland I served my apprenticeship in Commercial Vehicle Engineering at Glasgow Airport and worked there for a number of years before moving into logistics and public hire as a Transport Manager. Since joining one of Fife College's predecessors (Adam Smith College) as a bank lecturer in 2007 I have worked in various roles within the college, mainly in commercial and educational health and safety training and also in an advisory capacity on the prisons contract. Initially, I hope to learn how the parts of the college I am not familiar with work and if, in the future, I can contribute positively hopefully I will have achieved something for my college and my colleagues.
Lynn Davis is a GTCS registered lecturer at Fife College and the elected academic board member. Her teaching remit is within the faculty of care, social science and education, where she teaches sociology. She holds a BA in Sociology/ Social Policy and Post Graduate Teaching qualification in Further Education, obtaining the latter in 2007. Lynn will commence her Masters in inclusive education at Dundee University in Autumn.
A former SWAP access student, she recognises the many barriers' students face when returning to education. Lynn passionately believes in equality, diversity and widening participation in education for our most vulnerable groups.
During Lynns seven years at Fife College she has developed skills, experience, and knowledge in many key areas including the inclusion team, supported programs, guidance and, laterally, as a lecturer in sociology and throughout all roles, her focus was on helping to remove barriers and improve the life chances of her students.
Lynn has been instrumental in initiatives at Fife College, including taking a lead role in the creation of Fife College’s successful Breakfast Club, where her negotiating skills with both internal and external partners, as well as cross-college collaboration, were instrumental to the implementation.
Lynn's particular interest is how poverty and deprivation negatively impact the individual's life chances. Moreover, she believes education is transformative and the route from poverty for many and key to the economic recovery going forward.
Garry Dickson MCIPD
Garry has over 30 years of experience in HR across both the private and public sectors, the most recent of which has been nearly 10 years in a strategic HR role for NatWest Group. Garry is also a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and is the Chair of the Mid Scotland Branch. Garry is a former student of the college, having successfully completed qualifications in accounting, computing and his full CIPD qualification with us. Garry is passionate about lifelong learning and continuous professional development.
Pamela’s career to date has focused on increasing access to further and higher education for those from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.
Pamela worked for the University of St Andrews Admissions and Access Team for five years, where she co-led the access portfolio, including developing and consolidating the First Chances Fife programme. Pamela also led on corporate parenting strategies and support for care experienced students for the university. In 2019, Pamela entered the role of Senior Policy Analyst for the Scottish Funding Council, where she supported the development and funding of access programmes, and provided support with the remit of the Access, Skills and Outcome Agreement team. In 2020, Pamela returned to the University of St Andrews to the role of Medical Admissions Officer in the School of Medicine.
Pamela completed an MA (Hons) Classical Studies (2013) and an MSc (Res) Psychology (2020), for which her thesis examined the attainment gap.
Pamela is also on the Board of Apex Scotland and will shortly join the Children's Panel.
Brian Fisher has over 30 years’ experience within the financial services sector. Initially focussed on actuarial / financial modelling he then moved into business change management. Brian was Head of Change (Shared Services) for the UK office of a large insurance group before taking on a global project role at their group offices in The Netherlands.
Through working both in the UK and Europe, Brian brings experience of leading multicultural teams and working in a dynamic environment with competing local and group wide priorities. Over the past 15 years he has principally focussed on the implementation of complex change (such as new regulation and capital efficiency) within the finance, risk and legal areas.
Since 2013 Brian has worked independently, providing project management services to the UK insurance sector.
Tali (Natalie) Fisher
Tali is the Student President of Welfare and Equality for the Fife College Students’ Association.
Tali was born profoundly Deaf and got a cochlear implant on her left ear to assist her hearing and is a BSL user. Tali faced barriers and discrimination in her personal and professional life; therefore, she wants to reduce barriers at Fife College and support students who face bad situations and receive the proper support.
She is currently studying HNC legal services part-time at Fife College and had a BA degree in Visual Communication at Fife College five years ago.
Evelyn McPhail Evelyn McPhail was until her recent retirement in July 2019 the Director of Pharmacy and Medicines for NHS Fife and the Fife Integrated Joint Board of the Health and Social Care Partnership and was responsible for providing strategic and clinical leadership, working with partner organisations on the delivery and development of pharmaceutical services for the people of Fife.
Evelyn is a pharmacist with experience of transformational change, working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders and managing in a large organisation. Evelyn was awarded the Scottish Pharmacy Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2019 for her work in Pharmacy and the public sector.
Her non-executive roles include six years as a Council member of the General Pharmaceutical Council and a co-opted member of the Audit and Risk Committee of NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
Having originally trained as a teacher, Susan Mitchell has a background in both private industry and the public sector. Following a career in retail management (Marks & Spencer, then Boots UK), Susan joined her local police force and was a Director there (and latterly in Police Scotland) for a number of years. Much of Susan's experience has been focused on delivering transformational change and leading in a financially challenging context. With an MSc in Public Leadership from Warwick Business School, Susan is also a Chartered Public Finance Accountant and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Gordon Mole is Fife Council’s Head of Business and Employability, having joined the Council in early 2016. He is the Council’s senior lead for Employability, Economic Development, economic policy, town centres and tourism. Gordon leads on the development of Fife projects for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland and Tay Cities Deals.
Gordon has a particular interest in better collaborative working between national, local and third sector agencies for employability and employer engagement and chairs the Opportunities Fife Partnership Employer Engagement Delivery Group. He is also a board member of Developing the Young Workforce Fife.
Before joining Fife, Gordon held a leadership role at Ipswich Borough Council as Head of Culture and Environment Services, managing a range of frontline operational and income generating services.
He has previously led on development of new apprenticeships and graduate training as Employment and Brokerage Manager for Crossrail, and has led on economic development, responsible procurement and employment initiatives for major construction programmes, including London’s Shard of Glass, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Tate Modern.
Gordon has provided policy advice to local, regional and national government on the Work Programme, re-use of electronic waste, social enterprise and employment of military veterans. He holds a MA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in Development Planning from University College London, where he specialised in international Urban Economic Development, with a focus on Ghana. Gordon is on the board of the Institute of Economic Development.
Samantha has worked in a number of areas including IT, property, legal and financial services; she is particularly interested in organisational strategy, inserting herself into development initiatives and applying a bimodal approach to her work, conducting and steering tasks tenaciously with a view to the bigger picture.
Samantha is passionate about the benefits of further education, particularly in the need to challenge its currency in the move to a more digital society, while maintaining a view to diverse needs - bringing opportunities to all, regardless of background or demographic.
As lifelong learner herself, and a working mum, Samantha is well placed to promote the need for a flexible approach to learning, while ensuring that both the needs and risks of the future are factored into college strategy.
Zoe Thomson is Improvement Officer for Equity at Fife Council. She has been teaching in Scotland for 18 years.
Zoe studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, followed by a PGCE in Mathematics from Moray House.
Zoe began teaching Mathematics in Edinburgh before moving to Fife. She has been a Depute Head teacher here for 6 years.
Jim Trail OBE
Jim Trail is an experienced Business Leader who retired as Managing Director of Raytheon Systems Ltd in Glenrothes in May 2013. He was awarded an OBE in June 2013 for his Services to the Defence Industry.
He began his career in Finance where he spent 20 years before moving into General Management. As well as having responsibility for the facility in Glenrothes he also had overall UK Board responsibility for Operations, Facilities and Health and Safety for Raytheon UK. He was one of the key leaders who implemented a new Graduate scheme for the company in 2008, which has continued to grow ever since and also for the Engineers of the Future scheme which the company participates in with Fife College and Heriot-Watt University.
Jim is currently a member of the Scottish Children’s Panel and is also a Board member with GIA Properties in Fife.
In his spare time he likes to spend time with his Granddaughter, occasionally going to the gym and watching football.
Emma is the President of Education and Representation for Fife College Students’ Association.
As a young single Mum, Emma has studied at Fife College in various courses such as Media, Radio, Social Sciences and Education Support Assistance. Emma has also volunteered various times for the FCSA in various projects. In 2020, Emma also achieved an honours degree in Applied Psychology from Glasgow Caledonian University.
Using her experience and passions, Emma wants to make sure students are represented and want students to have the best experience whilst studying at Fife College.