Kingston Maurward College Corporation Membership

Robert Lasseter – Chair of the Corporation

Robert Lasseter is the managing partner of the family business Corton Farm Partnership.  The farm has high welfare pig and arable enterprises.  Business interests currently being developed are renewable energy and carbon sequestration.  The business is on its journey to net zero.

Previously Robert was a partner at Strutt and Parker and then Director of Evershot Farms.  He has held non executive roles at Childhay Manor, Wessex Grain, NFU (Regional Chair, National Governance and Crops,) Oxford Farming Conference and AHDB (Cereals.)  He is currently also on the Dorset AONB Board and a member at the Dorset Studio School.

Robert is married to Holly who runs Holly Lasseter Designs from her studio at Corton.  Their daughter Matilda works as an interior designer in London.  Their son Archie is the sustainability lead for Utilita.

Away from home, these days Robert is happiest in mountains or crossing the UK on foot, which he has done three times to date.


Richard Barker – Vice Chair of the Corporation

A retail professional with extensive senior management experience in sales, marketing and change management.

Richard has been a director of Waterstone’s Booksellers, Managing Director of Blackwell Retail Ltd and General Manager of the Post Office Network.

Other posts held include Chairman of Book Tokens Ltd, and Chair of Governors at Stanchester Academy.

Richard is now owner and Managing Director of Dorset Retail Ltd, with shops in Bridport, Beaminster and Sherborne, and a growing wholesale business covering Dorset and Somerset.

Richard is a season ticket holder at Exeter Chiefs, and fanatical about English cricket.

Luke Rake – Principal

Luke Rake BA(Oxon) PGCE FLS joined Kingston Maurward as Principal and Chief Executive in the summer of 2016, following nearly 10 years at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, most of which as Vice Principal with executive responsibility for all Further Education provision.

An Oxford-educated zoologist from the dark recesses of Devon, Luke is qualified Secondary range teacher with a specialism in Biology alongside Outdoor Education, and during his career has held roles in both schools and colleges including Head of Biology and Head of Sixth Form, roles which resulted in him being awarded Fellowship of the Linnean Society in recognition for work in promoting biological understanding.

Luke is full board member of the Dorset LEP, chairs the Rural Enterprise Group and is the LEP representative on the Local Nature Partnership. For the LEP he also is a member of the following Skills Advisory Board, and Performance and Investment Committee. Luke is the current Chair of the pan-Dorset Careers and Enterprise Steering group, working with LEP, schools and businesses across the county. More widely he sits on the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Headteachers’ Advisory Panel and is the SW representative on the national Landex Board, representing land-based and environmental education across the UK.

In his limited spare time Luke is a gigging musician in a heavy metal band, and is frequently found outside walking a long distance with his dog, his children, or all three. This allows him time to provide enthusiasm and excessive detail to their understanding of biology and physical geography, for which their gratitude is endless…

Richard Bourne

Richard Bourne retired in 2017 having had two full careers; firstly in the Royal Navy serving predominantly at RNAS Portland prior to its closure and secondly in a leading Dorset engineering company. He is currently a member of the Resources Committee. Richard has a particular interest in the transition of young people from education into the work place and is also a Dorset secondary school governor. Additionally he has a role recruiting magistrates and also leads health walks. He enjoys walking his dogs but does not join his wife riding horses. They have two adult sons.

John Bullen – Chair of the Estate Committee

John is a semi-retired chartered civil engineer and airport manager. He now runs his own business, carrying out project management commissions and business/career/leadership mentoring. John is a mentor for students on Portsmouth University Chartered Degree Manager Apprenticeship and has, in the past, been accredited as a cricket and rugby youth coach. He was pro bono chair for the 10 years of its existence of a not-for-profit employment and workforce training intermediary based in Eastleigh. John and his wife have lived in the New Forest since 1995 , where they have brought up their 3 children. John enjoys golf, gardening and walking the dog.

Hannah Crocker – Staff Governor

Andrew Davies

Vet, Managing Director of Synergy Farm Health

Andy Foot

Fifth generation farming at Bookham Farm a 650 acre beef and arable farm in central Dorset.

Converted traditional farm buildings into holiday cottages

Passion with rugby and a keen supporter of Puddletown Rugby Club, having been Secretary and Chairman

Buckland Newton Parish Councillor

Frances Jenkins – Staff Governor

Frances started at KMC in 2018 as the college’s Industry Placement Coordinator, she is now the Careers and Industry Lead responsible for designing and delivering our careers programme; KMCprepared. She also oversees Student Voice and work placement compliance across the college.

Previous to her appointment at Kingston Maurward, Frances had a very successful retail management career developing a number of transferable skills relevant to her role at KMC. Being driven by wanting to make a difference to others, Frances then worked as an Employment Consultant, supporting long-term unemployed individuals overcome a number of barriers to enable a successful return to work.

Frances is currently completing a Level 6 Careers Leadership qualification accredited by the Careers Development Institute, she has an MA in Arts and Cultural Management, and a BA in Art History with Art Gallery and Museum Studies.

Outside of KMC, Frances spends most of her time renovating her house, but also enjoys being in her garden and going for walks. Since restrictions have lifted she has enjoyed returning to the cinema and also going to gigs. Frances loves all kinds of music, plays guitar and is always the last one on the dancefloor at the staff Christmas party!

Dan Knight – Chair of Audit & Assurance Committee

Dan joined Evolution ABS in 2019 having previously worked for a Old Mill culminating as Head of Rural Tax.

Having grown up on a dairy farm on the Dorset/Somerset border, Dan spent a number of years working in agriculture before becoming a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser. Harnessing both his practical and professional experience, Dan has spent the last decade advising farming businesses across the region on a wide range of issues.

Passionate about his work, Dan specialises in succession planning and restructuring, helping farming families to implement change, accomplish their ambition and enhance the legacy for future generations.

Dan is a keen shot in the field or facing the trap and thoroughly enjoys supporting his young son on the football field.

Graham Ledden – Chair of Finance & Resources Committee

A retired Chartered Accountant who spent the last ten years of his career in education, nine of which were as Vice Principal Business and Finance and Deputy CEO at Hartpury College.

Graham qualified in the City with what is now Ernst and Young and then spent a major part of his career in the Nat West Group. After 6 years as a Finance Director in the care sector, Graham moved into education in 2008.

Graham and his wife moved to Shaftesbury in 2018.  He enjoys rugby, walking, fly fishing and the countryside in general. He is also Treasurer of England Colleges RFU.

Annetta Minard

Principal of the Dorset Studio School

Ben Murphy

Ben is a Chartered Surveyor and Estate Director for the Duchy of Cornwall, based in Poundbury, Dorchester for 3 days per week. Ben recently joined the Corporation and brings a broad experience of estate management and development, including several years as Development Manager of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Ben lives with his wife in Falmouth when he is not lodging in the Old Manor House on the Kingston Maurward Estate.

Kay Taylor – Chair of Quality & Standards Committee

Retired in 2019 from the post of Executive Principal of the Minerva Learning Trust – a group of primary and secondary schools in Bridport.  She had previously been the Headteacher of the Sir John Colfox Academy in Bridport.

Originally from Northern Ireland, she graduated from the University of Aberdeen and taught History in Gairloch, Scotland, Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes before moving to Bridport to take up a Deputy Head post in 1993.

She is also a Lay Member of the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body.

Debs Thomas

I was fortunate to have spent the majority of the 80’s in West Germany, including two and half years in Western Berlin.  On returning to the UK, I joined the rank and file of local government in 1989, working as an enforcement officer in a number of roles until I semi-retired in the summer of 2020.

Although never a girl guide, I stepped forward to be a leader in the Scouts in 1983 and have seen various changes over the years including new sections, programmes; and, best of all the introduction of girls in 2000!

I have worked with youth members in all age ranges from six to eighteen years old; travelled to Europe on numerous international events, including a World Scout Jamboree; and, been proud to be a part of a Guard of Honour at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial on one occasion.

In Scouting I have held a number of roles, including District Commissioner; Assistant and Deputy County Commissioner; programme lead for large scale events; and, I continue to be a leader trainer as well as running sections in a local group.

I was the Chair of the Dorchester Carnival Committee that delivered the event in 2016 and 2017.

Dee Vickers – Staff Governor

Dee Vickers is an enigma. How she ended up as the Head of Apprenticeships at Kingston Maurward College is anyone’s guess – but clearly my Lucky Fairy was working hard that day at the interview.

I never set out to get here, as my career path will testify. From leaving the Army, to teaching flight and radar data processing; through being an IT pre-sales consultant and on to fitting bathrooms and kitchens when it all got too much. I then retrained in forestry and arboriculture but by that time in my life, I had built up enough experience and qualifications to start managing the short courses at an FE college.

Eight years later and I set out to build my own company delivering training and assessment.

Somewhere along the line, I picked up a BA(Hons) in Education and a smattering of other post-nominals deemed useful to my career. Eventually I ended up here, supporting a fabulous team of people who look after a range of apprenticeships, short courses, AEB and sub-contracting goodness.

Henry Cox – Co-opted Member of the Finance & Resources Committee

Rebecca King – Co-opted Member of the Audit & Assurance Committee

Jim Tirrell – Co-opted Member of A&A & Q&S Committees

Retired in 2011 from post as Principal Inspector 14-19 in Dorset Children’s Services after working in education for 40 years.

Qualified with a Cert.Ed in 1971 and began career teaching agriculture and environmental science after completing a B.Ed at Bristol University. In 1986 moved into HE to work at Homerton College, Cambridge supporting the development of quality vocational education across East Anglia and completing a research M.Ed focused on agricultural education.

Moved to Dorset in 1988 to work on teacher inservice training, which included the development on Masters programmes in association with local HE providers. Progressed to the posts of Senior Secondary and then Principal Inspector, which alongside development and support in Dorset, involved working with OfSTED and HMI on school, college and area wide post 16 inspections. From 2007 to 2010 was seconded to work for the Department of Children, Schools and Families to advise on issues of access to 14-19 learning in rural areas.

Interests: motor cycles, gardening, walking, folk music and birdwatching

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