Our Vision & Mission Statement ensures we have a positive impact for our students, our businesses and our community.

Karen Mitchell - Principal and Chief Executive

Karen Mitchell - Principal and Chief Executive

Karen has a strong leadership and management background in Further Education holding a number of senior positions including Vice Principal and Director of Quality. Prior to her time in Further Education Karen worked as a nurse practitioner and manager for 17 years in the Health Service.

Karen is a passionate supporter of technical, professional and vocational skills, education and training. Her focus is on serving students, employers and the wider community through leading an outstanding inclusive learning experience, which prepares young people and adults to realise their ambition and achieve long-term success in work and life. She strongly believes that Colleges should be at the heart of the community, transforming lives and driving local and regional economic success and social well-being.

Karen is a Trustee of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, Board member of the Bucks UTC, sits on the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership Skills Advisory Panel, the Strategic Board of the Bucks Health and Social Care Academy and the Buckinghamshire Culture Development Board. She is a member of the ETF/Saïd Business School, Oxford University development steering group for the Strategic Leadership Programme for further education CEOs and preparing for CEOs programmes.

Karen is a leadership mentor and coach and holds a range of teaching and coaching qualifications as well as a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management and has completed the CEO Strategic Leadership Programme at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University.
Clare Rooney - Vice Principal Learning & Quality

Clare Rooney - Vice Principal Learning & Quality

Clare began her vocational career as an Aylesbury College student and studied a 2-year Apprenticeship in hairdressing. Clare has worked at the College for 18 years following a successful career within the hairdressing and beauty therapy industries.

Her passion within her quality role is to provide all students across all curriculum areas with a high quality, inspirational teaching and learning experience. Clare has previously worked as an inspector for Ofsted, holds a post 16 teaching degree and a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management.
John McGrath - Vice Principal Corporate Services

John McGrath - Vice Principal Corporate Services

John joined the College in 2014, initially as the Director of Finance. Prior to this John spent 20 years in the private sector, the last 10 years with Babcock International Group. Much of this time was spent working with the public sector, including an educational improvement business.

John is a qualified accountant and his background includes a significant amount of commercial finance and change management.
Isobel Ellison - Executive Director Human Resources

Isobel Ellison - Executive Director Human Resources

Isobel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Her first degree was from Leeds University, she also holds a post-graduate diploma in Personnel Management from Nottingham Business Schools as well as an MA in Human Resources Management from Oxford Brookes University.

In addition, Isobel brings educational skills gained from being an Associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University Business School, Associate Member of Quality Service Improvement and Redesign from NHS Innovation and is an Enterprise Advisor to schools via the Thames Valley LEP.

Isobel’s work history started, in the private sector, at Acordis before moving to Oxford Brookes University as an HR Manager. Since then she has worked at Buckinghamshire County Council, evolving to Strategic Business Partner for Communities, Health and Adult Social Care. In this role she was responsible for the delivery of workforce strategy, change programmes and the HR leadership of over 1000 employees.
Richard Kirkham - Executive Director Curriculum Planning and Design

Richard Kirkham - Executive Director Curriculum Planning and Design

Richard has worked in Further Education for over 15 years starting out as a Lecturer in Construction. Richard has been a Senior Manager for the past six years developing a wide understanding of curriculum design and delivery.

He has managed and supported an extensive curriculum offer, shaping curriculum delivery and design to provide appropriate opportunities for all students to step into education.

Richard is focused on building and supporting teams that achieve and excel beyond individual expectations.
Rachael Murray - Executive Director MIS and Planning

Rachael Murray - Executive Director MIS and Planning

Rachael has worked at Buckinghamshire College Group for 20 years, initially as an apprentice in the Exams department, progressing to the permanent position of Enrolment Officer. Rachael’s wealth of knowledge and experience in ILR, funding, audit and data led to the promotion to MIS Manager, swiftly moving on to a Director role, where she was responsible for the implementation of the ProSolution software suite across the newly merged College, which has enhanced the learner journey.

Rachael’s wealth of knowledge and experience in management information systems, funding and understanding of curriculum requirements, to further develop and improve systems and processes across the College, led to the recent promotion to Executive Director MIS and Planning. Rachael’s current focus is the design and development of the curriculum footprint, space utilisation, alongside the development of insightful management reporting and analysis.

Our Locations

aylesbury campus


Our Aylesbury campus provides purpose-built, modern workshops and classrooms. Built and designed as a contemporary workplace, students in Aylesbury benefit from the opportunity to work in commercial businesses such as Harding’s Restaurant and Intuition Hair and Beauty.

More about Aylesbury


The campus houses workshops for Motor Vehicle, Brickwork, Plastering, Electrical and Plumbing, which sit alongside expanding space for our Public Services, and Sport students, who can now take advantage of our newly completed 3G football pitch.

More about Wycombe

wycombe campus
amersham campus


Our Amersham Campus benefits from large workshop spaces where Art and Design students can spread their artistic wings, with facilities including Photography studios, print rooms and Fine Art studios.

More about Amersham

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