About MK College
Welcome to Milton Keynes College
We are proud to offer an open and inclusive education experience to learners of all levels and backgrounds, with over 3,000 16-18 year olds currently studying with us and a total student population of over 8,000.
We offer a broad variety of qualifications, including vocational courses, apprenticeships, higher education, professional certificates as well as employability skills and community training. The College is also a national provider of education services in prisons across the country.
About Milton Keynes College
We operate from two main campuses across Milton Keynes and Bletchley, the details of which can be found here. Welcoming those who want to learn and improve, we focus on meeting individual needs. The College is at the heart of the city’s economic vision and community strategy, in addition to being a major employer with over 1,000 members of staff.
Our sole aim is to be the best general Further Education College in the country and deliver the highest quality education to all learners. Our vision of success is at the heart of all we do. At Milton Keynes College we strive to engrain this in all who walk through our doors.
We build and nurture strong partnerships with the wider community and local businesses with an interest in making Milton Keynes College a safe, innovative and inspiring place to learn in and work with.
We believe these things individually and as a group. They guide our day-to-day decision making. This is how we set out to achieve them:
To inspire – where everyone motivates, engages, challenges, and stretches each other
To strive for excellence – where everyone recognises their own potential and becomes the best they can be
To demonstrate integrity – where everyone is committed to being open in all we do, to be honest and do the right thing
To show respect – where we listen, consider the views of others and value everyone
To innovate – where new ideas and thinking are generated around people, products and processes.
The only way is up for the College since achieving a Grade 2 (Good) in our 2017 Ofsted inspection. We’re incredibly proud of this result and the staff that made it possible. With a lot of exciting upcoming projects, such as the bid to co-create an Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park, and working in partnership with a whole host of prestigious employers and businesses, we are looking forward to the future with our heads held high.
All education institutions have to be inspected by Ofsted. This is to make sure that we are doing our job and that students are provided for, receive top rate education and feel safe in our environment. The report from Ofsted gave particular praise to the fast and continuous progress achieved since the previous report.
“Leaders, managers and governors have made rapid progress in building a culture of continuous improvement with determination. They have communicated this very successfully to staff and as a result, staff across the college, are enthusiastic and apply the improvement strategies effectively to their work.” – Ofsted.
A team of ten inspectors observed the way we work as a College, including sitting in on a range of classes and college activities. They met with students, employers and stakeholders and were impressed with what they found. They valued the high-quality and meaningful external work experience and enrichment activities. They noted that “students’ progression is a particular strength” with additional qualifications available to improve skills for work.
The apprenticeship provision was particularly recognised for its work with adults. The report read: “Apprentices take pride in their work and can talk positively about the skills that they are developing, and noting that achievements for adults is higher than that of similar providers nationally”.
Dr Julie Mills, Principal and Chief Executive of Milton Keynes College, said: “I am proud of each and every person at the College who has contributed to this huge achievement and in our continued ambition to become the best general Further Education College in the country.
“There are over 8,000 students and apprentices enrolled at Milton Keynes College, in a wide range of post-16 education and training, including 16 to 19 years study programmes in a variety of vocational areas, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships. Our core mission is to ‘transform lives through learning’ and it is clear from the feedback in this report that we are successfully achieving this.”
See here for a further in-depth review and report of how we perform as a College.
Meet the Executive Leadership Team
Dr Julie Mills OBE, CEO & Group Principal
Dr Julie Mills is the CEO and Principal of MK College and a highly respected thinker and doer in the areas of education, skills, social justice and diversity. Julie’s contributions have been featured by the BBC, ITV, The Huffington Post, The Times Educational Supplement, FE News, and many more. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.
Julie is the driving force behind plans for an Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park, Chair of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, Vice Chair of the English Colleges Football Association and Chair of Women Leaders UK and SEMLEP Board Member. Julie is a champion for all things Milton Keynes and is a trustee of the MK Dons Sport and Education Trust and a MK Business Leaders Partnership Board Member. As an Open University graduate, she was awarded a doctorate in 2005 for her research into the management of prison education staff. Julie was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2019 for services in linking education and business.
Imelda Galvin, Group Chief Operating Officer
Imelda is a highly experienced senior leader with a vast proven background in helping organisations move within changing market/business environments, ensuring that businesses operate to enhance their reputation, and strive to become industry leaders.
Imelda is responsible for a range of Business Partner areas of the College including Finance through to commercial outlets and Marketing. Since joining the College three years ago Imelda has led a number of strategic change projects including the digitisation of processes and reviewing our property requirements.
Anne Allen, Chief People Officer
Annie joined MK College at the end of April 2019. She has over 25 years’ experience in Human Resources, previously working as Director of People Experience for a cloud based accounting software company based in Milton Keynes. Annie’s experience covers all aspects of people management; sourcing and selection, learning & development, people operations and systems and employee relations. She has worked with a wide variety of organisations – large and small, private and public sector including schools, the Probation Service and a Housing Trust as well as a number of highly commercial operations.
Sally Alexander, Principal: Prison Services
Sally has worked in Offender Learning for 24 years, supporting learners both in custody and in the community, to develop their learning and skills, address their offending behaviour and to support them on a pathway to resettlement on and after release.
A qualified teacher, Sally began working with learners as a lecturer in custody in 1992 at HMP Bullingdon. Sally soon progressed to their Education Manager, before moving on to MK College where she became responsible for delivering education and employment opportunities for offenders.
During this time, Sally has also supported the College in a range of provision including ETE programmes, JCP programmes, community outreach, ESF funded provision and working with NEETS. Currently, MK College work with an average of 25,000-30,000 learners a year across a range of programmes, guiding them on their future pathways within custody, with a committed focus on supporting their resettlement upon release.
Meet the Senior Leadership Team
Marc Gillham, Director of Funding, MIS & IT
Marc joined the MK College team in 2015 and is responsible for IT, MIS and funding.
Will Gordon, Director of Finance, Estates and Infrastructure
Will joined the MK College team in 2014 as a Finance Manager and as well as now heading up the finance team, he is responsible for our estate and infrastructure.
Jason Mansell, Senior Operations Director: Prison Services
Jason has worked in Offender Learning for 18 years, initially teaching carpentry to prisoners at HMP Bullingdon. He recognised quickly the impact that teaching students’ vocational skills had in developing their self-worth and opportunities for employment post release. He is totally committed to the rehabilitative impact of learning and has embraced a career in this sector.
Tracey Matthews, Assistant Principal: Apprenticeships and Adult Education
Tracey’s enthusiasm for apprenticeships and vocational education stems from her own vocational career path, starting as a bi-lingual secretary working in London. Tracey had her own training and development business based in Bedfordshire for 18 years, specialising in Leadership & Management, Business Skills and Careers Advice. The business was bought by a Hertfordshire college where Tracey spent four years developing their apprenticeship provision before joining Milton Keynes College in September 2014.
Lee Parker, Director of Marketing and Communications
Lee has worked in further education marketing for over 10 years, managing award winning marketing teams at both Bedford College and now with Milton Keynes College.
He has a particular passion for the power of research in making good decisions and the importance of positioning the College as a first choice provider across its audiences.
Simon Wallis, Commercial Manager
Simon is responsible for the commercial business at MK College including The Brasserie restaurant, Graduate Hair Salon, Little explorers Nursery, Sport Central as well as the campus catering outlets. He is passionate about providing a high level of service to the customers and community whilst providing a real-world working environment where students can learn and embed employability skills. Since joining the College in 2012, Simon has overseen the Brasserie winning a national AA award for best college restaurant whilst our Sport Central venue has been commended as a strong example of partnership working between the College, Milton Keynes Council and the community.