Sponsor and Members

Trust in Learning is the sponsor of Trust in Learning (Academies) and comprises of the following two institutions:-

City of Bristol College

The City of Bristol College is one of the largest further and higher education colleges in the UK.  The College offers the widest range of academic and vocational qualifications in the area, with more than 1,000 courses available.

The College provides education and training to more than 30,000 learners.  It is committed to working in partnership with schools and has been a founding member of Trust in Learning since its launch in 2008.

University of the West of England

The University of the West of England is the largest of the two universities in the City of Bristol with over 25,000 students.  It is consistently ranked within the top ten of new universities and it has a history of supporting schools and working in partnership with them.

UWE sees itself as the Partnership University as they believe wholeheartedly in the power of partnerships and their work within the school system is an example of this commitment.  The University has been a founding member of Trust in Learning since its launch in 2008.

Members of Trust in Learning (Academies)

Gerry Rice, Chair of Trust in Learning (Academies)

Gerry Rice moved to the area in 2013 and is Associate Dean - Quality, Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England.  Prior to this he was responsible for Social Work, Education and Community Studies at a University in the North of England.

Gerry has a background in social work and has worked with young people leaving the care system, young homeless offenders and as a practitioner and manager in a number of alcohol and drug projects.

Gerry joined the TiLA Board as a Member and Director in May 2014 and is committed to the improvement of educational opportunities for children and young people.

Lee Probert

Lee Probert joined City of Bristol College in January 2016, as its new Chief Executive and Principal, having been Deputy Chief Executive with the Hull College Group and holding a number of senior posts within the Strategic Leadership Team since 2009.

Lee has served as a Director for the Learning and Skills Council national office in Coventry; the Executive Director of the 157 Group; an independent Governor of the University of Worcester; Chair of the Board of Directors of Sirius Academy and is a member of the Teachers' Pension Scheme Pension Board.

Locally, Lee serves on the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Skills Agenda Group; Bristol’s Learning City Partnership Board; Trust in Learning Board of Directors; Western Principals Group and is a member of the South West CBI Council.

Lee joined the TiLA Board as a Member in March 2016.

Victoria Fitzgerald

Victoria is a professionally qualified CIMA accountant with an MBA, bringing experience from private, public and charitable organisations. Senior roles have ranged from Chief Financial Officer in aerospace through to Finance Director at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. In her executive career she has lead strategic planning, financial management, governance, equality and diversity, human resources and business development. 

Victoria’s non-executive roles have included Chair of Directors of a South Gloucestershire multi-academy trust. Alongside the CEO, Victoria led the Trust to grow from secondary only to a 4-19 multi-academy trust, of 2600 pupils, and 450 staff. In addition to growth there was a large focus on school improvement, with success in both academic achievement and Ofsted outcomes.

Victoria is currently a Trustee of Bristol Museums Development Trust.  Victoria is the founding director of a financial consultancy business specialising in the education and charities sectors.

She is passionate about education, the arts and culture in Bristol and the creation of opportunities for young people and local communities.  

Victoria joined TiLA as a member in April 2017.

Daniel Howarth

Daniel has worked at Rolls-Royce Plc since April 2015, moving to Bristol and the company after a career in the Ministry of Defence.

He has a background in strategy, policy and finance. He is Governor at the City of Bristol College and Chair of the Audit Committee. A qualified management accountant, he is also Area Secretary of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Daniel joined TiLA as a member in April 2017.

Julie Pierce

Julie was born in Bristol and moved away to go to university to read Maths and Physical Oceanography, but after many years working elsewhere in the UK and across Europe, she has now returned. She is currently a Director in the Food Standards Agency, responsible for communications, press, social media, and digital technologies. Her role requires working closely with local authorities, food businesses and other government departments, to ensure the food we eat is safe.

Previously her career spanned business transformation change roles in sectors as diverse as oil exploration, financial services, aircraft engineering, pharmaceuticals, military and policing. She was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 She is a STEM Ambassador for the West of England championing these subjects for school children. She is also interested in developing the digital skills we all need for the future.

Julie joined TiLA as a member in April 2017.