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WJEC Board

Mike Evans

Mike Evans


Mike Evans was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd as one of the first independent Non-Executive Directors in 2011 and is currently the Chair of the Board. Mike also Chairs the Management Group and the Governance and Nominations Panel and is a member of the Remuneration Committee.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Mike has held various senior roles within Local Government as well as Director of Finance and Business Support Services/Clerk to the Governing Body at Coleg Sir Gar, and FD within the Housing Sector. Whilst at Coleg Sir Gar he established and Chaired the Welsh Further Education Purchasing Consortium which delivered annual savings of over £5m to the FE Sector within Wales.

Mike also chaired the Welsh FE Finance Director’s Group, and was appointed by Value Wales to Chair a number of regional Public Sector committees and working parties. He has also been active within the accountancy profession serving on the Board of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and was President of the South Wales and the South West of England Region.

In 2013-14 he was elected President of the Association of Accounting Technicians one of the UK’s leading qualifications and awarding bodies, and represented them at a number of regional and international events. During his year in office he led on the appointment of a new Chief Executive, and in 2016 he was appointed Chair of their Governance Review group.

Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth Williams


Elizabeth Williams was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd as one of the first independent Non-Executive Directors in 2011 and in 2016 was appointed Vice-chair. Liz also chairs the Board of Directors for the subsidiary company, WJEC CBAC (Services) Ltd and is Vice-Chair of the Management Group and the Governance and Nominations Panel.

Liz has been involved in policy development for children and young people for more than 20 years. She retired in 2010 after 10 years leading on children and young people’s policy in the Welsh Government, working closely with Ministers and practitioners across Wales to contribute to the distinct policy agenda in Wales. She played a leading role in the development of 14-19 Learning Pathways. Prior to this she was a primary teacher, headteacher and education adviser in Gwent and then Assistant Director of Education and Chief Adviser for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in South East Wales.

Liz currently teaches the Mindfulness in Schools Project programmes for primary and secondary pupils, and trains teachers to teach the programmes in their schools. She is also an active member of Mindful Schools Wales and an associate of Mindfulness in Action and the Mindfulness Initiative in Wales.

Edward Thomas

Cllr Edward Thomas

Councillor Edward Thomas was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd in July 2016 as an Executive Director appointed by the Welsh Local Government Association. Councillor Thomas also serves on the Management Group.

Councillor Thomas is an independent councillor representing Llandeilo & Dyffryn Cennen in Carmarthenshire. He is now Vice-chairman of the Education Scrutiny Committee within Carmarthenshire and serves on the Safeguarding Panel.

Prior to his election in 2012, Councillor Thomas worked for a major bank until his retirement in 2010. He has been a school governor since 2010 and Chair of his local primary school and since then has represented the Local Education Authority on his local secondary school.

Councillor Thomas is particularly proud that after having to leave school after his 'O' levels, due to the premature death of his father and the need to bring an income into the family home, and after 40 years of working full-time that he achieved a BA History (Hons) degree via Swansea University Department of Adult Continuing Education and is enthusiastic that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Alan Lockyer

Cllr Alan Lockyer

Councillor Alan Lockyer was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd in July 2016. He is also the Vice-Chair for the Audit and Assurance Committee.

Councillor Lockyer has been involved with teaching since 1974 and has worked full time for West Glamorgan since 1977 teaching Brass, coaching youth Orchestra, Choir. He has also been a composer in residence for West Glam Youth Theatre and a composer for Primary, Junior and Secondary schools in West Glamorgan.

Since 1988, until his retirement four years ago, he has been a full-time lecturer in Neath College and Welsh College of Music and Drama. He developed and wrote the GCSE and HND courses in Popular Music and as Head of Music Technology designed and fitted the recording studios. He has also been a course leader for the Edexcel Advanced Level and National Diploma in Music Technology courses.

Alan has acted as an Advanced level Music Technology Examiner for Edexcel in addition to lecturing in Swansea Metropolitan University and various Media Degree and Nation Diploma courses in Audio.

As a Neath Port Talbot County Councillor, Alan has chaired the Children Young People Education scrutiny committee and Special Appointments committee.

At present, Alan is the Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Children Social Services.

Gail Giles

Cllr Gail Giles

Councillor Gail Giles was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd in July 2016 as an Executive Director appointed by the Welsh Local Government Association. Councillor Giles is also a member of the Remuneration Committee.

A retired Senior District Nursing Sister with over 20 years practice, her professional experience has included management of staff, casework and caring for patients in the community from all backgrounds, all ages and with a variety of needs.

She has worked as Constituency Office Manager and researcher for an Assembly Member dealing with a broad range of Welsh Government and Assembly issues, including education and health.

Her current position, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, is a strategic role overseeing all Newport schools and also the provision of support for young people not in education or employment to enable them to gain qualifications, apprenticeships and jobs.

Sarah Merry

Cllr Sarah Merry

Councillor Sarah Merry was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd in July 2016 as an Executive Director appointed by the Welsh Local Government Association. Councillor Merry also serves on the Board of Directors for the subsidiary company WJEC CBAC (Services) Ltd.

Councillor Merry is the Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and has been responsible for the Council’s education portfolio since May 2015. She was re-elected as a Councillor in 2012 to represent the Cathays ward in the city, having previously represented the ward from 1995 to 1999. She is also Secretary of the Keep Cathays Tidy group.

In May 2017, Sarah was appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Council and her cabinet portfolio responsibilities were expanded to include Education, Employment and Skills. She represents the Council on both the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) Council and the Local Government Association (LGA) General Assembly.

She has also recently taken on the role of Chair of the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service Joint Committee and is a board member of Cardiff and Vale College and the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC).

Originally from the Midlands, Sarah moved to Cardiff to study English at Cardiff University and has lived and worked in the city ever since, including in political support roles for several AMs and MPs.

Jessica Leigh Jones

Jessica Leigh Jones

Jessica Leigh Jones was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd as an Independent Non-Executive Director in 2018. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the subsidiary company WJEC CBAC (Services) Ltd.

Jessica Leigh Jones is a multi-award-winning Engineer and Astrophysicist, currently responsible for developing the next generation of manufacturing platform at the Sony UK Technology Centre, in collaboration with Japan. The former UK Young Engineer of the Year embarked upon her career in engineering following the design and development of a series of novel fibre optic sensing technologies leading to her receiving the IET Intel Inspiration Award in 2012.

Jessica has received the Freedom of the City of London and currently represents the fastest progression to the rank of Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers. She is the current Woman of the Future for Technology & Digital, a Top 100 Manufacturer’s Exemplar figure and appeared as one of the youngest in the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe List. She is a regular face in the media and a passionate advocate for technical education, apprenticeships and lifelong learning.

Joanna Moonan

Joanna Moonan

Joanna Moonan was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Limited as an Independent Non-executive Director in 2018. Joanna serves on the Governance and Nominations committee and is Chair of the Remuneration committee.

Joanna is a qualified member of CIPD and has a masters degree in strategic HRM/D; she is also a Chartered Fellow of CMI.

Joanna is a Director in MOL, a training company for professional qualifications, that offers qualifications up to masters level across a range of professions including HR. Prior to this she had substantial experience in AQA, an awarding body, across a range of roles including senior stakeholder management and operations roles.

Her passion is transformational change and people at the heart of everything. Having always worked in the learning and education sectors she sees the importance of qualifications as gateways to opportunities and careers.

Beverley Downes

Beverley Downes

Beverley Downes was appointed to the Board of Directors for WJEC CBAC Ltd as an Independent Non-Executive Director in April 2018. She is also the Vice-Chair for the Remuneration Committee.

Beverley is the Marketing and Communications Director for the Development Bank of Wales and also leads stakeholder relations and estates management. The development bank is a leading SME investor which as well as supporting businesses in Wales also operates Help to Buy -Wales, and manages funds across the North of England. Prior to this role she spent 5 years as a manager at Education and Learning Wales (ELWa), the body formerly responsible for post-16 learning in Wales.

A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, she has previously held a trustee position at the RSPCA and is a social media enthusiast and retired food blogger.

Gwen Aubrey

Gwen Aubrey

The Company Secretary, who is responsible to the Board, is a senior position within an organisation and is at the heart of its governance operations.

The Company Secretary is responsible for the efficient administration of a company, particularly with regard to ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. It is also a supportive and advisory role.

The Company Secretary keeps the Board Executive and members informed of their legal responsibilities, ensures decisions of the Board of Directors are implemented, that statutory registers are maintained in good order, and responsibilities of the company are met. The role is also an important link between the organisation's Chief Executive and the Board and the company / charity and its members / shareholders.

As a charitable company limited by guarantee, WJEC CBAC Limited is also subject to charity law.

Gwen Lloyd Aubrey joined WJEC in March 2017 and has over 25 years' experience working bilingually within the education sector in Wales (mainly within HE institutions) in senior administrative roles. She has extensive experience in serving Boards providing both support and advice to the Chair of the Board and Directors / Trustees on governance matters, regulatory compliance within the organisation as well as company and charity law.

Gwen is a Prince2 qualified project manager, an ILM qualified leader and manager and a fully trained lay inspector for ESTYN. She also runs her own translation business and is a member of the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters.