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Our governing body is made up of elected parents, staff, learners, the Principal of the college and co-opted governors. The college governors meet four times a year. Two governors attend the trustee meetings.

If you are interested in becoming a governor at St. John's College, then please get in touch.

For further information about our governance please visit the  website.


Karen Grist
College Principal and Governor

My teaching career path began in secondary schools then further education colleges, specialising in vocational and academic studies. Achieving a postgraduate diploma in Management Studies enabled me to progress into curriculum leadership. Transferring my focus to the independent specialist sector was a very positive move, gaining highly relevant experience in senior management roles at a specialist college in Surrey before working at St. John’s College.

Leading and contributing to the work of a dedicated transdisciplinary team of staff here, where learners achieve significant outcomes that make a real difference to the quality of their lives continues to be an absolute privilege.

Fiona Chalk
Chair of Governors

Fiona runs her own governance consultancy, specialising in education and third sector organisations. She has previously been a school, MAT, and college board member, and is passionate about the power of governance to contribute to improved organisational performance. With her own children on the spectrum, St Johns mission and vision align with Fiona's, and her desire to see all young people lead the best life they can.

Mohit Bajaj
Governor - health and safety/estates

Mohit is the CEO of a technology and strategy consulting group based in Brighton. With a career based in enterprise and entrepreneurship, Mohit is passionate about technology and innovation as well as improving access into the work place for young people.

Vai Cheung
Governor - staffing and HR

Vai works in the tech industry, leading on software implementation programmes and projects for not-for-profits. Vai also works closely with her company’s leadership team to shape project operations, ensuring efficient delivery of projects to clients. She’s a mentor who supports colleagues in their career development goals. She started off her career originally in international education as a teacher and then later moved to management and leadership roles.

Vai has an MBA from the University of Leicester, and thrives in working with leadership teams on forming operational strategies to ensure efficiency and effectiveness without losing focus of the people experience, and hopes her experience lends itself well to the governor role at St. John’s College. Vai has also been a mentor and tutor for the BMEYPP (Black Minority Ethnic Young People’s Project) in Brighton. 

Viv Berkeley
Director of Education at ԰
Viv joined ԰ in May 2014. She has spent the last 22 years working in the further education (FE) sector in various guises - volunteer, lecturer, coordinator, manager and head of department. Her experience is across the sector – FE colleges, local authorities, universities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Viv is motivated by social justice, social inclusion and equality and always works from this value base.
Julie Flynn
Community Governor

I've worked with young people most of my life. First as a Detached Youth Worker in Hastings and St Leonards, then as a Attendance and Welfare officer in Southampton before I became a Head of Year 7 and 8 in Bexhill. I now run training courses for people working with 11 to 25 year olds on classroom management, restorative practice, antibullying, and professional conduct, as well as giving talks in schools on nonviolent conflict resolution. In my spare time I like to get involved in my local community. I moved to Brighton seven years ago and found it to be such a welcoming, diverse and creative place that I am proud to call my home. So I now look to its future by aiding and ensuring its youth get every opportunity possible.

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Jo Wilcox
Community Governor

Jo is an education professional with more than two decades of experience in facilitating group discussion, debate and decision-making. Currently she is teaching Politics and Citizenship at Brighton and Hove Sixth Form College. Jo has a background in psychology and politics and interest in mental health and wellbeing in education, inclusive education for neurodiverse and low income students, decolonising the curriculum and education for sustainable development.

Stephen Gordon
Parent Governor

Stephen has a child at St John’s College and joined the Governing Body in November 2023.