Our Senior management of HRUC

Keith Smith - Chief Executive, HRUC

Keith Smith has worked in the skills system for 25 years and now as CEO of HRUC (including the West London Institute of Technology).

Previously, Keith was a senior civil servant and the architect of the Skills for Jobs White Paper, published in January 2021.

A graduate of the Major Projects Leadership Academy, Keith has led several large national delivery and infrastructure projects, including national apprenticeship quality reforms, operationalisation of the apprenticeship levy and running the national FE Funding system for England. Keith is an active supporter on issues impacting people with disabilities, and is a mental health first aider.

He has also been a governor on a number of schools and a University Technology College, and has worked supporting unemployed people, through local job support programmes.

Dylan McTaggart (Group Principal and Deputy CEO)

Dylan McTaggart - Group Principal and Deputy Chief Executive, HRUC

Dylan has worked in Further Education for over two decades. Dylan was a Maths graduate before he unexpectedly arrived in the education sector and finding it to be a thrilling, challenging and changeable world.

Beginning at Uxbridge College in 2003, then taking on two highly successful leadership roles in two other colleges before later joining Harrow College as Vice Principal in 2015. Through the then HCUC merger, Dylan became Group Deputy Principal and later still, Uxbridge Principal.  Today as the HRUC Group Principal and Deputy CEO, Dylan is extraordinarily proud of our students, staff, and their journeys.

Dylan chairs the Association of Colleges London Quality Group and is a visible systems driver across London. He is passionate about student opportunity and the student experience.

Any spare time is shared between (unsuccessful) DIY, countryside meanderings with his dog, and excessive coffee consumption.

 Gavin Hughes (Principal, Richmond Upon Thames College, HRUC)  

Gavin Hughes - Principal, Richmond Upon Thames College, HRUC

Gavin was Assistant Principal at Uxbridge College from 2010 to 2023. Prior to this, he was a Head of School 2005 – 2008 at Uxbridge College and was Head of Year 12 at Woking Sixth Form College 2001 – 2005. Gavin started his career in education as a teacher in a secondary school and was also a lecturer in West Herts College.

Originally trained as a PE and Science Teacher, Gavin has developed specialisms in several areas. He is Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for the college group and has been a DSL since 2010. He also previously managed SEND provision across HCUC (Harrow and Uxbridge Colleges). Gavin was an A level Biology and A level PE Teacher for over a decade, he has also taught on undergraduate courses in Leisure Studies.

Gavin has a Bachelor of Education with honours, and has a Masters in Education Management. He has led on Student Services, International Students and Equality and Diversity across the College group and was Ofsted Deputy Nominee during the HCUC inspection of 2022, which achieved 5 Outstanding grades and 3 Good grades.  

Gavin is a member of the Association of London Colleges (AoC) London Principals', CEO's, Chairs' and Vice Chairs' Forum and the AoC London Curriculum and Quality Directors' Network Group.

Gavin is passionate about safeguarding and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and has led on many projects to enhance these areas including the creation of a Level 5 Qualification for teachers of SEND students.

Jo Withers, HRUC Chief of Business Strategy

Jo Withers - Chief of Business Strategy, HRUC

Jo is at the helm of Business Development at HRUC, spearheading growth initiatives and fostering strategic partnerships, notably with the West London Institute of Technology, college apprenticeships, Higher Education, commercial income, and international collaborations.

Her journey began in the hairdressing industry, where she nurtured a passion for training and skill development, guiding apprentices, and students. Moving to education nearly 25 years ago, Jo established herself as both an industry professional and educator, laying the foundation for her remarkable career trajectory.

With a Master's Degree in Leadership and Management, she ascended to leadership roles in 2009, including Executive for Employer Services of the then HCUC group, and becoming Principal at Harrow College in 2021, where her highlights included, successfully leading the cross group apprenticeships and skills provision through the 2022 Ofsted which was awarded ‘good’ and paving the way to build and further develop the special education needs and disability (SEND) provision across HRUC.

Now, as HRUCs’ first ever Chief of Business Strategy, Jo is thrilled to champion the college group’s growth aspirations. Her proudest moments include enhancing the quality of apprenticeships, achieving a Master's degree later in life, fostering a community of leaders, and establishing impactful strategic partnerships that elevate the college's profile nationally and internationally.

Clive Hodge, Principal, Harrow College

Clive Hodge - Principal, Harrow College, HRUC

Clive has worked in Further Education (FE) for over 20 years. In 2004 he began his teaching career and during this time he has held several leadership positions. He joined Farnborough College in 2018 as Vice Principal where he was an integral part of the leadership team, who guided the college to an outstanding Ofsted grading.

Prior to being in FE, he began his working life as an apprentice Electrical/ Electronic Engineer and studied at his local college. After completion, Clive spent a number of years working for major corporations in London as a communication Engineer. Clive is a qualified Engineer and also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management.

As a past student of FE, Clive is a strong believer in the sector’s ability to enhance and change lives as well as reach the disadvantaged. His mantra to students:

“The sky is not the limit, beyond the sky is the universe and no one has put a limit on the universe.

Therefore your potential is limitless.”

Now at HRUC he is proud to lead a college where students and staff are encouraged and supported to ‘be extraordinary’.