Meet the Team

Staff names: [A-F]  [G-M]  [N-Z]


Aimee Jones

Management Assessor

Aimee joined the Portal team in September 2015 following 14 years in secondary education.  A qualified ICT teacher, Aimee has experience teaching a wide range of abilities across all of the key stages and has also delivered Business Studies at GCSE and A Level.  Aimee has held leadership roles for the majority of her career, as Head of Department for 7 years and as ICT co-ordinator, leading on whole school ICT issues.  In addition, Aimee has been a mentor to several Initial Teacher Trainees and provided IT training courses and support for colleagues.  Aimee was also actively involved in many extra-curricular projects including running the DofE wards and leading oversees expeditions.

Alison Knapman


Alison joined Portal in 2017 after working within FE establishments and schools. During her career Alison has held a number of leadership and management roles including Head of School, Director of Faculty and temporary role of Vice Principal. Alison has managed a wide range of provision including apprenticeships, fulltime and schools provision, within a portfolio of various subjects.

Alison is passionate about providing outstanding teaching and learning opportunities by developing diverse and creative assessment strategies to engage learners to reach their potential. Examples include managing and business planning the curriculum design of external learning companies such as a hair and beauty salon in Gloucester, a restaurant in Cheltenham and a construction renovation company.

Alison gained her BA (Hons) in Education and Training and MA in Leadership and Management at the University of South Wales.

Andrea Matthews

Management Assessor

Andrea joined Portal Training in May 2016 with experience of working in Work Based Learning over the past 17 years. She has had numerous roles including Assessor, Internal Quality Assurer, External Quality Assurer and most recently Apprenticeship Performance Manager for WBL contracts in England and Wales. Andrea has achieved a number of qualifications in the field of Management and Leadership including the Higher Apprenticeship ILM Level 5 in Management and Leadership and ILM Level 7 in Strategic Leadership. She has delivered Management and Leadership apprenticeships in a variety of settings including Education, Accountancy, Digital Marketing and most recently with a group of apprentices in Swansea City Football Club.

Cate Harnden

Management Assessor

Cate joined Portal in 2018, following a broad experience of working within education, including delivering wellbeing and health promotion programmes for Gwynedd Youth Services, and as a History and Sociology teacher. She has also worked as a primary school teacher which culminated in achieving an Early Education Advisory Teacher post for Wrexham County, providing foundation phase training and support to playgroups and schools. Her focus was on Welsh language provision, equality and diversity, and the Digital Competence Framework.

Cate is passionate about education and a great believer in lifelong learning, but also has a business interest. She has set up two small businesses and achieved a Prince of Wales Youth Business Award. She is currently a Director of Making Sense CIC.

Clare Jeffries

Director of Operations

Clare joined Portal in July 2016 after 13 years working within Further educational establishments and Work Based Learning. During her career Clare has held a number of Leadership roles such as Operation Manager Roles and Senior Management roles, leading departments. Clare strongly believes in providing the companies that she works for with an European dimension and as a result is a member of the Erasmus+ VET Consultation group. Clare is passionate about enhancing learning and partnership working to ensure learners have an outstanding learning experience.

Danielle Hall

Data Administrator

Danielle Hall began as a Data Administrator at Portal Training at the beginning of 2015. Previous to this, Danielle completed a BTEC Art course at Willows High Six Form and Working Skills course at ACT whilst working part time as a custodian at Cardiff University. Danielle is part of the ILM team providing secretarial and managerial support. She’s excited to be undertaking a business administration course whilst in this role.

Outside of work Danielle likes to socialise with friends and also likes taking part in athletics.

Dawn Rice

ESW Specialist/IQA 

Dawn has held a number of positions within the Training sector, beginning her career in the industry in 1996, Dawn’s passion for vocational qualifications grew from her own experience as an Apprenticeship candidate herself. This developed into an opportunity to become an Assessor. Since the start of her work based learning journey Dawn has enhanced her skills through a variety of roles including lead verifier, Quality manager and in the last 10 years Team manager for groups of Assessors and Verifiers delivering a variety of routes including Business Administration, Customer Service, Health and Social Care and Childcare.

Elfed Wood

Management Assessor

Elfed joined Portal in 2018 as a Welsh medium Management Assessor having previously worked as a Headteacher at 4 different primary schools in Carmarthenshire. Elfed is a trained ESTYN Peer Inspector. He is passionate about developing practitioners into confident and inspiring leaders. He enjoys travelling, music and sports, and is a proud Llanelli Scarlets rugby follower.

Frances Lee

Relations Officer

Frances joined Portal in 2019 as our Welsh speaking Relations Officer following over twelve years’ experience in secondary education mainly through the medium of Welsh. She is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working in the professional training industry, education and with relationship management.  


Frances graduated with a BA Hons and QTs in Secondary Education in Drama and has also worked as a Special Constable’s Police Trainer for South Wales Police. Frances has proven experience in relations, assisting in liaising and building relationships with neighbouring police and fire services, for the development of South Wales Police’s Welsh language scheme in 2007.  


Frances has lead training on staff induction programmes, teaching schemes of work from ks3 to ks5, overseen enrolment processes, e-learning, qualified as an Internal Verifier for post 16 vocational courses and assisted on quality assurance processes for SWP’s training provision.

Gwawr Booth

Managing Director

Gwawr has been with Portal since 2010, joining after spending more than fifteen years teaching in large secondary schools. During her classroom career she held a number of posts including Assistant Head, Head of Department and Key Skills Coordinator.


She is passionate about helping achieve improvement across all types of teaching for learners of all abilities and aims for Portal to provide equal quality of training provision in both English and Welsh.

Gwenan Rosser

Management Assessor

Gwenan joined Portal in February 2017 after holding a number of positions within both the Education and Business sectors. She began her career as a Secondary Physical Education teacher where leadership posts included Head of Department, KS4 Pastoral Leader, Inclusion and Attendance Coordinator, PGCE mentor and Assistant Head teacher. During this time she was also a GCSE PE moderator and A Level examiner for the WJEC.

After 15 years of teaching, Gwenan returned to study gaining a MAR Diploma in Reflexology and has since worked with Cardiff City FC and other sport professionals as part of their Rehabilitation teams. She was also part of the successful 2010 Ryder Cup working for the Assistant Director of Team Europe.

Recent years have seen Gwenan as an Operations Manager with a Sports Tour Operator, working mainly with professional football clubs in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. She was also responsible for the setting and implementing the company’s Tours H&S department policies, awarding them their STF accreditation within the industry, and was their Lead Auditor for all Risk Management Procedures and Assessments.

Gwenan is looking forward to her new role with Portal and establishing new partnership with our learners.

Heidi Barbrook

Management Assessor

More information about Heidi here soon...

Janice Hart

Director of Quality

Janice has been with Portal since 2014. Prior to starting her journey with Portal, Janice undertook a number of roles within the work Based Learning Sector which included; assessing, quality assurance and delivering training within the Public Service sector.  She previously worked for Service Schools Education in Germany before moving back to the UK where she managed a Foundation Phase setting in London.

Jo Norton

IQA Manager

Jo joined Portal in 2016 following a professional career in Leadership and Management within education and private industry establishments. She has held various management positions and over the past 10 years has worked as a leader and manager in education and training to include teaching, assessment, quality assurance and curriculum development roles.   Outside of Portal Jo undertakes freelance work as a lecturer in MSc Strategic Leadership.


Jo holds a PGCE, MSc in Leadership & Management, is currently undertaking the L7 Executive Coaching & Mentoring qualification. Jo is a member of ILM and is currently pursuing opportunities for Doctoral Level study.


Jo believes that any education or training programme should engage and challenge and is a strong advocate of the benefits that continuous professional development, at any level, can bring.

Jonathan Watkins-Stuart

Assessor Coordinator

Jonathan is responsible for working with Learners who are undertaking  their ILM level 4 and Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification along with essential skills Wales literacy, numeracy and ICT. He provides support on the qualification, undertaking relevant assessment methods to work towards completion. Jonathan also works on the Moodle system, enrolling learners, working with resources and our online assessment process.

Gwenno Llwyd Jones


Gwenno Jones joined Portal in January 2016 as a Welsh Medium Management Assessor having previously taught at Ysgol Cymer Rhondda in her role as a Head of Physics.  Gwenno graduated as a Bachelor in Civil and Environmental Engineering (BEng) in 2010 from Cardiff University. As a Science teacher, Gwenno led Numeracy initiatives within the department and mentored PGCE Science students during their school placements. Gwenno is passionate about travel and keeping fit, she enjoys running and mountain walking on the weekends and competed in the 2016 Snowdon Race.

Phil O'Brien

Business Development Manager

More info about Phil here soon...

Josh Young


Josh joined Portal in 2019, having previously worked for several training providers from across the UK. He has 11 years of experience in a work-based learning context, and he has held a number of positions within the sector.


His experience extends to a number of industries including management, hospitality, IT and sports development.


Josh has a keen interest in sport, particularly football, where he volunteers as a youth coach and currently runs a senior side in Cardiff.

Karen Drage

Management Assessor 

Karen joined Portal 2017 having previously worked across a diverse range of public and private sectors within work-based learning environments. In addition to a number of small businesses and larger corporate companies, she has worked for the emergency services, local government, local councils and education establishments.


Prior to her time at Portal, Karen ran a successful management training and consultancy business working across the public and private sectors to identify, design and deliver tailored approaches to management and leadership programmes.


Karen has also held a number of operational leadership and management roles during her 25-year career at British Gas. During this time, she also worked within the National Management Development Team responsible for the design and delivery of bespoke leadership and management programmes. 


Karen believes in the value of lifelong education and that through developing a passion for learning, you will consistently continue to grow.

Katy Evans

Sweet* Programme Officer

Katy joined the Sweet* Team in 2016 after qualifying as a Mathematics teacher through the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Katy is passionate about young people having the opportunity to develop life skills and gain valuable qualifications that will support their progression in to further education, training or employment.

Kelsey Williams

Relations Support Officer

Kelsey joined Portal in October 2017 as a Relations Support Officer following 6 years as a primary school teacher. She has achieved a BA (Ed) in Primary Teaching and an MA in Educational Practice and is passionate about teaching and learning, and helping learners to achieve their potential. Kelsey has experience in teaching a range of abilities and has been lucky enough to have taught in Swaziland and South Africa.

Lindsay Donovan‑Lacey

Sweet* Internal Verifier

Lindsay is a former Modern Foreign Languages and Welsh Second Language teacher with 8 years experience at an English medium comprehensive school. She has a passion for languages and is currently learning Italian, her sixth! 

During her career, Lindsay has embraced middle manager roles including Head of Department and Head of Faculty.

She is keen to communicate the benefits of the Sweet* qualifications, which help young learners to gain valuable life skills and qualifications in an accessible way.

Martin Griffiths

Sweet* Internal Verifier

Martin is an experienced educator having held management positions at a variety of alternative education and employability-based learning provisions.

He joined the Portal Team in 2017 and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience on vocational qualifications from a teaching and quality assurance background.

Martin is passionate in supporting young people to gain a holistic education that can aid both progression and quality of life through learning.

Michael Hargreaves

Sweet* Internal Verifier

Michael is an experienced tutor, coach, mentor and assessor with almost 15 years of experiencing enhancing the employability of students and graduates within schools, college and university. 


He joined the Portal team in 2019 on a part-time basis as he also works with disengaged pupils on a European funded project to reduce their chances of being NEET.

Michael has delivered a wide range of qualifications from OCN units BTECs and delivered on City & Guilds and ILM qualifications.

Melissa O'Connor

Management Assessor

Melissa joined Portal as an ILM management assessor in 2017 after 11 years of teaching in both the FE and HE sectors. During this time she held the roles of module leader, programme manager and HE Curriculum Co-ordinator. Melissa has experience of teaching across a range of levels from Level 2 GCSE to Level 6 BSc Honours Degree. Her subject specialisms include marketing, business sustainability and developing reflective practice. Melissa is extensively travelled and has taught in Cambodia. She has a keen interest in educational sustainability with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. Melissa enjoys travelling to new places, yoga and practices both mindfulness and meditation.

Lisa Bartlett

Management Assessor

Information about Lisa will appear here soon...

Pauline Jones

Management Assessor

Pauline joined Team Portal in 2019 with several years of experience in Work Based Learning across a variety of sectors, including manufacturing industries, education, public sector, health boards and the emergency services.

Pauline graduated in 2000 from Bangor University with a BA Joint Honours in Management and German. After graduating she worked as a retail business manager for 13 years before moving into Work Based Learning.

Pauline is passionate about lifelong learning and enjoys seeing learners achieve their potential, along with the benefits that continuous professional development can bring.

Rhianydd James

Management Assessor

Rhianydd is an ex-Executive Headteacher who had responsibility for leading three schools in South Ceredigion. Her leadership and management experience allows her to effectively support learners on the ILM Leadership and Management courses to ensure that they develop the necessary skills to develop as effective leaders and managers.

Samantha Thole

Conformance Officer 

Sam joined Portal in 2018 following 14 years working in the work-based learning sector.


Previously she worked for a lead provider in Wales supporting the delivery of apprenticeship programmes. She has extensive knowledge of the apprenticeship programme, particularly compliance and auditing.


Her current role includes ensuring that we comply with all obligations of our work-based learning contract.

Sarah Heenan

Team Engagement Officer

Sarah joined Portal in 2018 bringing with her vast experience of the Work Based Learning sector. Sarah’s journey began delivering work-based qualifications progressing into quality assurance and later evolving into organisational learning and development and HR Management.


Sarah strives to make a positive a difference for employees in the workplace and is passionate in supporting Portal’s greatest asset - its people.

Sarah Shwartz

Management Assessor


Sarah is an experienced Management Trainer and Assessor. She joined Portal in 2018, following a career in operational management, organisational development and more recently work-based learning. Sarah has held operational leadership and management roles with in the hospitality and utility industries.


Whilst in work-based learning Sarah has delivered leadership and management qualifications across a variety of sectors including retail, emergency services, manufacturing, local government and education.


Sarah is passionate about continuous professional development and enjoys supporting learners to meet their full potential and progress their career goals.

Stewart Mulligan

Management Assessor

Stewart joined Portal in August 2019, after working for 13 years in secondary education as an English teacher. During his career Stewart has held various leadership positions, including the management of English departments in three different schools, line managing other departments and whole school teaching and learning responsibilities, such as Raising Boys’ Achievement. He has also undertaken the role of mentor to several NQTs and has been lead teacher for a number of PGCE students, helping them to successfully complete their courses and to become thoughtful and reflective practitioners. 


Whilst working as a Head of Department in Leicester, Stewart co-ordinated citywide co-operation systems between secondary schools, leading the development of resources for the implementation of new GCSE curricula, focusing particularly on new and unfamiliar aspects of the specifications.


Stewart has also worked as a GCSE and A-level examiner for WJEC, AQA and Cambridge Assessment International Education, giving him a thorough understanding of the importance of accurate application of assessment criteria. 

Sue Mackenzie

Finance Assistant


Sue started working with Portal in 2017 after switching careers in 2010.


She worked within the Finance Department at ACT Training to gain experience and train in the industry whilst studying for her exams to enable her to work in accounts.


Sue was then offered a role as Finance Assistant following qualification. Sue then continued to work for ACT Training for a period of 5 years until she joined the Portal Team in 2017.

Ynyr Roberts

Marketing and Design Coordinator 

Ynyr joined team Portal in 2016. He has worked in the design and marketing industry since graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002. Most of the past years working freelance for companies such as BBC, WJEC, Cytûn and S4C to name a few.

Born and raised in rural Snowdonia, but now living in Cardiff, Ynyr adores music of all sorts, and is a keen follower of Welsh language music in particular - he is one half of the alt-folk group Brigyn. He worked to manage and set up the community music label Gwynfryn Cymunedol, and is a board member at Eos (The Broadcasting Rights Agency).

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Phone: 029 2047 4060

Address: Portal Training, Ocean Park House,
East Tyndall Street, Cardiff CF24 5ET

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