Graham started his working life as an apprentice in his family’s construction business. He started lecturing part-time in 1979, moving to a full-time position in 1981. He undertook a variety of roles within FE Colleges, was an associate inspector with Ofsted/ALI, and progressed to Principal of Cannock Chase Technical College in February 2005. Here, Graham was instrumental in reconfiguring the organisation to improve the student success rate from 42% to 84% in just three years. He initiated and led the merger between Rodbaston Agricultural College, Cannock Chase Technical College and Tamworth and Litchfield College to create South Staffordshire College and became its first Principal in January 2009.
During his tenure at South Staffordshire College, Graham achieved many things including the building and opening of the Rural Enterprise Academy, a free school which enables young people from the age of 14 years old, to link their learning to the rural curriculum. He also built and opened a specially designed new facility to cater for learners with severe mental and/or physical difficulties.
Passionate about both the sector and the life-changing opportunities it gives to young people, since leaving South Staffordshire College, Graham has worked to support governance and senior leadership in schools and colleges. Prior to joining Hadlow College, he worked at West London College alongside the incoming CEO and Principal in the development of their strategy. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Staffordshire and is a Trustee for a charity that raises funds to support the local Army Cadet Force.