TLC Board Members
Thomas joined Blackburn College as Principal and Chief Executive in 2013. Prior to that he had a similar position at Perth College in Scotland. Thomas has worked in both University and College Sectors for most of his career, more latterly in senior academic management and leadership positions. Much of his early career was spent in the NHS and subsequently, Healthcare Regulation.
Thomas has been part of the top team in two UK Educational Institutions which have been successful in gaining Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAPS) and University Title.
At a UK Level Thomas has served on the Sector Skills Council for Health, and Chaired the UK Healthcare Education Directors Group. Whilst in Scotland at Perth College, he was a Board Member of Colleges Scotland; a member of the Scottish Further Education Colleges Principals’ Group; and a member of QAA (Scotland) Committee. He was also a member of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Academic Council of the University of the Highlands and Islands – a federated arrangement including 13 FE Colleges and Research institutions.
Since coming to Blackburn, Thomas’ focus has been upon leading a highly successful College which is now financially sound; offers a fit for purpose range of education and training which meets the needs of employers; and guiding the College to be a key player in social change and improvement for the citizens of Blackburn with Darwen and the wider Area of Pennine Lancashire. The curriculum has been overhauled, employer engagement focussed and strengthened and partnerships built to Make a Difference and Change Lives. This journey has started and more remains to be done. A new Senior Team has been put in place to drive forward necessary changes.
Bev Robinson joined Blackpool and The Fylde College as Principal and Chief Executive in May 2013 from Newcastle College where she was Principal for four years.
With 20 years’ experience in further and higher education colleges, Bev believes that the development of higher technical and professional education and skills underpins the future success of the UK economy. Key to driving the skills agenda forward is the continued investment in education and skills by Government, by employers and by individuals investing in themselves. Bev sits on the Lancashire LEP Skills and Employment Board, is a non-executive director and chair of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Development Company and a director of the National College Onshore Oil and Gas (NCOOG).
Blackpool and The Fylde College, judged as Ofsted Outstanding in November 2013, is one of the UK’s leading Further Education colleges and is one of the major employers in the Blackpool area. With a turnover of over £52m, the college serves 20,000 further and higher education students and works with more than 2000 employers from across The Fylde coast and the North West. In November 2015 the College was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its technical and professional work in partnership with employers.
Jill joined Blackpool Sixth as Principal in January 2015 after more than 20 years working at Runshaw College, seven of these as a senior leader.
Jill originally trained in hospitality management, having visions of managing hotels worldwide. However in 1994 her career took an unexpected turn when she entered the world of education initially as a teacher of tourism and hospitality before moving into middle management in 1998 and senior management in 2008.
Having undertaken her post-16 education in Blackpool Jill is excited to be back on the Fylde coast in her new role as Principal. She is enjoying working with the staff, students, governors and the wider community to provide an outstanding education for the young people of Blackpool.
Blackpool Sixth is an outstanding specialist sixth form college and was the first sixth form college to be designated as a National Teaching School. The college is also an active sponsor of Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT).
Jill is currently a Director of the Fylde Coast Teaching School, a Director of FCAT and a governor at Blackpool Aspire Academy. Jill also an Ofsted Inspector.
Hugh has been Principal of Burnley College and CEO of THEMIS apprenticeships since January 2010. He was previously Deputy Principal of the College appointed in December 2000. Hugh has worked in Further Education since starting as a part time lecturer at Bolton in 1983. Since starting work in Further Education Hugh has worked full time at Exeter College, Bolton College and Blackburn College before moving to Burnley College. Hugh’s background is in Business Information Systems and Quantity Surveying.
Currently a member of the Burnley Action Partnership and represents The Lancashire Principals on the Lancashire Children’s Trust Board. Hugh was a secondary school Parent Governor for Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton.
Memorable moments as a Principal include escorting Prince Charles around the newly built £81m Burnley College / UCLAN Campus in February 2010 and hosting HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during the Jubilee year tour.
The Burnley College partnership, together with THEMIS and Burnley UCLAN is the largest FE institution in East Lancashire, it serves amongst the most deprived populations in the UK. The partnership places a great emphasis on ladders of progression to support students right through post 16 and university qualifications. Student achievements are in the top 10% in the country and MP Julie Cooper is a passionate supporter of the College approach to education, working closely with the partnership helping it meet its social responsibility.
Nick’s first degree is in Economics and he has worked for 20 years in two ‘Outstanding’ sixth form colleges. At Peter Symonds he rose from A-level teacher to Head of Faculty. For the last 9 years he has been Vice Principal at Carmel College with responsibility for Staffing and Quality Assurance. He expresses a strong commitment to sixth form colleges and he played a significant role in Carmel’s outstanding performance, especially in the area of value added. Quality Assurance strategies are his strengths as evidenced by its praise from Ofsted as good practice. In his curriculum leadership role he has promoted a policy of ‘full engagement’ for students. He played a leading role in a recent restructuring to meet the current funding challenges. He has been internally focused but also works with a college’s key partners to meet the needs of the students.
Nick appreciates the very warm welcome he has received at Cardinal Newman College from colleagues and students and says he is pleased and privileged to be appointed Principal of such a high achieving institution. He is looking forward to working with staff, students, governors and parents in not only sustaining excellence but also in ensuring the college is able to face future challenges with confidence. Nick firmly believes that ‘outstanding’ colleges such as Carmel and Cardinal Newman provide the very best opportunities for our young people in terms of education, social, moral and spiritual development so that they can emerge as confident young adults ready to face a challenging and often uncertain world.
Wes Johnson joined Lancaster & Morecambe College in April 2017 as Principal and Chief Executive. He has over 20 years’ experience in education, with 11 years as a senior leader in both general and specialist further and higher education institutions across the north of England.
Following a successful period as Vice Principal and Acting Principal at Craven College (Skipton), Wes was appointed Campus Principal at Newton Rigg College, a specialist land based college in Cumbria. During his time at Newton Rigg, Wes led the resurgence of the college with significant growth in student numbers and apprenticeships, whilst re-establishing the newly merged college as a high performing specialist provider with a renewed national reputation.
Previous roles have seen Wes lead and deliver education in many settings, from serving disparate rural populations in Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Northumberland to disadvantaged urban communities in areas of Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds and Bradford.
As a former teacher trainer and curriculum specialist, Wes has a passion for high impact teaching and learning underpinning the positive influence colleges have in raising aspiration, life chances and the economic wellbeing of individuals, businesses and wider communities.
Lancaster & Morecambe College serves communities across North Lancashire, South Cumbria and North Yorkshire with a broad vocational and technical education offer. The College recently received an employer satisfaction score of 95.8% which placed it in the top 5% of colleges in the country (FE Choices Employer Satisfaction Survey 2016).
Ann Turner has been Principal of Myerscough College, a specialist land-based and sports college, since March 2006. Myerscough provides courses from entry to postgraduate level within their specialist areas and recruits regionally, nationally and in some cases internationally to these programmes. Alongside the main campus near Preston, Myerscough has centres in Croxteth, Liverpool, Blackburn and Manchester with specialist veterinary nursing provision in Dorset and on the Wirral. Apprenticeships are delivered nationally where Myerscough is the largest provider of land-based apprenticeships.
The College is inclusive, recognised as a Leader in Diversity with the mission of providing opportunities for all to succeed and has a supportive and welcoming culture. HE provision is in partnership with UCLan, in which the College is an Associate School.
It has a strong research portfolio working with a wide range of universities including Lancaster, Liverpool, UCLan, Manchester, Nottingham Trent and internationally with Coimbra, Portugal and several American universities. Myerscough works with rural communities across the region, traditionally leading on several regional programmes funded through RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England), supporting rural businesses and farmers and now utilising a new Food & Farming Innovation & Technology (FFIT) centre, part funded by Lancashire LEP to share best practice and facilitate the knowledge exchange between academia, industry and farmers.
Ann is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Chair of The Lancashire Colleges (TLC), Chair of Landex (Land-based colleges aspiring to excellence), Director of the National Land Based College, Director of Cultiva, a consortium of 5 land-based colleges nationally and rural adviser to the Lancashire LEP.
Amanda Melton was appointed Principal and Chief Executive of Nelson and Colne College in March 2012. The College is rated Ofsted ‘Outstanding’. Amanda is Chair of the Lancashire LEP Skills and Employment Board and a Director of Growth Lancashire Ltd, Lancashire’s Economic Development and Regeneration company.
Amanda moved into Further Education at South Trafford College in 1995 after a career in scientific software sales and marketing. She initially taught night school French and Italian, then IT, web design and business, before taking on leadership roles in adult learning, then learner services and finally 16-18 learning. Her experience in quality systems and performance management helped Trafford College to achieve its two Outstanding Ofsted results, and Beacon Status.
She was a senior manager at the time of the merger of North and South Trafford Colleges and led the cultural aspects of this merger.
Since joining Nelson & Colne College, Amanda led the establishment of the Pendle Education Trust, a multi-academy trust currently responsible for three academies, including a primary academy in special measures which recently achieved a Grade 2 at re-inspection . Amanda is a Trust Director and Chair of one academy.
Amanda is Chair of the Lancashire LEP Skills Board, identifying and addressing the skills needs of the county to support its growth plans. The Board has now established an independent Skills Hub responsible for delivering the skills priorities identified by the Board, linked to the wider LEP priorities. Amanda is also a director of Regenerate Pennine Lancashire, Lancashire’s growth company.
In December 2014, she was appointed Interim Principal of Lancashire Adult Learning following its inadequate Ofsted judgement. This post runs concurrent with her position at Nelson and Colne College. Amanda lives in South Manchester, is mum to two adult boys, and married to a maths teacher in FE.
Dr Lis Smith joined Preston’s College in January 2011 as Principal and Chief Executive following a career in education, skills and employment with the Northwest Development Agency and Higher Education. Having started life as a research and development chemist, it provided the grounding for engaging with industry and public sector to understand their needs and deliver to this, something that is fundamental to the College and its demand-led agenda through being responsive to learners’ and businesses’ needs.
The College’s state-of-the-art iSTEM Centre has regularly welcomed employers which has helped to reinforce its positioning as one of the leading STEM Centres in the North of England. Meanwhile, construction learners have benefited from the Eric Wright Learning Foundation real work environment which has seen a large number of learners progress from the classroom into an Apprenticeship with employers across the county.
In 2017, Preston’s College will continue to build on its work developing new initiatives with industry and a strong partnership with the University of Central Lancashire to tackle the county’s vital skills gap issues. The City Deal has created a wealth of opportunities for Lancashire businesses but has also presented fresh challenges around skills and employment. As such, the College will aim to ensure organisations have the right training needs for current employees, whilst generating a future workforce with the right skills and experience employers need.
With this experience and focus on learning, enterprise and innovation, Lis is committed to providing real opportunities and outcomes for learners, enhancing employability and enterprising behaviours in all. The main focus of Preston’s College to make our learners THE most employable
After graduating in Physics from the University of Sheffield in 1988, Simon worked for 5 years as an engineer in the nuclear power industry.
Simon entered the teaching profession in 1993. Since that time, he has held a wide variety of teaching and managerial roles within Sixth Form Colleges and General Further Education Colleges in the North of England.
Simon was appointed Principal and Chief Executive at Runshaw College in September 2013 having joined as Assistant Principal in 2006. Runshaw College is a large, inclusive, Tertiary College which has a local and national reputation for educational excellence; it is one of only 6 colleges in England to be designated as a National Teaching School in recognition of enduring excellence and the highly effective work that it does within the sector in supporting others to improve.
It is also one of the largest employers in South Ribble and has now been an Ofsted “outstanding” college for more than 25 years.
Biography to follow shortly.