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Karen Buchanan

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Karen Buchanan was appointed as Principal of Burnley College and CEO of Themis, its Apprenticeship and Business training arm in 2018, after a seven-year tenure as Deputy Principal.

Her career in Further Education launched in 1993 when she joined Burnley College as a lecturer in Computing. Karen brought skills and experience from industry to the education sector, having worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst at some of the region’s leading Employers, British Aerospace, the Prestige Group plc and Leyland DAF.

A keen advocate of developing collaborative links between industry and academia, Karen leads a Manufacturing group comprised of local employers and Burnley College Tutors to ensure a synergy between the needs of industry and learners entering the workplace. During the Covid pandemic, she placed the College’s expertise at the disposal of employers and local government to help safeguard public services and help employers adapt their production processes to meet the need for personal protective equipment.

During her time as Principal, Karen has led Burnley College to the position of Number One College in the country in the Government’s achievement rate tables for learners aged 16 to 19 and welcomed ministerial visits and leading civil servants on virtual fact-finding, best practice visits.

She has also welcomed Royal visitors on official visits including escorting Prince Charles on a tour of the College’s new Campus and welcoming the Queen and Prince Philip on their Jubilee tour.