Karen 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.
As a senior manager at the College, Karen has 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.
Burnley College has an outstanding reputation for ensuring students build their futures and are empowered to change their lives. The College is rated Outstanding by Ofsted; has been named North West Aerospace Alliance New Talent Training Provider of the Year 2018 and 2019 and listed as one of the top 10 performing Colleges in national league and results tables. In 2019, students achieved a 99.8% A Level pass rate and recorded a 100% Advanced Vocational programme pass rate for the 16th consecutive year.
From its £100 million Campus in the heart of Pennine Lancashire, Burnley College offers a comprehensive range of A Level and Vocational programmes; acclaimed Apprenticeship and bespoke business training packages; Adult Learning at all levels, from hobby courses and vital Maths and English qualifications to Access to Higher Education programmes and professional qualifications, and has a new University Courses Centre, offering industry-focussed degree courses and Degree Apprenticeships which provide graduates with the skills and experience needed by Employers.
The College is committed to continuous investment, having an award-winning fitness centre with state of the art equipment and a fitness testing lab; new university-standard science labs; a robotics suite; engineering workshops fitted with industry-standard advanced manufacturing equipment; high-tech learning spaces and performance and rehearsal studios.