New Chair and Vice Chair for Nelson and Colne College Group’s Board of Corporation steering the Colleges on to further success

Nelson and Colne College Group bids a fond farewell to current Chair of the Corporation Stephen Barnes as he retires from the College Group’s Board after more than 20 years of celebrated service, and welcomes a new Chair, Phil Wilkinson and new Vice Chair Emma Schofield.

The new appointments of Phil and Emma, who are already established members of the Board, further enhances the College Group’s governance bringing a wealth of experience, professional strength and skills from different industry sectors and will continue the strong strategic leadership that Stephen has shown over the years.

Emma Schofield is Deputy Director of Human Resources (HR) and Organisation Development at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and is currently the Safeguarding Lead on the Board of Corporation.

Phil Wilkinson, currently Vice Chair of the Corporation, begins as Chair in February, and is Chief Executive Officer of Ascentis.

Phil said “I am immensely proud to take on this position playing such an important role in the lives of all the learners and wider communities that we serve as the College Group. As, consistently, one of the highest achieving colleges in the country we are dedicated to enriching the education and experiences of all we work with, at all levels. Using the knowledge and experience gained from my established background in Further Education I can honestly say we haven’t been in a better position to positively influence the lives of so many across Lancashire, and particularly across East Lancashire.

“Stephen will be sorely missed, and has made a significant and lasting contribution to the College throughout his time on the Board. Through his College role he has made a hugely positive and lasting contribution to and impact on Pendle, which will continue long after he retires from the College Board. I look forward to becoming Chair in February and building upon all his good work supporting the Board to steer the College on to further success as we move forward.”

Stephen joined the Board of Nelson and Colne College when he was Chief Executive of Pendle Borough Council. As Corporation Chair, he has led the Board and College through key investment and growth opportunities such as the Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College mergers and the ambitious £3.5m Capital Investment Programme continuing to transform the Accrington and Rossendale College campus. An investment to support the College Group to continue to thrive that in turn could increase students attending by up to 15%.

Speaking of his retirement, Stephen said “I am immensely proud of all the phenomenal things the College Group has achieved for our learners, businesses and communities we serve, and for my part in that story. I know the unfaltering commitment and drive to support all students to achieve their very best will continue, with the Group’s senior team, teachers and support staff.”

Find out more about Governance at Nelson and Colne College Group.

January 2022