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Our Governors

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Our Governors

Brian Stephenson Brian Stephenson (Chair) Having previously been a student of the College and a member of the Board since 2000, I am immensely proud to now chair the Corporation. My professional background is within the financial services industry; presently working in commercial banking with a national role around operational risk management (this includes the regulatory and compliance aspects of the business together with the protection of staff and customers). For the majority of my career I have been a relationship manager supporting both personal and business customers mainly across the areas served by the College, this has given me a first-hand understanding of the needs of the community and helped to set the high customer service standards that I expect us all to aspire to. I hold professional finance qualifications covering a range of areas including accounting, corporate law, marketing, international trade, financial planning and general management. With 2 daughters both attending local schools and my wife also working in education I hopefully have developed a good appreciation for the challenges and opportunities within the sector. In my ‘spare time’ I enjoy participating in and watching most sports plus helping to run a local golf club.
Steve Ireland Steve Ireland (Vice Chair) Steve is an award-winning broadcaster, starting his career at BBC Radio Blackburn (now Lancashire) before turning to television. He produced ‘North-West Tonight’ before becoming the Head of News for BBC North West. Steve then became the head of Regional Programmes for BBC N/West, responsible at that time for four radio stations – Lancashire, Merseyside, Manchester and Cumbria – plus all regional TV.He left to join ITV and became Director of Programmes at Tyne Tees TV after helping Tyne Tees retain its franchise. Taken over by Yorkshire TV, Steve headed to London to become the first Director of Programmes at satellite channel UK Gold before joining the U.S. giant, Viacom as Senior Vice-President of Programmes for the ‘Showtime Network’ – a satellite TV operation beaming 30+ channels to the Middle East and north Africa.Steve returned north to start his own company, ‘ Ltd’ which specialises in media and presentation training, working with ‘blue-chip’ companies and also with young people struggling with self-esteem issues and ex-offenders.Steve and business partner, Rob Hallam, also work with many of the world’s leading athletes – delivering media training and shooting short films. Names include Usain Bolt, David Rudisha, Sanya Richards-Ross, Jeremy Wariner (all gold medallists) plus the ‘living legend’ Haile Gebrselassie.Steve lives in Hyndburn with his family.
Sue Taylor
Sue Taylor (Principal)
Sue took up the post of Principal of Accrington & Rossendale College in August 2013. She joined the College in 1999, and held the role of Vice-Principal for five years before her appointment as Principal. Sue has worked within the further education sector for 30 years. After an initial career in administration in both public and private sectors, she returned to Further and Higher Education as an adult student. She gained a BA (Hons) in English and French, and later an MSc in Education Management. Sue started her teaching career at Bolton College, teaching English and Teacher Education, progressing to curriculum management and leadership of professional development, quality and standards. She took several years out of college to work in training and consultancy across schools and colleges in the north-west and the midlands, before returning to College work in 1999.
Rosemarie Andrews
Rosemarie Andrews
Mrs Andrews is a Chartered Accountant and a Partner in Whittles Chartered Accountants based in St Annes on Sea, who specialises in new business start-ups and social enterprises. Mrs Andrews is a trained Business Studies teacher, with experience of teaching in a comprehensive school as well as in the FE and HE sector. She has also completed her assessor qualifications.
Stephanie Bridgeman Steph Bridgeman Steph Bridgeman is a business owner from Rossendale. She has 15 years’ experience in media analytics, and has worked with hundreds of well-known organisations to advise on brand strength and reputation in the media. Her company provides freelance work-from-home opportunities to 25+ people, most of whom are based in Lancashire. In her spare time, she supports her husband with his dog walking business called Rossendale Walkies. Steph joined the Corporation Board in 2013, and was previously Vice-Chair of Governors at the Hyndburn Studio School. She is passionate about digital literacy and has a strong focus on social media related reputational issues. Originally from London, Steph and her family moved to Rossendale in 2003. Steph studied for her BSL Level 1 qualification at Accrington & Rossendale College.
Ann-Marie Coyne Dr Anne-Marie Coyne With over 35 years experience in primary care, health improvement and public health, Ann-Marie recently retired from the NHS as an Assistant Director of Public Health at Blackburn and before that as Director of Organisational Development with the teaching PCT for East Lancashire. In this latter role she worked with the Departments of Health/Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus and NHS colleagues to develop and manage the Lancashire Condition Management Programme (CMP), part of a national pilot to reduce the number of Incapacity Claimants from an all-time high of over 3 million in 2003. From the beginning the ethos of CMP, with its empowering client centred approach, reflected the public health DNA of those leading it and for Ann-Marie was a natural extension of her skill base, working experience and post –grad qualifications in public health and health promotion. It completed her track record of developing innovative and ground breaking national and local projects tackling deprivation, in Manchester, Sheffield, North West and East Lancashire, which have pioneered, for both managers and practitioners, new ways of working to improve health. In particular, leading the teaching Primary Care Trust for East Lancashire (part of national workforce development in areas of deprivation) involved reducing health inequality, through raising educational aspirations in both local community and workforce, and leading innovative service development.
Tracy Landon
Tracy Landon (Staff Member)
I left school at 15 without sitting any exams. At the time I believed that education wasn’t for me and spent my time serving fish and chips. Finally realising this was not my long term career prospect I joined, in 1996, the AccRoss Youth Training Scheme to do the Manufacturing Level 1 at the College’s Eagle Street Centre. In my 15 years at Accrington & Rossendale College, I have worked in posts including Administration, Quality Improvement, Staff Development, Lecturer / NVQ Assessor & Adult Project Worker and I am now employed as the Team Leader for Community Workskills. During my time at College I have also continued my education and completed qualifications such as, Management Level 4, Certificate in Education, Literacy / Numeracy Level 2, Assessors Award, Verifier Award, Information Advice and Guidance Level 3 and a Degree in Education & Professional Development. My current community role is very exciting. I lead a team of tutors who investigate what the needs of learners, community partners, employers and third sector organisations are, tailoring qualifications, apprenticeships, traineeships and any other education packages to meet those needs. I am proud to be the Staff Governor of Teaching, Learning and Assessment. Not only do I love this College, I am living proof that drive, motivation and dedication to education can change lives for the better and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to give something back to AccRoss as a Corporation Board Member.
Mike Lee Dr Mike Lee Mike is a Chartered Engineer and lives in Rossendale. He is now retired. In the early part of his career he spent over 20 years in Higher Education teaching engineering and conducting research and consultancy. He then joined a major engineering group, where he set up and managed an open learning centre offering industrial training and professional development. More recently he worked as a self-employed writer and producer of education, training and careers guidance materials. He specialised in producing materials for engineers and scientists and completed assignments for a number of professional institutions, universities and blue chip companies. He is a past member of the Board of the Association of Colleges and represented the North West Region on the AoC Governors Council. He was a member of the AoC working group that formulated the English Colleges Code of Governance.
Zia Shah Zia Shah I am passionate about education because it allows us to enrich our world by shortening the learning curve that we would normally acquire through experience alone. I am an accountant by profession but I spend most of my time coaching business owners / managers on creating value for their businesses by adopting better work flows and modern technology. I have been working in finance and management since graduating in 1979 and I hold an MBA from UCLan. I have been made redundant 3 times but every time I have found a better job to do. I have two children both living in USA – my son Iqbal is a lead engineer for Proctor & Gamble and my daughter Nafeesa is a marketing strategist for Possible Global. Both are postgraduates of Cambridge and Manchester.
Lynn Spencer Lynn Spencer I was involved in Primary Education as a teacher for over 30 years working in particular with children with special and additional needs and I feel passionate about inclusive education and opportunities for lifelong learning. I am proud to say that I am Accrington born and bred having attended St. Johns CE Primary School and Accrington High School. I have travelled extensively in recent years spending time volunteering in schools overseas and I find it fascinating to compare how teaching and learning is accessed in different communities and cultures. I welcome the opportunity to be involved with the college.
coming-soon Louise Gaskell Louise Gaskell is a Chartered Management Accountant who joined East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and currently holds the position of Finance & Policy Manager as part of the senior management team. She is responsible for all financial aspects of running the Chamber and managing the accounts/admin team, including managing payroll and HR. In addition to her finance role, Louise works closely with the Directors of the company and has a growing involvement in the policy and representation side of the business. Louise has gained extensive financial and business experience throughout her career to date and has been an independent member of Burnley Borough Council’s audit committee since November 2002.
Stephen Cox Stephen Cox I have been a teacher for 24 years in a number of schools in Bolton and Lancashire. I originally trained as a Teacher of Geography at Sheffield University. Currently I am the Headteacher of Ribblesdale High School in Clitheroe, which is a large (1250 pupils) coeducational comprehensive teaching young people between the ages of 11-16. Prior to gaining this position in 2012, I was the Headteacher of Bowland High School. In my professional career I have always worked closely with both feeder schools and indeed colleges and sixth forms and feel passionate about having close links with institutions linked to the young people I work with. I am particularly interested in engendering the use of action research, and indeed wider educational research in raising the effectiveness of teaching and learning within my institution. My personal interests are every much linked to the outdoors and I compete in triathlons and fell running. I also try and escape once a year to go ski touring in the Alps.
Dr Martyn Walker Dr Martyn Walker Martyn is a principal lecturer and researcher in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield. He attended the then Wigan and District, Mining and Technical College where he undertook his ‘A’ Levels rather than attend a 6th Form grammar school as he wanted to be more independent and this prepared him well for university. Martyn completed a BA in History and Social Science and PGCE at University. He originally trained as a secondary school teacher and also worked part-time in community education and at an FE college in Derbyshire.
Martyn decided he wanted to move into FE full-time and in 1994 was appointed senior lecturer and later Head of Department at South East Essex College in Southend-on Sea. While at the College he was responsible for setting up several degree programmes and managing the University of Greenwich teacher training courses for those wishing to work in the FE sector. He took up his present appointment at Huddersfield in 2001. Martyn teaches across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate education subjects and supervises PhD and EdD postgrad researchers. He also has wider School and University roles. Research interests are around 19th century adult working-class education and further education. His work attempts to inform present-day policy makers. Martyn lives in Burnley.
Steven Hughes Steven Hughes Steve has worked within the Citizens Advice service since 2013 leading on organisational development and advice delivery and he is currently the Operations Director at Citizens Advice Carlisle & Eden.
He has a vast amount of experience within the third sector along with a considerable in-depth knowledge of local government gained from his role as a Local Government Councillor on Rossendale Borough Council, a position he has held since 2012. Steve is the youngest Councillor to ever hold office in Rossendale and one of the youngest in Europe.
Steve works with a number of other local charity and third sector organisations supporting with the implementation of digital systems and effective governance.
He is committed to the development of our communities through social change delivered by the Third Sector and is committed to change that involves all of the community – both young and old.
Steve is a Rossendale resident.
Shirley Lynch Shirley Lynch I have worked for Accrington & Rossendale college for almost 14 years – firstly as a Curriculum Administrator and for the last 8 years as a member of the School Liaison Team.
My role takes me out into our local schools promoting the courses we offer and encouraging potential students, parents and school staff to come and visit our fantastic campus and meet our amazing staff. As a team, we also arrange taster sessions and workshops on campus for school students – ranging from groups of 10 students to full year groups of over 100 students.
AccRoss College is my ‘local’ college – I studied here myself after leaving school in Accrington and I continue to live just a mile away from our campus.I have previously served as a Governor for one of our local schools so I am aware of the commitment required and the importance of the governing body in the running of the college. We continue to face challenging times in the FE sector and it is a privilege to represent my colleagues in Business Support on the governing body.
Upcoming Events
It’s all about trust – CAMHS Conference 2018

June 29 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm