Simon Perryman - Chair

Simon Perryman

Simon was appointed chair of governors in October 2015.  He says that it is an absolute privilege to lead such a great college that is making such a difference to the town and its community.

Simon runs his own business providing advice to governments on skills policy and delivery.  He is also on the Sheffield City Region Skills Board.  He retired in 2015 from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills where he was the Executive Director based at their office in Wath-upon Dearne.  His role was to lead the operational and industrial investment work of the Commission.

Simon previously worked at the Sector Skills Development Agency in Wath and, before that, held a number of jobs in government relating to skills, small business and regional development.  This included the creation of Business Link and, more recently, Sector Skills Councils.  He has also worked at the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber based in Leeds.  This was where he first got to know Barnsley and decided he wanted to try and make a contribution to its success when time allowed.

Simon started his career working as a training adviser for the Engineering Industry Training Board, was a management training manager and worked on the implementation of a distance learning programme before moving into policy work in government.

Simon is a graduate of Bradford University, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has two grown up children and lives with his partner in Sheffield.

Simon also chairs the G&S Committee.


Nick Bowen - Vice Chair and Chair of Quality and Standards Committee and Remuneration Committee

Nick is one of the Vice Chairs.  He is currently Principal at Horizon Community College in Barnsley which opened in September 2012.  He is also the Chair of the Schools Forum, the Secondary Headteacher Group and the Barnsley Schools Alliance.

Previously, Nick was a Headteacher in the North East for ten years at St Benet Biscop Business and Enterprise College where he discovered the important role that educational leaders can play in the regeneration of a region.  He has recently become a member of the steering group for the National Careers and Enterprise Company representing the Sheffield City Region LEP and sits a number of education and skills panels for The Leeds City Region LEP.

Originally from Yorkshire, Nick was keen to return and took up the post of Principal at, what he believes to be, one of the most exciting developments in education currently in the UK.  He considers it a real privilege to work alongside the college and help lead the community into a new and transformational era.

Nick currently chairs the Remuneration Committee and Q&S Committee.

Paul Jagger - Vice Chair

Paul was educated in Halifax and served an apprenticeship as a plumber there in the early 1960s. He was a late entrant to higher education, having studied Contemporary History and Politics at Salford University in the 1980s.

Paul was Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress for Yorkshire and the Humber for 19 years until October 2005. He was also the President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce in its 150th year during 2006/07 and is the immediate past President of the Chamber of Commerce for Barnsley and Rotherham.

He is currently Chair of the employers’ panel at NEST (National Employers Savings Trust). He is Chair of Thomas Rotherham College, a 6th form college in Rotherham and has recently become a member of the Association of Colleges Regional Board. He further serves on the City Region Skills Board

He was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Bradford from August 2006 until he stood down after 9 years in the summer of 2015. Paul is the link Governor for H&S. Paul was  also Chair of the Consultative Council of UCAS and a member of the national negotiating team at UCEA, for the University sectors pay and conditions until summer 2016.

Chris Webb - Principal and CEO

Chris joined Barnsley College in March 2011 as Vice Principal for Quality & Development and was appointed to Deputy Principal Finance & Development in September 2013. In September 2015, he was appointed as Chief Executive & Principal. Chris has a strong background in senior post holder roles, and has gained a diverse experience of leadership and management within a variety of different Colleges in the UK. Chris is very passionate and committed to the delivery of excellence for the learners and stakeholder.

Graduating from Canterbury Christ Church College University with a degree in IT and Sport Science, Chris began teaching in 1997 and has worked within the Further Education sector since then.

Married to Belinda, with three children (Bethany, Richard and Nathan), he, and his family, live in a small ex-mining colliery village in the North East of England.

Clare Partridge - Chair of Audit Committee

Clare is a partner at KPMG where she leads the public sector audit and assurance practice.  Within this role she works closely with a number of colleges, universities and government regulatory bodies.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA). Her experience extends from statutory audit to process review, option appraisal and financial due diligence across both public and private sector entities.

Currently living in the Barnsley area with two school aged children of her own, she understands how important high quality education is for our children.

Gus McSkimming - Governor

Gus is employed by STEMNET which is funded by Department for Business Innovation and Skills with national remit to promote the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) agenda.

He is a Member of the Forum for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering in Scotland, engaged with representative groups associated with key industrial sectors such as Food and Drink, Live Sciences, Energy and Sustainable Development.

Gus has vast experience of management in complex organisations such as the UK’s busiest military airfield and working in commercial logistics and facilities management. He is a qualified teacher of Business Education and has ten years’ experience advising schools how to incorporate enterprise into mainstream curriculum. He also has seven years’ experience in collaborating with local and regional government and industry and professional institutions to promote the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths.

In his current role he supports the development of practical approaches for science and maths across Scotland and works with national and local government to deliver this agenda.  He has a significant understanding of the skills needs across the Yorkshire and Humberside region which he is able to bring to the Board.

Gordon Beever - Governor

In 1991 Gordon was previously Managing Director of Bespoke Precast Ltd in Sheffield, employing over 70 staff until the company was sold in 2007. Gordon is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).  Educated in the local area of Penistone and at Barnsley College, Gordon has lived in the area for over 30 years giving him an in-depth knowledge of the local community, education system and the needs of young people.

Roya Pourali - Governor

Roya began her education journey at Barnsley College where she studied English.  She has been a governor since 2010 and previously worked as a community development worker delivering Race Equality in mental health services.  Roya has been a Councillor for Worsbrough since May 2015.  She is also a board member of Berneslai Homes and she sits on the Human Resources Committee.  She is founder director of 360 Engagement, a company which specialises in equality and diversity and community engagement.  She specialises in community development work, building capacity within communities and supporting organisations to develop cultural competence.  She uses creative approaches such as art therapy to build strong links in communities and give people confidence to engage with services.

With a creative background in art & photography, Roya is fluent in Farsi, Arabic and English.

She holds a Diploma in Social Economy and is qualified in Community and Mental Health Research from the University of Central Lancashire and has a Certificate in Race and Equality and Cultural Capability.  Roya graduated from Bradford University after studying Community Development and Regeneration.

Roya is the link governor for Equality and Diversity.

Simon Brian - Governor

Simon is an Equity Partner and Head of the Employment Department at MKB Solicitors LLP in Barnsley.  He is recognised in the prestigious Legal 500 as being a leading lawyer in the field of Human Resources and Employment.

Simon is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society.  He regularly publishes articles on topical employment law issues and presents seminars and training workshops on employment and HR related matters.  He regularly contributes towards government consultations on behalf of the Legislative and Policy Committee of the Employment Lawyers Association, advising on topical and developing employment law issues.  Simon also has experience of being seconded overseas to work in the legal department of a large scale multi-national global organisation, advising on all aspects of UK employment laws.

Simon is a graduate of the University of London, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Laws LLB (Honours) degree and he also attended the College of Law (now the University of Law) in York, where he was awarded a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice, prior to training and qualifying as a solicitor with a large commercial law firm in Norwich.  Simon has subsequently acted as a mentor to students at the University of Law.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Simon’s background was in management and he worked for a major FTSE 100 banking group.

David Shepherd - Governor

David has recently joined Barnsley Council as Service Director for Economic Regeneration where his responsibilities include leading on the Council’s development and implementation of the economic strategy, facilitating inward investment, business growth and support.  David will put his efforts into helping grow jobs and businesses in the borough in the months and years to come. He brings a wealth of experience from his previous role as Assistant Director for Regeneration and Culture in Bradford, where he consistently led the delivery of major inward investment from plans to completion, as well as securing thousands of new jobs for local people.

Sara Turton - Governor

Sara is an experienced economic and skills development specialist, contributing to government policy at local, regional and UK level throughout her career.  Sara set up her own business, SAINT Consultancy Services in 2009, to build on her career experience. Her organisation primarily supports employers (public, private and third sector) grow their businesses and perform effectively.  Sara also helps them access government funds to support that growth.

Prior to setting up her own business, Sara worked for the Sector Skills Development Agency and was instrumental in setting up its regional policy and practice.  She also led the development of high profile UK-wide policy developments such as Sector Skills Agreements.  Sara also worked for Yorkshire Forward, the former Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Sara is a former student of the College, studying her A levels here and also, as a mature student, obtaining a first class degree in Business and Management.  Sara also has a Masters degree in Management.

Sara is the link governor for Health and Safety.

Kay Dickinson - Governor

Kay is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.  With a background in finance, she also has a broad range of experience in strategic planning, organisational delivery, change management, corporate governance and risk management.  She was an Executive Director of the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, and previously the Sector Skills Development Agency, for 11 years before taking voluntary redundancy in 2013 to pursue various interest and voluntary roles.  Prior to that she worked for a number of private sector companies and spent 10 years in the health service.

Kay is passionate about ensuring people have the opportunity to realise their potential and to be developed, engaged and valued in the workplace.  As a life-long resident of South Yorkshire she is also keen to contribute to helping make the Sheffield City Region a great place to live and work.  Since leaving full time employment she has therefore become involved with a number of local organisations and initiatives, including Sheffield-based social housing provider Arches Housing Ltd, where she took over as Chair in September 2016; as a trustee of NOCN Ltd, a qualifications awarding organisation which aims to increase learners’ confidence and employability and help them reach their potential; as a board member of VAS, which works to improve the quality of life for all of Sheffield’s communities by supporting voluntary and community action in the city; and with Sheffield First Partnership on the ‘Recognising and Valuing Female Talent’ initiative.  She is also vice-chair of governors at Windmill Hill Primary school.

Conor Moss - Governor

Director of Education and Employer Partnerships- Sheffield Hallam University

Conor joined Sheffield Hallam University in January 2013 after a successful period as Head of Learning of the award winning University of Derby Corporate. In May 2015 he was appointed as Director of Education and Employer Partnerships at Sheffield Hallam University with strategic responsibility for Further Education, TNE and Employer partnerships.

Conor started his academic career in Further Education before moving to Universities specialising in strategic management, leadership and organisational development. He has extensive experience developing successful educational partnerships with both the private and public sectors.

He is committed to working with employers to break down the barriers between university and business and on creating employability and employment opportunities for students to flourish and grow.

He is passionate about working with employer and education partners to provide learners access to higher-level skills, regardless of academic background or career stage. He has pursued this passion in both his professional and personal life and represents the university in a number of forums. He leads the University’s RISE programme; an initiative with University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council to match graduates with growth SME’s. As well as being a Governor for Barnsley College he is the Higher Education representative for Sheffield City Region LEP on the Skills, Employment and Education Board; Board Member for University Vocational Awards Council and Board Member for Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP).

Conor is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the Learning Performance Institute.

Ross Hooley - Staff Governor

Ross Hooley is a former Barnsley College student who became a member of staff in 2006. Ross currently works as a Teacher in Music, Media & Performance. He also a valuable member of the Advanced Practitioner team, developing and promoting good practice for teaching, learning and ILT within his own department and across the whole college.

Ross also works for the awarding organisation Pearson as a BTEC Standards Verifier. Helping to standardise the delivery and assessment of vocational music courses across the country.

Peter Clarkson

Born and raised close to Barnsley, Peter’s ancestors were coal miners and so Geology was his first degree. Then at a Field Studies Centre in Derbyshire he undertook research into erosion of limestone and taught school groups which in turn led him enthusiastically to teacher training.   Peter worked locally and in the North East for many years and was keen to raise the profile and value of education in his students’ families and so eventually set up and then managed a large facility offering lifelong education opportunities for adults in the community.

Later, taking his own advice, Peter studied Law, and then taught and managed that subject for a while before working for the Local Government Ombudsman in York.

However he says he missed the fun of helping to educate young people, working with teachers and so returned to teaching in Barnsley.

Thomas Abbott - Student Governor

Thomas is currently embarking on a Level 3 Film and TV qualification, after successfully completing Level 2 and 2.5.  As the new Student Union President, Thomas aims to be the student voice and do right by his students.

Thomas is confident in his writing abilities and produces his own college based TV show on Youtube along with his colleagues. This should stand Thomas in good stead as he aims to be a scriptwriter and feels confident in his own work. He hopes to progress into radio presenting and already has his own show on Mondays 7-9pm on Radio Barnsley.

Steven Burkinshaw

Steven is in his fifth year as a student at Barnsley College/ University College Barnsley.  He started on a Level 2 BTEC Diploma and is now studying towards a HND in Public Services. Some of his achievements in that time include being elected as Barnsley College Student Union President and FE Student Governor, standing for local elections – coming 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2016.  Steven has also played prominent roles in several high profile election campaigns the most notable being the Vote Leave Constituency co-coordinator.

Currently Steven is working for a well known bakery chain as well as currently being trained to manage a pub.  He is a very passionate campaigner for the rights of current and former military personnel, and ran a T-shirt printing business three years ago printing shirts in partnership with The Royal British Legion commemorating the centenary of WW1 and specifically the Barnsley Pals

Alison Oaks - Clerk to the Governors

Alison has been Clerk to the Board since June 2009 and has over 20 years’ experience in Further Education.  She has a sound knowledge of corporate governance in FE, having been a Clerk to two other FE Colleges during her career and until recently Clerk to the Board and Company Secretary to Wellspring Academy Trust, sponsored by Barnsley College.

Tel: +44 (0)1226 216 416

Last updated: 8th February 2017