facebook noscript

Governor Profiles

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 Governance and Search Committee.

Kay Dickinson - Vice Chair

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 taken on a number of local non-executive roles. She is currently chair of Sheffield-based social housing provider Arches Housing Ltd; a trustee of NOCN Ltd, a qualifications awarding organisation which aims to increase learners’ confidence and employability and help them reach their potential; a trustee 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 a member of the Risk and Assurance Committee at Yorkshire Housing.

Kay chairs the College’s subsidiaries, ITS and Smartstyle, BCDC and Think and is the link governor for Apprenticeships.

Kay Dickinson

Helen Jaggar BA Hons, FCIH, FCIPD - Vice Chair

Helen has worked in Barnsley for over 12 years as Chief Executive of Berneslai Homes and in that time has achieved three stars excellent for the Company and attained IIP Gold 6th generation. Berneslai Homes won numerous awards including winner of 24Housing Landlord of the Year on 2017 and being included in the Sunday Times Best Companies one hundred list as a one star company under Helen’s leadership. Helen was personally awarded 24Housing Chief Executive of the Year in 2015 and has been named in the top fifty power players list.

Helen retired in 2019 after having worked in the public sector for thirty nine years, she became professionally qualified in housing whilst working for the London Borough of Camden and extended her professional portfolio into Human Resources and Organisational Development with Leeds City Council. In 2005 she became Chief Executive with Leeds South Homes before joining Berneslai Homes in 2007 as Chief Executive.

Helen has extensive governance experience having held positions of Chair of Leeds Federated Housing Association, Board Director of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and Chair of Sheffield City Region Housing Provider Forum. Currently Helen is a Board Director with Accent Housing Limited and chairs their Customer Experience Committee.

Helen’s touchstone in her approach to work has always been about the customer being at the heart of everything and ensuring that they influence the strategic direction of services and recognising the impact and influence they can have on their community and place.

Helen’s leadership style is all about collaboration, empowerment and making a difference by doing the right thing.

Helen has been a Governor at the College since 2017 and is currently Vice Chair and sits on the Governance and Search and Remuneration Committees and is the link governor for Safeguarding and Prevent.

Helen Jagger

Yiannis Koursis OBE - Principal and CEO

Yiannis Koursis is Principal and Chief Executive Officer at Barnsley College. He was appointed to the role in April 2019 following three years as Deputy Principal for Development. Yiannis has spent more than two decades in senior leadership roles both in the private sector and in Further Education colleges across the UK. Before entering further education, Yiannis had a substantial international career in the hospitality industry, running hotels for both small and large multinational companies. He is dedicated to supporting learners and colleagues in realising their potential and committed to strengthening links which enable the achievement of inclusive growth at Barnsley College, in the community and across the region.
He is a  member of the Towns and Cities Policy Group and the Skills Portfolio groups at the Association of Colleges. He is a Council member of the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, and trustee of Wellspring Academy Trust.
He and wife Liz have two young children and in live in Leicestershire. Yiannis is also a keen scuba diver.


Yiannis Koursis, Principal and CEO of Barnsley College.

Chelle Charlesworth - Staff Governor

I have worked for Barnsley college for over 11 years now, in the department of CSTEM.
My current role is Tutorial Team Leader for CSTEM, which is the departments of STEM and Construction, responsible for the pastoral care and support of two large departments.

In my previous roles, I have played a part in setting up various academies for the learners to work closely with leading employers in the Engineering sectors, with learners gaining valuable experience.

One of my main passions at the College is bringing a voice to learners of CSTEM, years ago I set up a group called the Girlineers which sees young females in the sector come together to challenge the stereotype of women in STEM and construction roles, bringing females together to empower one another is something I am proud to be part of and see blossom each year.

I am the proud owner of the first wellbeing puppy, Annie – the impact the wellbeing pup has had on the students of CSTEM and the wider support areas is fantastic, ensuring student and staff wellbeing whist at the college is very important, the idea of this has been so successful the College now have a second wellbeing pup in the department of Foundation Learning.

I love working for the College, I am proud to work for such a fantastic organisation that prides itself on transforming lives.

Chelle Charlesworth

Carol Cooper-Smith - Governor


Carol has had an extensive career in Economic Development and a range of other public services, in both national and local government with over 25 years experience within the field of regeneration; from small community based projects, to large multi-million pound programmes and build schemes; as well as strategies, writing funding bids and work with funding bodies.

Carol has worked with businesses, community groups, residents, schools, colleges, Universities, Police, Funders, Government departments, artists and Politicians local and national.

Most recently Carol was interim CEO at Ashfield District Council.

Carol Cooper Smith

Gavin Day - Governor

Gavin has over 15 years’ experience in learning and organisational development across a variety industries.

Gavin is currently the Organisational Development Manager for Masonite UK, a leading manufacturer of internal and external door products and founded the engineering focussed Premdor Academy at Barnsley College in 2018.

Starting his career in financial services with Halifax Share Dealing Limited, Gavin completed his training qualification at Huddersfield University before moving on to other senior learning and development positions in retail, housing and public services.

As an Organisational Development professional, Gavin’s areas of specialism includes leadership development, performance management, employee engagement and team development activities as an Insights and MBTI practitioner.

Gavin Day

Andrew Denniff - Governor

Andrew is Chief Executive of the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber working closely with both local authorities on his patch, representing business on a number of partnership boards and forums.
Prior to his arrival at the Chamber early in 2007, Andrew spent six years as the Policy & Representation Manager at Sheffield Chamber, having previously worked for a national trade association in the dairy industry.

The Chamber currently has a membership of over 1100 businesses across Barnsley and Rotherham and engages widely on behalf of its members with a number of organisations and partners.

Living in Sheffield, but very much aware of the need for regional collaboration and away from the Chamber’s day-to day activity he also serves as a governor on the UTC at the Olympic Legacy Park in Sheffield and is a board member of the Inspire Academy based in Rotherham. He also acts as a volunteer Trustee and is Treasurer for the Samaritans charity based in Sheffield.

Andrew Deniff

Mark Fogarty

Dr Mark Fogarty is the Director of Academic Partnerships at Leeds Trinity University and a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition. He is responsible for the ensuring Leeds Trinities partnership programme are delivery in accordance with the Universities core quality, standards, and regulations.

He has worked in the area of collaborative provision his entire academic career and has been a personal product of the benefits of widening participation in higher education. He is an expert and pioneering research in the field of Oxidative Stress and DNA Damage.

His early work was the first to detect the presence of free radical species in human biological samples, alongside damage to DNA from white blood cells.

Dr Fogarty has a keen interest in the role that nutrition plays in promoting a healthy happy life, but also attempts to delve deeper into the basic components that many foods are made of to create potential medicines of the future.

Dr Fogarty’s current work is attempting to develop a cell model that is reflective of the human biological matrix to make experimentation with chemical extracts from food, faster, safer, and more sustainable compared to conducting full human trials using invasive methods such as muscle biopsy.

Mark Fogarty

George Graham

George joined the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority as Director in February 2018 and as Head of Paid Service is responsible for the management of all aspects of the Authority’s activity which is concerned with the management of a £10.5bn Pension Fund with over 170,000 members.

Previously he was Managing Director of Local Pensions Partnership’s pension administration business, having led the Lancashire County Pension Fund prior to the transfer of its staff to LPP as part of the creation of a joint venture with the London Pension Fund Authority.

A fellow of CIPFA George’s previous career in local government finance involved roles as Deputy County Treasurer at Lancashire County Council, Executive Director of Resources at Rossendale BC and Director of Finance at Chorley BC preceded by roles at Northamptonshire CC and Oxfordshire CC where he did his CIPFA training.

George has also represents practitioners on the Local Government Pension Scheme Advisory Board for England and Wales.

George also sits on the audit committee.

George Graham

Claire Huddart

Claire Huddart is the Principal at Horizon Community College.

Claire Huddart

Donavan Hutchinson

Donavan Hutchinson is Managing Director of SHI Corporation UK Limited with 20 years in the technology industry and has a wealth of experience in overall sales strategy, compliance, mergers and acquisitions and international collaboration programs having worked for some of the world largest NASDAQ Listed technology reseller organisations along with a key focus on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

His commitment to driving change across various industries in promoting equality for all has been instrumental in the growth of several organisations he has had the opportunity to lead during his tenure.

Chairman for SHI’s EMBRACE employee resource Group focussed on providing a safe and inclusive environment for the LGBTQIA++ communities, WiSH Board Member for SHI, supporting the empowerment and progression of women in technology, CRN Diversity A lister, CRN Channel A Lister, CRN Executive Mentor of the Year finalist 2022 and CRN Mental Health Champion of the Year finalist 2022 , Donavans focus on equality for all stems across all demographics.

A committed but also family orientated leader with 2 daughters and husband and various pets with a goal to set up his own Horse Riding school for the disabled (RDA Facility) Donavan is also focussed on fund raising for several charities across the UK to support the local and national communities.

Donavan Hutchinson

Tracey Johnson - Governor

Tracey Johnson is a creative and digital business strategist, project director and founder with many years of experience in the digital, technology and creative industries.

She leads the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley, a landmark hub for the creative and digital industries and home to over 50 businesses, as well as a range of programmes to support sector growth.

Tracey is also part of the award-winning Enterprising Barnsley business growth team at Barnsley Council.

Tracey Johnson

Marie Lang - Governor

Marie Lang is a Director and Co-Owner of gbac Limited, Accountants and Business Advisors based primarily in Barnsley. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and she holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from Lancaster University.

Marie qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994 with KPMG where she spent much of her time working with large multinational companies and time working overseas including a secondment in the Czech Republic. In 2001, she joined Assetwell Ltd, a UK Truck Exporter based in Doncaster, as their CFO. After 9 years as an accountant in business, she returned to practice in 2010 when she joined gbac and where she specialises in advisory work around Corporate Finance and Transaction Services, in addition to being a Senior Statutory Auditor.

From 2010 to 2018, whilst with gbac, Marie was also the Technical Director for the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA). In this role she represented the accounting profession at both a global standard setting level and at a European legislative level. The latter involved her undertaking work with the European Commission during the most significant changes to European Accounting and Auditing Legislation of the last 30 years. As part of her global standard setting role Marie has served as both member and past Chair of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group, member of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants Consultative Advisory Group and member of the International Accounting Education Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group. Work as the EFAA Technical Director has enabled Marie to spend a considerable amount of time in New York and Brussels, as well as visiting many other places around the World. This has fostered, and helped satisfy, her love of travel, and given her an appreciation of diversity of culture.

Marie is Barnsley “born and bred”. She is an advocate for lifelong learning and is proud to be involved with Barnsley College.

Marie is a member of the Audit Committee and is the link governor for Special Educational Needs.

Marie Lang

Kalam Neale

As Head of Education at British Esports, Kalam focusses on delivering growth and development of esports in education across the UK and beyond.

Recipient of the prestigious Pearson National Teaching Award for his outstanding commitment to digital innovation, Kalam, an experienced teacher, educator and educational leader previously served as Esports Programme Lead at Barnsley College, where he co-wrote the Esports BTEC in association with Pearson and British Esports, as well as being one of the first to offer the qualification to students and participate in the British Esports Student Championships.

Kalam also serves as Director of Education at Strategic Esports Group, Trainer & Podcast Host at Pearson (UK & International), and was a North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) Fellow for the 2021-2022 academic year.
In his previous roles within further education as a Teacher, Coach, Advanced Practitioner, Course Leader and latterly as Curriculum Lead, Kalam’s key areas of focus and development were on the quality of education, project management, curriculum developments and engagement with external stakeholders, along with line management responsibilities for esport and sport, League Football & Premier Legue Football Education, essential skills and community education programmes.

As a result, Kalam has worked extensively with a wide range of national education providers, bodies, employers and universities to support the development of education in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Kalam Neale

Helen Weatherston - Staff Governor

I moved from Newcastle to Barnsley in 1990 and have never looked back. Barnsley is now our home.

I joined Barnsley College in November 2018. My current role is Head of Business Development. I have been in the business for over 17 year I have worked for a private provider for 9 years then moved to Calderdale College for 8 years. Previous to that I sold houses for a local house builder for 5 years. Sales and managing people comes very natural to me, I am very passionate about what I do.

In addition to heading up the Business Development team, I manage accounts, like Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Premdor (part of the Masonite UK Group), Ardagh Glass (part of the Ardagh Group) and XPO Logistics.

I really enjoy working for Barnsley College and we have a strong leadership team and a clear, shared vision. We all understand the influence they have within the community and they are focused on delivering value – to our students, businesses and the region as a whole.

Heather Weatherston

Lucy Clark - Student Governor - Further Education

Lucy is studying fashion at the College and is creative representative for the College as well as being the Student Union President.

Lucy Clarke

Bethanie Jacobs - Student Governor - Higher Education

Bethanie Jacobs

Heather Jackson - Director of Governance and Clerk to the Board

Heather has a background in Further and Higher Education having worked at a number of colleges and universities across Yorkshire in various roles including student services, marketing and communications and business development.

She spent 10 years at the Higher Education Academy as Director of Operations before working for a number of local charities in Governance and Management roles.

Heather Jackson

Last updated: 31st May 2023

Skip to content