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Governors' Profiles

Chair to the Corporation

Peter Clark – Chair of the Corporation

Peter Clark – Chair of the Corporation

Peter Clark joined the Board of Governors in March 2013. 

He came to West Yorkshire in 1981 as Deputy Head of Brooksbank School and, in 1984, became Head of Rastrick High School, first overseeing the amalgamation of Reins Wood Secondary and Rastrick Grammar schools. Peter was seconded as Acting Head Teacher of The Ridings School in Halifax in 1986 and 1987.

In April 2000 he then joined the Department for Education as Senior Education Adviser for School Improvement. After retiring from the Department in September 2008, he provided education consultancy services until March 2013.

Having served as Vice-Chair previously, Peter was appointed as Chair of the Corporation from August 2016.  He is a member of the Board’s Curriculum, Quality & Standards Committee.

In his spare time Peter is an avid armchair football follower, likes reading, walking in the surrounding countryside and spending time with his family.

External Governor

Fiona Armer – External Governor

Fiona Armer – External Governor

Fiona joined the Board in December 2013, having previously been a co-opted member of the Audit Committee.  

She is a chartered accountant with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. After professionally qualifying, Fiona spent about 13 years in the further education sector either in various college finance/student data teams or auditing them, with 4 years as a member of the Learning & Skills Council's Technical Audit Committee for regularity audits. Fiona moved to NHS internal audit in 2005 and now works for PwC's Assurance team.

She 'escaped' audit for a year as one of the crew on 'Hull & Humber' in the Clipper 2007-08 Round the World Yacht Race and now volunteers with the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Her oil paintings reflect her passion for sailing and are exhibited locally.  In addition, Fiona is a keen fell-runner and member of the Todmorden Harriers.

Fiona is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee.

Rachel Court – External Governor

Rachel Court – External Governor

Rachel was appointed to the Board of Calderdale College in September 2015.

She was born and brought up in Halifax.  After studying Law at Oxford University Rachel worked for 22 years at the Yorkshire Building Society, primarily in the areas of customer service and HR, and was a member of its Executive team.  

Rachel now has a varied portfolio including non-executive directorships in a number of Financial Services and NHS organisations, serving as a Magistrate and chairs the board of an educational charity in Bradford.  

She has two teenage sons and in her spare time enjoys fell-walking, travel and singing.

Rachel is Chair of both the Search & Governance and Audit Committees.                     

Mark Donaldson – External Governor

Mark Donaldson – External Governor

Mark joined the Board in August 2016.

He currently works in the public sector as a general practice business manager for an organisation that was rated 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March 2016. In addition, he has private sector experience, as a regional manager for a well known national fitness provider, where he achieved many successes.

Mark has also worked as a registered healthcare professional and professional soldier within the Royal Marines. 

As a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and former regional board member, he has a broad knowledge and wide ranging skill set on business and public administration issues, which he feels is mainly due to his passion for self-development and his diverse employment history. 

Currently working towards a Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Huddersfield, Mark also holds a number of other key qualifications, including an MSc in Management, a degree in Physiotherapy, a diploma in Emotional and Behavioural Coaching and a Level 3 in Education and Training.

Outside of work Mark enjoys listening to his eclectic playlists on Spotify, foreign travel, fine dining, sharing good company and, most of all, spending time with his wife and two young children. 

Patricia Drake – External Governor

Patricia Drake – External Governor

Patricia joined the Board of Calderdale College in April 2017.

Patricia has an NHS background, working as a nurse and Senior Leadership positions during her career.  This included significant partnership working with Higher Education Institutions and Colleges.  She has an MA in Quality in Health and Social Care from the Nuffield Institute at Leeds University. 

Patricia has had a portfolio career since leaving the NHS which has included being a governor of an academy, Chair of an arts based charity, non-executive in a healthcare social enterprise and board membership of a clinical commissioning group.

She is currently Deputy Chair of Yorkshire Ambulance Service and a Justice of the Peace.

Richie Dunk – External Governor

Richie Dunk – External Governor

Richie joined the Board of Calderdale College in October 2016.

He is a Lecturer in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University and has a breadth of experience in the education sector, having worked in a variety of establishments, including an inner city school, large further education institutions and Scotland's oldest boarding school.  Prior to teaching, he worked in IT.

Richie believes that nobody should be a teacher unless they care deeply about young people and their future. As a teacher of eight years, Richie has a passion for education and today's youth which drives his professional practice. 

Richie has a Masters in Theoretical Physics, is a member of the Institute for Learning, a member of the Association of Science Education and an Associate Member of the Institute of Physics.

Jenny Grainger – External Governor

Jenny Grainger – External Governor

Jenny joined the Board of Calderdale College in April 2017.

She is a marketing professional with experience in both the private and public sectors.  Her current role is Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Huddersfield.  She is responsible for the central teams that look after public relations, the website, printed publications, digital marketing, alumni relations and student recruitment.  Jenny holds a DBA, and her doctoral research explores how students form a relationship with their University. 

Jenny’s other qualifications include an MBA and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Diploma in Marketing.  She is a Member of the CIM and fellow of the CMI. 

Prior to working at Huddersfield Jenny was responsible for marketing and student recruitment in both further and higher education.  Her marketing career also includes work in marketing agencies and in private sector organisations in the areas of consumer marketing, business to business marketing, marketing research and database marketing.

Chief Executive

John Rees

John Rees

John joined Calderdale College as Principal and Chief Executive in April 2015, having worked in the further education sector for the past 20 years in a variety of lecturing, management and leadership roles.

Prior to moving to Calderdale College, John was the Group Deputy Principal at Warwickshire College Group. 

He is passionate about linking skills development to employment and he joined Calderdale to continue to improve the College’s commitment to high value skills development and career progression for its students.   

John lives in Halifax with his wife and two children.

External Governor

Malcolm Rogers – Vice-Chair of the Corporation

Malcolm Rogers – Vice-Chair of the Corporation

Malcolm joined the Board of Calderdale College in September 2015.      

His previous career was in banking, specialising in risk management and he is now semi-retired.  Malcolm holds a number of non-executive directorships, including in the social housing and health sectors and is chair of a property repairs and maintenance company.  In the past he has also been a trustee of several charities.

Malcolm is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

In his spare time he works as a volunteer with the National Trust, and enjoys fell-walking, gardening and choral singing.  

Malcolm is Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee.

Pete Sanderson

Pete Sanderson

Pete joined the Board of Calderdale College in December 2016 and is Chair of the Curriculum, Quality & Standards Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

He is the Dean of the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield. Having joined the University in 1985 (after working in the travel business, as a residential child care worker, a contract researcher and a further education lecturer), Pete has worked on Post-Compulsory Education and Training teacher training courses, the MA in Professional Development, the BAs in Youth and Community Work, Early Years, Communications and Cultures and the EdD.

Pete gained his BA in History from Cambridge University and a Diploma in Social Administration from York University. His MPhil at York was concerned with issues of race and housing in Bradford, and he went on to work as a contract researcher for various EEC-funded projects before embarking on a career in teaching. He also has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Leedsl.

Pete developed two bids for collaborative working with Zambian higher education institutions, one of which supported the first programme of training for Zambian youth workers.

He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Vocational Education and Training.

Staff Governor

Janet Tyas – Staff Governor

Janet Tyas – Staff Governor

Janet was elected by her peers to the Board of Calderdale College as Staff Governor in 2012.

She started working for the College within the Quality Unit, helping it to deliver high standards of service for learner.  In July 2014 she moved to the External Funding Unit and became involved in assessing and monitoring training providers to ensure their delivery meets the College’s required standards. 

Prior to joining the College, Janet had a successful and varied career, spanning 25 years with the Halifax Building Society (latterly HBOS).  She has worked in the Branch Network and in many Head Office sites with management roles, ranging from Chief Cashier to Operational Manager.  With responsibility for 250 people over multiple sites, in areas covering statutory compliance and customer satisfaction, Janet has always demonstrated a drive and passion for the coaching and development of her team; pushing them to achieve (and exceed) their ambitions. 

Janet has lived in Halifax for 18 years but proudly maintains her hybrid Barnsley/Rotherham accent.  She is married to Alan and has three grown up stepchildren.  She enjoys travelling and tries to find different parts of the world to explore, thriving on as many new experiences as she can discover.

Katie Walker – Staff Governor

Katie Walker – Staff Governor

Katie was elected by her peers to the Board of Calderdale College as Staff Governor in 2017

Katie has worked at Calderdale College since 2008, both as an Advanced Learning Practitioner (ALP) and as part of the Teacher Education team. She took up the post of Head of Higher Skills in November, 2017.

Katie’s career began in Brighton teaching English. After returning to her home town of Halifax, she taught ESOL at a neighbouring college.  Her love of teaching is combined with a passion for experiencing different cultures – at one time teaching English in Srebrenica as part of a building communities programme. An avid environmentalist, she undertook social research projects in Thailand and India for her degree in Environmental Management and MA in Development Studies. Her teaching qualifications include two PGCEs and her ESOL subject specialism.

Katie joined Calderdale College to deliver the PGCE and train teaching assistants, supporting hundreds of teachers and teaching assistants since then. Driven by her constant belief in the transformative power of education, she has contributed widely to the College, designing and delivering staff training events.

 Outside of work, Katie is a proud mum to two children, loves walking, and enjoys quality time at the allotment.

Student Governor

Stephen Hegarty – Student Governor

Stephen joined the Board of Calderdale College in September 2017 as a Student Governor.

Stephen is studying on the Level 3 Access to HE Diploma in Social Sciences and Social Care course.

Stephen serves on the Curriculum & Quality Committee.

Mohammed Khan – Student Governor

Mohammed joined the Board of Calderdale College in February 2018 as a Student Governor.

Mohammed is studying on the Level 3 Applied Law course.

Mohammed serves on the Curriculum & Quality Committee.

External Governor

Diane Cothey – Co-opted Member

Diane Cothey – Co-opted Member

Diane joined the Curriculum, Quality & Standards Committee as a co-opted member in August 2016.

In her late teens, she started working as an apprentice aircraft/guided weapons/satellite engineer in Bristol - the first female to do so with much media coverage!  This formed part of a sandwich course with St Andrews University, where Diane read Astrophysics and Applied Mathematics.  

Diane was then approached to go into teaching Mathematics and Computer Studies and her education career spanned nearly 30 years.  For some of this period, Diane also held a responsible pastoral role in one of the leading girls' schools in the country and obtained a Diploma in Counselling at Bristol University and a Certificate in Stress Consultancy. 

On relocation to her native Yorkshire, Diane changed career direction and moved into Social Housing as a Senior Business Analyst/Consultant/Trainer.

Now retired, Diane misses the contact and rewarding effort of working with young people and being influential in shaping their future.  In her role at the College, she brings her skills and experience and is keen to make a difference to the lives of young people once again.  She is currently studying for a Degree including Child Psychology and Working with Children with the Open University.

She has a wide variety of interests, including astrophysics, medical issues, counselling/psychology, education, languages, tennis, scuba-diving, golf, music, art, craft work and reading. Diane is divorced with two children.

Roy Everett – Co-opted Member

Roy Everett – Co-opted Member

Roy was appointed as a co-opted member of the Curriculum, Quality & Standards Committee in April 2014. 

He has a background and qualifications in recruitment, management, electrical, electronic and digital engineering. Having been the first to introduce internet recruitment to the UK industry, Roy is the owner and founder of an internet recruitment strategy provider, working with international blue chip clients.

A seasoned commercial manager, with in-depth international experience at board and grass root level, he has proven skills within business strategy, business development, team building, and innovation. Both a senior team player and leader, Roy was awarded “Lifetime Achievement in Internet Recruitment” recognition by REC in 2012.

Sarah Jones – Co-opted Member

Sarah Jones – Co-opted Member

Sarah joined the Board of Calderdale College as an external governor in August 2011 and later transferred to being a co-opted member of the Audit Committee.

She is Head of Research & Development at Empiric, a company which specialises in the acquisition, development and management of student accommodation assets in the UK.

Sarah previously worked as a consultant in HE and FE at DTZ Plc. Working across the UK and overseas, she advised institutions on a wide range of issues, including partnership options, due diligence on new joint ventures, curriculum reviews and international development. Prior to that, Sarah worked for The British Council and Addleshaw Goddard.

Outside work, Sarah loves to travel and is constantly seeking new adventures and places to explore.

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