College group announces appointment as senior figure retires

Nelson and Colne College Group has appointed Phil Wilkinson as chair of the corporation, with Emma Schofield promoted to vice chair.

Phil Wilkinson will step up from his current role as vice chair of the corporation in February. He is also 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."

Emma Schofield is deputy director of human resources and organisation development at the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and is currently the safeguarding lead on the board of corporation.

Current chair Stephen Barnes is set to retire from the board after more than 20 years. He joined when he was chief executive of Pendle Borough Council.

As corporation chair, he oversaw the mergers of Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College mergers and the £3.5m Capital Investment Programme continuing to transform the Accrington and Rossendale College campus.

He 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."

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