Barnsley College governors have seen big changes among their senior memberships and staff.

Simon Perryman takes the position of chair from Josie Thirkell, who steps down after three-and-a-half years in the role.

Paul Jagger MBE and Ben Mansford also join the board, with Mr Jagger taking up the position of vice chair.

New chair Mr Perryman runs Perryman, Yeandle and Associates, a skills and industrial strategy business, and is a member of the Sheffield City Region Skills board.

He was previously executive director of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and director of performance at the Sector Skills Development Agency.

Mr Perryman said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as chair of governors and have been hugely impressed by everything I have seen at the college. The fact that the college is rated outstanding is down to everyone who studies, teaches, manages and supports its excellent work.

“I am confident that with strong leadership and governance the college is very well placed to manage any challenges that lie ahead. I am determined we will continue to do our very best for the people of Barnsley and the surrounding area.”

Ms Thirkell leaves the college board after eight years, in which she also served as vice chair.

“Throughout all of my time as a governor, vice chair and chair of Barnsley College, it has been my privilege to work alongside a very dedicated and highly skilled staff team and a dynamic and professional group of governors,” she said.

“The college has brought a visible difference to Barnsley town centre during this time.”

New vice chair Mr Jagger is chair of Ucas, recently became a member of the Association of Colleges’ regional board and is president of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

He said: “Having worked around the further and higher education sectors for many years, I am pleased to have become vice chair of the college’s board of governors.

“The college is a key player is delivering high quality education within Barnsley and I look forward to being part of that process.”

Mr Mansford is chief executive of Barnsley Football Club and has a varied legal background.

He said he would bring “energy and enthusiasm to the board along with my personal experiences of FE and higher education”.

“The success of younger people and everyone seeking to learn new skills is paramount to the growth of Barnsley and the surrounding areas,” he said.

“I will seek to do all I can to drive the college forward over the coming years.”

Barnsley College principal Chris Webb, who himself took up post in September, as previously reported by FE Week, said: “Their backgrounds and skill sets complement those of our existing board members who are all fully committed to supporting the senior management team and taking the college forward to the next level.”

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