Corporation Board

Blackburn College has a board of governors – the Corporation Board. It is their job to oversee the College and to work with the leadership team at College – representing the community, businesses and students of the College. You can read biographies of our governors here, find minutes to their meetings and learn more about the governance structure that operates at Blackburn College.

Lillian Croston

Chair of the Corporation Board

Member of the Corporation Board since: 17 October 2014

Former Head of Westholme School, Blackburn. Former Chair of Governors at Accrington Academy and Lancaster University Court Member. 

Committee membership: Remuneration, Learning and Quality, Chair of Governance Panel

Governor Champion:  Safeguarding; Teaching, Learning and Assessment.


Paul Levet

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Vice Chair of the Corporation Board

Member of the Corporation Board since: 10 February 2012

Former Assistant Corporate Director and Relationship Director with Barclays Bank. This involved larger business financing including project finance and public company relationship management. From 2004 until 2011, leader of the Barclays Education Team in the North West – working with a number of large universities and FE colleges and having responsibility for over £300m of lending to the education sector. Graduate of University of Portsmouth – BA in Economics. Other qualifications include Diploma Institute of Management Accounting and Associate Institute of Bankers

Committee membership: Chair of Policy and Resources, Governance Panel, Chair of Remuneration


Dr Fazal Dad

Dr Fazal Dad

Principal and Chief Executive

Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 January 2019

Committee membership: Policy and Resources, Learning and Quality, Governance Panel


Professor Waqar Ahmed

Member of the Corporation Board since: 6 December 2019

Currently Deputy Head of School of Mathematics and Physics and Deputy Director of Research for the College of Science at Lincoln University. Professor of Nanoscience. Has worked for a number of universities and started his career in industry working in various roles for General Electric Company and Ferranti Electronics amongst others. 

Committee membership: Policy and Resources Committee


Mark Allanson

Mark Allanson

Member of the Corporation Board since: 11 December 2015

Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) at Edge Hill University. Former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Regional Consultant for the North West and held senior university roles including UK and international student recruitment, marketing and external affairs and student services. Former Director of a Chamber of Commerce.

Committee membership: Chair of Chair of Standards, Learning and Quality, Governance Panel.


Geoff Disley

Geoff Disley

Member of the Corporation Board since: 5 July 2019

Academic Staff Governor - Lecturer in Engineering at the University Centre at Blackburn College.

Prior to joining Blackburn College in 2001, served in the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer completing 22 years’ service. Completed a 4-year Engineering Artificer Apprenticeship at the Royal Naval Schools of Engineering.

Maintains a strong link with his Professional Engineering Institute (PEI), The Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) Institution of Plant Engineers (IPlantE) and is a registered Incorporated Engineer (IEng). Has served for two terms on the IPlantE professional Sector Council as well as representing the SOE on the Engineering Accreditation Board for two years. Has accredited two Royal Navy engineering courses and three nuclear engineering courses for GEN II, a nuclear training centre which supports Sellafield staff development.

Since joining the College has worked on the distance based Higher National Engineering programme which caters for mature students and military personnel, this involves liaising with military and industry training managers. He is a trade union Health and Safety representative, sitting on the College Health and Safety Committee and LTEC (HE).

Committee membership: Learning and Quality Committee


Paul Fleming

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 18 October 2019

Director of Digital and Business Change, Blackburn with Darwen Borouch Council, since June 2018. Former Regional Head of Digital Technology for NHS England, covering Midlands and East of England.

Chair of Governors at Christ Church Charnock Richard Primary School.

Committee membership: Student Voice Committee


Catherine Hill OBE BSc

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 18 October 2019

Former Deputy Principal at Blackpool and The Fylde College. The college was designated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, was awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Status in 2016 and TEF Gold in 2017. It is one of the largest colleges for further and higher education in the sector.

Worked in further education for over 30 years; initially as a lecturer in maths and science, progressing to executive roles. Worked at a number of North West colleges and has been involved in national level work such a Best Practice Networks, National Challenge Initiative and Study Programme reviews. As a former Ofsted Associate Inspector and a review for QAA, her work has always focused on high quality learning and teaching to help bring about life changing opportunities for all students.

Is involved in a range of work involving both education and community work. Was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours of 2016 for services to further education.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality Committee.


Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Member of the Corporation Board since: 20 October 2017

Corporate Services Partner with PM+M. Chris is responsible for a diverse portfolio of clients, mainly corporates and some large non-corporates and is experienced in advising owner managed businesses with large turnovers on audits, corporate structuring, forecasting, as well as advising on UK Financial Reporting Standards and IFRS issues.

Before his appointment to the Board, Chris served as a co-opted member of Audit Committee.

Committee membership: Chair of Audit


Michael Lee 

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 April 2018

Business Support Staff Governor – Finance Officer

Committee membership: Policy and Resources



Don Lennon

Don Lennon

Member of the Corporation Board since: 6 December 2019

HE Student Governer

Don is currently in the final year of a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance, having begun his study at the College in 2017 when he enrolled to the two-year Fd Sc Sports Coaching and Performance.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality


Kathryn Lord 


Member of the Corporation Board since: 16 March 2018


Human Resources Change Partner at BAE Systems. Current work involves working with Managers and Senior Leaders in a HR business partnering function and broader work around organisation design, managing change and transformation. 

Prior experience involved working with a variety of public and private sector organisations including Serco, Arrive Transport Solutions, Blackpool Council, Tauheedul Education Trust and North West Employers organisations.

Committee membership: Policy and Resources


Sajeela Mahmud

Sajeela Mahmud

Member of the Corporation Board since: 6 December 2019


FE Student Governor

Sajeela is a former Darwen Vale High School pupil. Sajeela completed the GCSE programme at the College and is now enrolled to the Access to Higher Education Diploma: Biosciences/Midwifery course.

Committee membership: Audit


Roger Spensley

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 16 October 2009

Employed as a solicitor in Blackburn. Graduate of the University of Warwick. Active member of the Round Table and local sports organisations.

Committee membership: Policy and Resources, Remuneration.


Leslie Stove


Member of the Corporation Board since: 8 July 2016 

Assistant Chief Executive of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Formerly the Corporate Business Manager at the ELHT.

Former interim Director of Technical Services with the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire having also been a Senior Manager there.

Committee Membership: Learning and Quality.


Steve Waggott

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 9 November 2018

Chief Executive and Blackburn Rovers Football and Athletic Ltd. and Director of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust. Former Chief Executive at five football clubs and a Trustee of various Community Trusts. Former Director of a Further Education College. Extensive experience in financial management, marketing and sales and a strong background in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Committee membership: Policy and Resources.


Professor Mike Wright

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Member of the Corporation Board since: 11 December 2015

Mike Wright is a Professor in the Management Science Department at Lancaster University, involved in both teaching and research.  Until July 2018 he also held a University-wide role as Dean for Academic Quality, overseeing a wide variety of quality-related matters across the University and its partner institutions.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality.

Governor Champion:  Student Experience. 


Minutes of Corporation Board and Committees