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: Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Paul Levet

Vice Chair of the Corporation Board

Member of the Corporation Board since: 17 October 2014

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

Principal and Chief Executive

Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 January 2019

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

Haissam Abdolazim

FE Student Governor

Member of the Corporation Board since: 01 December 2021

Haissam is currently BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business having previously studied at Blackburn Central High School.

Committee membership: Audit

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 Learning and Quality, Governance Panel

Governor Champion: Careers

Paul Fleming

Member of the Corporation Board since: 18 October 2019

Strategic Director of Resources at Blackburn with Darwen Council. Experience in Technology, Health Care, Manufacturing and Creative sectors. MSc in Health Informatics (UCLAN).

Chair of Governors at Christ Church Charnock Richard Primary School.

Committee membership: Audit Committee

Ram Gupta

Member of the Corporation Board since: 12 March 2021

Managing Director of and Group CEO of Nybble Group, a managed IT company providing advice on all aspects of Information Technology and Audio Visual and LED technologies. Also a Greater Manchester Chamber Technology Partner, East Lancashire Chamber Diamond Ambassador and Patron of Blackburn Youth Zone. Proud supporter of the East Lancs Hospice.

A former A-Level student at Blackburn College, going on to gain a BA in Accounting and Business/Management and an MSc in Information Management.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality

Catherine Hill OBE BSc

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: Student Voice, Learning and Quality

Governor Champion: Safeguarding and SEND

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

Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 April 2018

Business Support Staff Governor – Finance Officer

Committee membership: Policy and Resources

Mark Moren

Member of the Corporation Board since: 7 May 2021

Academic Staff Governor – Curriculum Leader for Public Services and Hospitality since 2020. Lecturer in Public Services.

Worked in a variety of different education establishments prior to joining the College in 2014 as a full-time lecturer in Public Services. Appointed in 2017 as Curriculum Team Leader for the Customer Service Industries, which covered Public Services, Catering, Hair and Beauty and Travel and Tourism.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality

Paul Morris

Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 April 2020

Director of Capital development and Estates Operations at Lancaster University. Has significant public sector experience gained within the University sector and a Northwest City Council. Key strengths in Estate development, Facilities Services, project management, leadership and delivering strategic change. Prior experience in private sector consultancy engineering.

Charter Fellow of the CMI, MBA with merit and a professionally qualified engineer.

Committee membership: Policy and Resources

Governor Champion: Health, Safety and Staff Welfare

Arif Patel

Member of the Corporation Board since: 1 April 2020

Associate Director of Technology-enabled Care at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Expert knowledge of NHS leadership, medical equipment marketplace, business administration, performance and project management. Key skills include strategic planning, operations management, budgetary control, quality improvement and HR management.

Research Doctorate, Health/Health Care Administration/Management, UCLan and Executive MBA in Business Administration and Management, University of Bolton. Former Blackburn College student – Foundation Degree in Electronic Engineering.

Committee membership: Policy and Resources

Governor Champion: Equality and Diversity

Taiyab Sufi

Member of the Corporation Board since: 2 July 2021

Systems Controller at EG Group. Previously held the role of Financial Controller at EG Group, having started with the company in 2000. Experienced in financial and IT disciplines, engagement with key stakeholders, training and development of operational staff and the creation of procedures for robust governance. Operations, finance, HR and Business Intelligence experience gained since joining EG Group.

AAT Qualified

Committee membership: Audit Committee

Steve Waggott

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.

Jade Wellings

HE Student Governor

Member of the Corporation Board since: 01 December 2021

Jade is currently enrolled on the BA (Hons) Top Up Degree in Positive Practice with Children and Young People, having completed the Foundation Degree in July 2021.

Committee membership: Learning and Quality

Minutes of Corporation Board and Committees