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Leadership and Governance


Anita Lall – Interim Principal and Chief Executive

Anita joined the College in February 2020 as our Vice-Principal and is passionate about creating an excellent learning environment for every student attending Craven College. Anita started her career as a research scientist specialising in childhood cancers and has presented on this subject at national and international conferences. Seeing how she was inspiring girls and young women to study science whilst lecturing part-time, led her to the path of teaching full-time. The past 17 years of her career have been spent in the Further Education sector at a management level leading diverse, multi-disciplinary teams. The quality-focused teams that Anita has led have won awards for innovation in teaching, learning and assessment and employer engagement.

Gareth Dixon – Vice Principal Finance & Resources

Gareth is a highly experienced finance professional, formerly with PwC and Morrisons, who brings significant strategic and commercial expertise to the college. Gareth has worked across a range of sectors over a 20-year period including social housing, professional services and retail. He is a chartered accountant and holds an MBA from Warwick Business School. Gareth joined the College in June 2020 and leads the financial and support functions within the College.

Angela Crabtree – Director of Quality

Angela’s passion for enriching lives through learning began over 20 years ago, as a trainer assessor for care leavers and vulnerable adults. This was where she experienced the powerful impact that education has on people’s lives and ambitions. Since then, she has managed and taught in a wide range of sectors including careers education, leadership, apprenticeships, Further Education and Higher Education. The last 17 years have been spent in management roles where her teams have received national recognition for innovative delivery approaches and developed new ground with industry and sector collaboration. Angela leads on quality across curriculum, business and support functions of the College.

Duncan Bulloch – Director of Curriculum

Duncan started in Further Education in 1999 as a Sports teacher and has worked in curriculum management for the past 17 years. He has managed a number of curriculum departments including Sport, Public Services, Construction, Engineering, Motor vehicle and Business and has had responsibility for developing curriculum from 14-16 provision to Level 6. For the past seven years, Duncan has been involved in supporting underperforming areas to make significant improvements in outcomes for learners through developing a curriculum offer that supports learner experience and employer engagement. Duncan has a significant understanding of Apprenticeship delivery, T Level implementation and development of team cultures and putting the learner at the heart of everything we do.


The Governing Body is responsible for the overall functioning of the College and aims to reflect the community the College serves. It consists of members who are recruited from a wide cross-section of the local community and businesses, as well as from the staff and student body.

Alison Birkinshaw – Chair of the Board and Chair of Search & Governance Committee

Alison retired as Principal of York College in May 2019 after 35 years in the FE sector. She was privileged to lead and work at three outstanding colleges, York College, Nelson and Colne College and Runshaw College. Alison also served as President of the Association of Colleges, working with them to campaign for increased funding for the FE sector. She was awarded the OBE for services to education in 2012 and an honorary doctorate from York University. Additionally, Alison is a musician (bassoonist) and enjoys walking, beekeeping and helping with her new granddaughter.

Dean Langton – Chair of Finance, Resources & Investment Committee and Vice Chair of the Board

Dean is Director of Finance at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, having worked in local government for over 30 years. Originally from Huddersfield, he qualified as an Accountant with Kirklees Metropolitan Council. Since then he has held senior finance positions at a number of Councils including Barnsley MBC, Craven DC and Selby DC. Having originally joined Pendle Borough Council as Chief Finance Officer in 2006, he became Chief Executive in 2015. He joined Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in 2021.

John Craig – Chair of Learning, Teaching & Assessment Committee

John is Pro Vice Chancellor for Education at Kingston University. He has previously held leadership roles at the Higher Education Academy (now part of AdvanceHE), and Leeds Beckett, Huddersfield and Teesside Universities. He has extensive experience of quality management and enhancement and has chaired quality committees for the QAA and AQA. He is a National Teaching Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Ed Drake

Until recently, Ed was Managing Director of Drake Lane Associates which he founded in 1999. Drake Lane provides software to Further Education colleges and has nationally recognised expertise in funding, curriculum planning & costing, quality improvement, performance monitoring and management information. Prior to that Ed was the College’s MIS Manager and a member of the Senior Management Team.

Jess Guth

Jess has over 20 years of experience in Higher Education and is a legal education expert. She is currently the Head of the School of Law at Birmingham City University having previously held positions at the University of Bradford and Leeds Beckett University. Jess has taught law from Foundation Year to Doctoral Level and has research interests in European Union Law and in legal pedagogy and is the co-editor of the Law Teacher: The International Journal of Legal Education.

Heather Kerrick

Heather is currently Assistant Director, Estates and Facilities, at the University of Huddersfield. She has extensive experience in capital projects and facilities management and holds an MBA in Facilities Management

Andy Micklethwaite

Andy is an experienced Chair and Chief Executive Officer and also has financial experience having worked for major blue-chip corporations. Andy also has extensive change management, business improvement and systems implementation experience. Andy was a non-executive director and Committee Chair of Audit Committee and Finance and Resources Committee at a local university. Andy is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant and Chartered Company Secretary.

Chris Morgan

Chris has over 18 years’ of experience working in Further Education, in particular the employment and skills sector.  Chris is also highly experienced in curriculum design, quality improvement, management information, and contract management and serves on a number of advisory and focus groups.

Rob Scott – Chair of Audit Committee

Rob has extensive financial experience having worked in a number of businesses including as Group Chief Finance Officer for Key Group. His work covered income, expenditure and capital expenditure. He has overseen specific projects covering acquisition and capital projects for a number of large national companies. Rob is also a non-executive Director for a local charity providing free professional careers advice and support across Cumbria and Lancashire. Rob is FCA qualified.

Jane Rogers

Jane was employed by the College for many years as an English and history teacher, working at Levels 1 to 6. She was also the College’s lead on Higher Education programmes and responsible for quality and programme design. Since leaving Craven College she is an External Examiner for Access and university courses, does a little consultancy work for the Open University and is a Trustee of the Aire Rivers Trust.

Claire Thomas

Claire worked for many years as the commercial manager and event organiser for Equestrian Management Consultants Limited. Claire was also responsible for the commercial arm of the British Equestrian Trade Association, reporting to the Finance and General Purposes Committee and BETA Council. She is experienced in the preparation of monthly accounts and annual budgets, staffing, and in instigating and fulfilling consultancy and sponsorship projects.

Julie Atkins – Business Support Staff Governor

Julie is the Head of Student Services and Deputy Safeguarding Lead at Craven College. Julie is passionate about the safeguarding and well-being of all students at College ensuring they feel safe in a supportive learning environment.
Julie has worked at Craven for over 14 years initially as a lecturer in E2E and SEND and has progressed into various management roles within the College.

Richard Newall – Teaching Staff Governor

Richard is a lecturer in Catering and Hospitality and the Programme Lead for Supported Internships. Richard has over 40 years’ of experience in the Hospitality Industry, alongside 14 years in Education. Richard has been a Lecturer at Craven College for 6 years.

Luke Scott – Student Governor

Jean Tracy – Interim Director of Governance

Jean was appointed as Interim Director of Governance in November 2022 and has over 20 years of experience as a governance professional in a large FE college. Jean has completed the ETF Governance Professionals’ Development Programme and holds the ICSA Certificate in Further Education Governance.

Meeting Minutes

Audit Committee
Finance Resources and Investment Committee
Governing Board
Learning Teaching and Assessment Committee
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