Members of Burnley College's Governing Board


Chair of the Governing Board, Remuneration Committee and Vice Chair of the Search & Governance Committee

David Meakin is Chair of the Governing Board, a position he has held since 2014. A qualified Accountant David holds a BSc(Hons) degree in Mathematics. David began a 35 year career with the NHS after leaving school, working in Nottingham, Birmingham and Aylesbury before arriving in Burnley. When David retired from the NHS in 2005 he was Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive.

Vice Chair of the Governing Board, Chair of Search & Governance Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee

David J Brown has been a Governor at the College since 2005 and worked as Burnley Borough Council’s Director of Environment prior to his retirement. He held responsibility for Planning and Environment, Street-scene and Markets services.

College Principal

Karen Buchanan has recently been appointed as Principal of Burnley College and CEO of THEMIS. She was previously Deputy Principal of the College appointed in September 2011. Karen has worked in Further Education since starting as a part time computing lecturer at Burnley College in 1986. Prior to this Karen worked as a computer programmer and then a Systems Analyst at The Prestige Group PLC, British Aerospace and at Leyland DAF.

Member of the Finance Committee

Paul Henderson currently resides as the Director of Education Frameworks at International Building Contractor ISG. This followed previous roles including that of Client Project Manager responsible for the new build at Burnley College. A former GNVQ Building Studies student at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, Paul progressed and graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a BSc Hons in Building Surveying before completing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Chair of the Audit Committee, Member of Human Resources, Remuneration and Search & Governance Committees

After leaving Burnley Grammar School, Jim Sutcliffe joined Burnley Building Society as a computer specialist and Audit Manager. He then moved to the National and Provincial Building Society in Bradford as a mergers and acquisitions planner and integration manager. He developed his own management consultancy business in 1997 before recently retiring.

Jim was appointed a Governor of Burnley College in 1998, a decision he states influenced by the high quality of education his sons received at Burnley College. He is now Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Human Resources Committee and Search and Governance Committee.

Chair of the Finance Committee and Member of the Search & Governance Committee

Retired Director of Kaman Aerospace Group, with headquarters in Connecticut, USA, Richard Thorley became a Burnley College Governor in 1993 whilst he was Managing Director at Smiths Aerospace. He is currently Chair of the Finance Committee.

A Chartered Management accountant Richard also holds a degree in Production Engineering and Management from Loughborough University.

Chair of the Human Resources Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee

Philip Turner recently retired from being Senior Partner at Waddington and Son Solicitors. He had spent over 24 years at the firm after joining on a traineeship and continues to work for them as a Senior Consultant. Philip specialises in Criminal Law.

Philip has been a Burnley College Governor since 1993.

Chair of the Curriculum & Standards Committee, Vice Chair of Human Resources Committee and Member of Audit and Search & Governance Committees

Paul Ragnall joined the College’s Governing Board in March 2011. Paul works at the National Pensions Service and has held a number of roles over the past 30 years including benefit delivery, Human Resources, Health and Safety and the Job Centre Plus. Until recently, Paul was the Deputy Manager of the Department for Work and Pensions and has now taken up a national role in relation to health and safety and elements of the human resources function.

Vice Chair of the Finance Committee

Guy Thomas left aerospace manufacturing group Kaman UK in May 2014 after six years of managing three subsidiary businesses within the organisation, first as Group Finance Director and then taking a new role as Group Managing Director in January 2010. He is now a self employed consultant providing specialist services support to small and midsized corporates.

Guy is a qualified accountant and has many years experience in this role gained at Earnest & Young and Brockhouse Holdings where he was Group Finance Director.

Member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee

Louise Robinson joined the College’s Governing Board in 2016, sitting on the Curriculum and Standards Committee. Louise has 26 years of experience within the Aerospace Industry holding senior roles within Purchasing, Commercial and Programme. Her most recent role being Programmes Director – UK Programmes. Louise holds a number of professional qualifications including APM (Association of Programme Management), ILM5 (Institute of Leadership and Management) and CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply). 


Member of the Audit Committee

Richard Robinson joined the College’s Governing Board in October 2017, joining  the College's Audit Committee. Richard is a Director at a local firm of accountants McMahon Leggate and of a company called FEEsource Ltd, a management consultancy service. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).


Member of the Human Resources Committee

Fiona Lugiano is Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Ascentis, an educational Awarding Organisation. Fiona joined Ascentis in 2002 and became the Deputy Chief Executive Officer after managing a number of areas throughout the organisation including general operations, marketing and sales and governance. Specific responsibilities now include being the Company Secretary and being a Director of subsidiary companies.p>

Fiona obtained a degree in Psychology and has continued her interest in both this and education by being a member of the British Psychological Society, teaching at the Open University for 9 years and has just completed an MBA.


Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee

Dr Gerald Griggs is Head of Academics at UCFB (Etihad Campus). He has worked in education for over two decades, with a majority of this time spent in the Higher Education sector. He is a globally renowned scholar in the field of primary Physical Education and has published extensively in this area as well as in wider spheres of education and sociology. Gerald is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.



Member of the Curriculum and Standards Committee

Kate Quinn is a senior manager with 33 years’ experience working in a range of organisations across the NHS around the Strategic Human Resources and Organisational Development agenda. Having experience working operationally, regionally and nationally to deliver on key priorities for the NHS workforce to ensure delivery of services to patients. Ability to work with a range of perspectives and recognising that only difference can make a difference. Kate also has experience as an elected member on Preston City Council as Executive Member for Communities.


Member of the Finance Committee

Gillian Bardin was formerly the Managing Director of Taylor Patterson, a financial services group based in Lancashire, having successfully completed a management buy out in 2006. Her main responsibilities were the future strategy of the business and the development of key business relationships.

Gillian is a Chartered Accountant and was President of ICAEW Lancashire & South Lakeland in 2016/17 and is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at Lancaster University.

Clerk to Governors - Simone Lomas: s.lomas@burnley.ac.uk


Staff Governors




Humera Khan : Member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee 

Humera Khan has a background in Mathematics, and has worked at the College for the last ten years, initially as a Maths Lecturer within the Division of A Levels and her current role is now as Head Of Maths and English. Previously, Humera worked in the private and public sector as a data and project analyst.


Keeley Seamans : Member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee 

Keeley Seamans has worked at Burnley College for 12 years and is currently the Events and Active Learning Zone Team Leader, she is responsible for the planning and coordination of all student, external and community events within Burnley College. She also takes an active role in staff development across the College, coordinating staff training and development initiatives.


Student Governors


James McLean: Member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee 

James came to Burnley College from The Hollins High School where he was nominated by the teachers and students for Deputy Head Boy, something he was proud to accept. He is studying on an Advanced BTEC Applied Science Level 3 course and is very interested in Biochemistry. He is considering continuing his studies at Manchester University and is also very interested in joining the Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. At the weekend James works as a waiter at a local restaurant and enjoys playing multiple instruments in his spare time.


Emily Slater: Member of the Curriculum & Standards Committee 

Emily came to Burnley College from Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College where she contributed valuably to school life in her role as Prefect, Head of House and reading mentor. She also assisted with Spanish classes for parents and was part of a campaign to raise awareness of Gender Inequality in the workplace. She studies A Levels in Spanish, History, Mathematics and English Language and is also a Student Representative, Student Innovator, Student Ambassador and on the Student Council. Emily is part of the Honours Programme and has a keen interest in Spanish, attending Spanish club alongside taking part in the Senior Maths Team Challenge. Emily has ambitions to go to university to study either Spanish, History or Politics.