The Corporation is responsible for determining and periodically reviewing the educational character and mission of the College, and for overseeing its activities. These include approving the College quality strategy; ensuring College solvency and safeguarding its assets, plus the effective and efficient use of resources. The Corporation is also responsible for approving annual estimates of income and expenditure, and for the appointment of governors, and the appointment and grading of senior post holders.
The Corporation comprises a total of 20 governors: 14 external governors; one parent governor; two staff governors; the College Principal, and two student governors. They attend Corporation meetings (at least four each academic year) and sit on its various committees - Audit; Employment; Finance & Resources; Strategy & Governance, Remuneration, and Standards & Quality - each of which meets at least three times a year.
The role of College Governor, which is entirely voluntary, is extremely rewarding. It provides the office holder with the opportunity to help shape the strategic direction of the College whilst ensuring its educational provision is appropriate to the needs of the students and the wider community.
The governing body of the College is always pleased to welcome applications from suitably-qualified persons who wish to become External Governors. We would particularly welcome applications from senior professionals with strategic-level expertise.
- Audit Committee
- Employment Committee
- Finance & Resources Committee
- Strategy & Governance Committee
- Standards & Quality Committee
1. Sam Airey, External Governor and Chair of Employment Committee
Sam joined the Corporation in September 2007. Sam became Chair of the Employment Committee in September 2008 and also sits on the Remuneration Committee. Sam is the HR Director at a local law firm with over 15 years experience in the field, specialising in performance management and talent development. She is an accredited business coach and a qualified mediator.
2. Matthew Brown, External Governor
3. Sara Byrne, External Governor and Chair of Finance & Resources Committee
Sara Byrne was elected as an External Governor in July 2012 and became Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee in September 2014. Sara also sits on the Remuneration Committee
Sara is a chartered accountant who specialises in risk assurance. A governor also at a special school, Sara is a firm believer in encouraging young people to achieve their full potential.
4. Louis Earley, Student Governor
5. Lyn Eaton, External Governor and Chair of the Corporation
Lyn has served as a member of the College’s Corporation since 2010, and sits on the Employment, Finance & Resources, Strategy & Governance and Standards & Quality and Remuneration Committees. Lyn was elected Chair of the Corporation in March 2014.
'Following primary teacher training, Lyn moved into the further education sector starting as a lecturer, then became as Assistant Principal and finally a Vice Principal in 2007 until retirement in 2011; she also worked as an additional inspector for Ofsted from 1998-2006.
Lyn has been a Trustee at Wirral Citizens Advice Bureau, is a governor at a local secondary academy and works for Beanstalk, a national charity that supports children with reading difficulties.
Lyn retains an interest in the transformational impact of education on the lives of young people and adults in preparing them for progression to either higher education or sustainable employment.
To contact the chair, please write to her at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, Park Road West, Claughton Village, Wirral, CH43 8SQ, or email the clerk to the corporation at email@example.com
6. Steve Griffiths, External Governor, Vice Chair of the Corporation
Steve studied physics at university and has worked throughout his career in the nuclear industry, initially as a project engineer and plant safety manager. He became a regulator, where he was responsible for a range of safety programmes.
Mid-career, he furthered his personal and development interests and completed an Open University MBA before taking on more senior management roles. He also has worked on a number of national policy issues and international nuclear safety standards.
Now retired, he volunteers with citizen’s advice bureau and is a trustee of one of his professional institutions. He was elected to the Corporation in June 2014 and is chair of the Audit Committee.
7. Eileen Heaton-Brook, External Governor, Lead Governor on Safeguarding
Eileen became an External Governor in July 2012 having previously served as a Lay Governor since March 2011. Eileen has worked in the insurance sector of financial services for nearly 40 years; becoming corporate business manager for a well-known international Plc. Eileen is also a member of the Liverpool Chartered Insurance Institute.
Eileen has obtained a Bachelor of Law with Honours Degree; a Master’s Degree in Business and Company Law (JMU), and holds various insurance qualifications.
Eileen has served as a school governor for over 15 years in both primary and secondary education on the Wirral and in Cheadle. Eileen also takes an active role as an exam invigilator for a Wirral Metropolitan College.
In her spare time, Eileen works as a volunteer in the Citizens Advice Bureau, which enables her to help others and allows her to put something back into the community.
Eileen serves on the Audit, Employment and Strategy & Governance Committees.
8. Ian Jones, External Governor
Ian is retired, having worked for over 15 years in local government at director level for three very different councils in London and Merseyside, in housing and at the corporate centre. By background a Town Planner, he spent his earlier career in housing in local government and with Merseyside Improved Houses.
Ian is Vice Chair of Wirral Citizens’ Advice, and a governor of Kilgarth School. He is also a lay member of the Parkinsons’ Disease Society Research Network. Ian’s daughter studied successfully for her A levels at the College.
Born and raised in Bootle, Ian has lived in Birkenhead for many years. Ian sits on Audit, Employment, Strategy & Governance and Remuneration Committees.
9. Sharon Kieran, Staff Governor
10. Kathryn Podmore, Principal and Chief Executive of the College
Kathryn is the Principal at The Sixth Form College in Birkenhead, works with the Board of Trustees to ensure that the vision and key objectives are fulfilled and is accountable for the work of the Trust. Kathryn has experience in Secondary education and also established a joint Post 16 provision with schools and colleges.
At a national level, Kathryn is a Council member of the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association and has chaired a national Post 16 committee for the Association of College and School Leaders. In the North West, Kathryn chairs the NW Sixth Form College Principals Group, represents colleges on the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association Council and was Chair of Merseyside Colleges Association for the Principal’s Group for three years. Kathryn has organised regional meetings for the Women’s Leadership Network in Merseyside and Manchester, is a member of the Wirral Children’s Trust Board and the Wirral Schools Forum. Kathryn also sits on an 11-16 academy governing body.
11. Jon Thorpe, Staff Governor
Jon is one of the staff governors on the Corporation, and also the head of the English Department at the College. Prior to working at the College, Jon spent a long period in Higher Education, attaining a PhD from the University of Liverpool. He also taught undergraduates and adults, during this time, at the University of Liverpool and at a variety of Oxford Colleges for the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education.
Ultimately preferring teaching to research, he trained to be a secondary school teacher, spent a brief stint in secondary education, before settling happily in the Sixth Form sector.
Jon sits on the Standards & Quality Committee.
12. Pete Timmins, External Governor and Vice Chair of the Corporation
Peter joined the Corporation in September 2012 as an External Governor and is Chair of the Strategy & Governance Committee, and a member of the Audit and Standards & Quality Committees. Peter was born in Yorkshire but has lived on the Wirral for over 30 years. He studied pharmacy at the University of Bradford where he also completed PhD studies and now occupies a senior role in a pharmaceutical company whilst also spending time at various universities supporting their pharmacy postgraduate programmes. He is married with two grown up sons. Peter’s eldest son attended the College before going on to study at Manchester Metropolitan University and pursuing a career in microbiology.
Peter was elected Vice Chair of the Corporation in July 2014.
13. Emily Wagstaff, Student Governor
14. Shirley Yearwood-Jackman, Parent Governor
Shirley was appointed Parent Governor in September 2014 and serves as a member of the Standards & Quality and Strategy & Governance Committees. One of her children has successfully completed their studies at the College and another is currently a student. The Wirral has been her home since 2006 but she was born in Coventry. She has been a professional librarian for more than thirty years and has worked for various organisations including the United States Embassy. During her career, she has played an active role in professional librarianship, serving as a member of many professional committees and as President of several professional library organisations. Currently, Shirley is employed as an academic librarian in the university sector where part of her role is to teach students from undergraduate to doctoral level. Shirley is keen to support students so that they can achieve their full potential and aspirations.
- Corporation Minutes 5 December 2016
- Corporation Minutes 19 September 2016
- Corporation Minutes 4 July 2016
- Employment Minutes 24 January 2017
- Employment Minutes 18 October 2016
- Employment Minutes 14 June 2016
Finance & Resources Committee
- Finance & Resources Minutes 7 March 2017
- Finance & Resources Minutes 21 November 2016
- Finance & Resources Minutes 21 June 2016
Strategy & Governance Committee
- Strategy & Governance Minutes 5 September 2016
- Search & Governance Minutes 27 June 2016
- Search & Governance Minutes 7 March 2016
Standards & Quality Committee
- Standards & Quality Minutes 28 February 2017
- Standards & Quality Minutes 17 October 2016
- Standards & Quality Minutes 6 June 2016
The College Corporation can be contacted via Michelle Suckley, Clerk to the Corporation.
Instruments and articles of government