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Our Governors

Rachael Weir, Clerk to the Governors

Rachael Weir

Rachael joined Winstanley in September 2017 after nearly 20 years working in Human Resources. Rachael brings a wide range of experience to the role of Independent Clerk.

James Pearson, Chair of Governors

James Pearson

James is a former Winstanley student and went on to achieve a First-Class degree in law, before qualifying as a solicitor at a global law firm. James is a lawyer specialising in commercial contracts, intellectual property, privacy, and cyber security. James has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector having held senior positions within both.

As Chair of the Board, James is responsible for ensuring the effective management of Governance at Winstanley and for providing decisive leadership to the Board. James is an ardent supporter of the need for high-quality education to enable young people to realise their ambitions and he works to ensure that Winstanley College achieves its mission of ensuring that students achieve academic excellence in a supportive and inspiring learning community.

James was appointed Chair of the governing body in January 2017 having first been appointed to the Board in February 2011.

Elizabeth Collins

Elizabeth collins

Liz has worked in rail transport for 24 years, undertaking many senior executive roles, including Managing Director of Transpennine Express. Liz is Finance & Commercial Director at First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Limited, which includes Avanti rail services, and is part of the global transport operator FirstGroup. 


Liz is a Chartered Accountant and was recognised at the Northern Power Women Power List as one of the top 100 influential women in the North of England. 

Dean Hilton, Support Staff Governor

Dean Hilton

Dean is a former student who joined Winstanley as a Personal Tutor in 2015 and progressed to the role of Guidance Co-Ordinator in 2016. After studying Psychology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, Dean pursued a career in education as a Psychology teacher before moving over to pastoral and guidance.

Dean is passionate about supporting students in reaching their full potential whether that be in pursuing a degree, higher level apprenticeship or a job opportunity. Through his role in guidance, he has witnessed first-hand how pastoral support can benefit students academically and support their growth into becoming well rounded and personable individuals.


Mark Hanrahan

Mark is a Group Business Development Director, an experienced chartered mechanical engineer and a chartered quality professional. He has many years of experience in business strategy, leadership and quality management.

Michael Oates, CA

Michael Oates

Michael is a former Winstanley student who went on to study British Politics and Legislative Studies (BPLS) at the University of Hull. He spent time at the Palace of Westminster working as a researcher and caseworker for a Member of Parliament before commencing a training contract with a large accountancy firm.

Having qualified and being admitted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (“ICAS”), Michael is a Chartered Accountant and works in practice as an Audit Associate Director acting in the role of Responsible Individual on audit and other assurance engagements. Michael brings his experience and expertise to chair the College’s Audit committee.

Louise Tipping, Principal

Louise Tipping Principal

Louise joined Winstanley as Principal in 2013 having previously worked in another outstanding sixth form college. After graduating from Oxford, she began her career teaching English to refugees in Sudan and has almost 30 years of experience working in secondary and sixth form education across the North of England.

Louise believes passionately that education is about giving young people the opportunity to succeed so that they can live their best life and fulfil their potential.

Anthony Kearns, CDIR FIOD

Anthony Kearns

Antony is a Chartered Director and Fellow Member of the Institute of Directors and is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, UK and Ireland, one of the largest rail contractors in Europe. Having spent most of his career in this type of environment, he is well placed to bring both strategic and business skills to the board.

Antony is married with two children, lives locally and is passionate about business and improving the life chances for young people in the borough.


Nayyar Naqvi

Nayyar graduated in medicine in 1968. He was trained in cardiology at Manchester and St Thomas Hospital, London and has been Consultant Cardiologist at Wigan Royal Infirmary since 1979. He was awarded OBE by the Queen in 2004 for services to medicine and cardiology and later in 2010 Wigan Council awarded him the Wigan Life Award for services to the public. In 2013, the council placed a Star in his name on the “Wigan Walk of Fame”. WWL NHS Foundation Trust established an annual “Nayyar Naqvi Lecture” at the Medical Education Centre in 2013 which is held in the Nayyar Naqvi Lecture Theatre. Nayyar is also MRCP Examiner for the Royal College of Physicians of London,

Nayyar is married with two grown up daughters and two grandchildren. His hobbies are golf, music (he is a member of the Halle) and reading.

Margaret McKenzie

Margaret McKenzie

Margaret is a former pupil of both Upholland Grammar School and Winstanley College as she was here when it changed from one into the other. Margaret is a qualified Solicitor having gained her law degree at Lady Margaret Hall Oxford. Margaret specialises in public sector adult social care, mental health and human rights law and is currently working for Tameside Council. Margaret really enjoys being a governor of the college and is proud to be a part of its outstanding success. As the designated safeguarding governor, Margaret is keen to keep a close eye on the things that ensure the college continues along its successful path.

Kevan Ryan

Kevan Ryan


Kevan Ryan is the Director of Legal, Risk & Compliance at the University of Liverpool.  As the University’s Chief Legal Officer, Kevan is responsible for providing strategic legal advice to the University.  His role is also to provide strategic leadership, direction and oversight to the various compliance functions including Health & Safety, Risk Management, Radiation Protection, Occupational Health, Internal Audit and Insurance, in order to ensure consistency of approach and regulatory compliance.  Kevan is also responsible for compliance with Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation in his role as the University’s Data Protection Officer.  Prior to joining the University, Kevan worked as a commercial solicitor with leading national law firms Eversheds and Addleshaw Goddard.

Stefan Isaacson, teaching Staff Governor

Thumbnail stefan gov image


After spending time in the creative industries, Stefan started teaching in the sector in 2006 before taking the role as the Head of Art here at Winstanley College in 2013. A-level and Art Foundation students across the department have consistently demonstrated outstanding levels of achievement, inspired by specialist teaching, as well as a vibrant and supportive learning environment where students can fully realise their creative potential. In the summer of 2021 Stefan became the Head of Faculty for Creative and Performing Arts, bringing together the two most creative and outward-looking departments in the college.  He is passionate about the role creative freedom can play in the education of young people from all backgrounds.   

Living in South Manchester, Stefan is married with three children and enjoys visiting galleries, live music, and football. 

James Prunty

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James is a former Winstanley College student who went on to study Financial services, Planning & Management at University part time via his first employer. James now works in Project Management at a legal services company. James is passionate about education and ensuring everyone has the opportunities to succeed & reach their potential.

Jessica Richmond


Jess is a former Winstanley student who went on to study English Language and Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. During her time at university she worked part time to support local school and college students progress to HE and realised her passion for working in education and helping young people achieve their goals. Following graduation, she went on to work in the student recruitment team at Edge Hill University and then onto the Lancashire Uni Connect Programme, Future U, funded by the Office for Students. Jess is passionate about reducing the gap in HE progression between the most and least represented groups by breaking down barriers and ensuring that all learners, regardless of their background, have to opportunity to reach their potential.   

Committee Structure and Membership 

Board minutes 2022-2023

Approved Board minutes December 2022

Approved Board minutes October 22

Board minutes 2021-2022

Approved Board Minutes July 2022Approved Board Minutes March 2022Approved Board Minutes December 2021Approved Board Minutes October 2021

Would you like to become a Governor?


The College seeks diversity in terms of the background of its Governors. However, there is an expectation that all prospective Governors would share the following characteristics:

  • A real interest in education and training
  • Skills and experience that will benefit the College
  • A commitment to act as an advocate for the College and to act in the best interests of the College at all times
  • A commitment to working with integrity, openness and honesty


Governors, the Principal and senior managers at Winstanley College recognise the important contribution which training and development makes to the College’s effectiveness in providing and delivering high quality education.

The principal objective of providing training and development opportunities for the governing body is to ensure the effectiveness of all governors as individuals and as members of a corporate governing body; to enable them to set the College’s Mission and strategic direction, to meet their responsibilities as laid out in Article 3 of the College’s Instrument and Articles of Government.

The College will provide training and regular development opportunities which underpin the role of being a governor at an outstanding Sixth Form College.  Governors are then able to discharge their responsibilities effectively and with confidence.  The Clerk to the governing body provides an induction programme for all newly appointed governors which is supported by the Director of Finance & Resources.

Appointment of Governors PolicyIf you are interested in applying to become a Governor at Winstanley College, please contact Rachael Weir, Clerk to Governors. Rachael will send you more detailed information about the College as well as a full application pack. All applications are handled by the Search Committee who will interview all short-listed applicants.


Become a Governor

Become a Governor
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