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View across the Bishop Burton College campus to the Equine Centre


Our Board of Governors shares responsibility for setting the educational character and mission for Bishop Burton College, ensuring that we meet our strategic objectives; agrees our annual budget; is accountable for the use of public funds; and ensures our long-term financial sustainability.

Contact the Board of Governors

If you would like to contact our board of governors, please email Sallyanne Pearson, Director of Governance:

Meet Our Governors

External Members

Ian Sackree (Chair)
Ian Sackree Chair of Governors

Ian is a skilled Finance and Resources and Governance and Leadership professional.

He started his career in a local accountancy practice in 1986 and attended his local Further Education (FE) College as part of his work-based training. In the 1990s Ian worked at the Lincolnshire Health Authority specialising in Internal Audit, Counter Fraud & Investigations, and Risk. Ian qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in this period and was appointed as the Health Authority Deputy Chief Internal Auditor. Between 1998 and 2001 Ian worked for several (former) Government organisations as Head of Audit, leading a team specialising in reviews of government-funded programmes, before returning to accountancy practice at a more senior level (Director) to develop commercial Internal Audit and Risk services.

In 2005 Ian was appointed as Vice Principal Corporate Resources, and later Group Deputy CEO at Lincoln College, responsible for leading Finance, HR, Estates, Marketing, Partnerships, IT and Management Information Systems. In this period the college gained an Ofsted Outstanding inspection grade. After nearly 10 years in this role Ian was appointed as Chief Operating Officer. He next joined Protocol, a national recruitment and employment business servicing the FE & Skills sector as CEO, working with many college Boards and Governors across the UK.

Over more than 35 years Ian has had significant experience of leading at Board level and has regularly reported to or served as a Board Member, Trustee, Non-Executive Director (NED) and Governor in commerce, the NHS, the MOD, Housing, College, and charity sectors. Ian was also a fellow of the Society of Leadership Fellows, St George’s House.

Leading YMCA Lincolnshire as Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2013 Ian also served as a Co-opted Governor of the RNN College Group between 2021 and 2022. Ian was appointed as a Governor at Bishop Burton College in 2019 and was appointed to the role of Chair of the Board of Corporation, from 1 September 2023. Ian is a senior volunteer in the Army Cadet Force and is currently the Commandant of Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force, continuing a voluntary military career spanning 37 years. Ian now consults in Finance, Estates and Capital Infrastructure, and HR and has a client portfolio of NED and Advisory roles, mainly in the FE and Skills sector. He is married to Tracy with three grown-up children and lives in Lincoln.

Angela Moran (Vice Chair)

Angela was born in Hull and graduated from Edinburgh University before working for RHM Agriculture as a nutritionist for four years. In 1984 she joined Page Feeds in Tadcaster, near York and has never changed company since but been demerged, merged and sold several times before finally becoming part of AB Agri in 2001. Angela has done a variety of roles including marketing, purchasing, supply chain management, transport, commercial account management, nutrition, quality assurance, food safety and business development. She was recently Director of Feed Safety and moved to a new role as Responsibility Director in July 2021.

Externally, Angela is involved with the Agricultural Industry Confederation and the European Feed Manufacturer’s Federation, the FEFAC Feed Safety Committee.

Angela lives with her husband and son on a small grassland farm in North Yorkshire. She enjoys riding her horse, seeing her extended family, doing as much amateur theatre as time allows and being part of that rural community.

Susan Hamer
Susan Hamer Governor

Susan’s varied career is in the fields of higher education, health services management and leadership. Susan has a clinical background in nursing and moved into education at the University of Hull. Following a period working in The National Health Service, Susan returned to higher education at the University of Leeds where she worked for over 25 years, during that time Susan held a number of senior roles which have given her deep experience of designing and leading large transformational programmes in the public sector. Susan has also worked in the field of knowledge transfer and enterprise, directly supporting academic colleagues to enhance the impact of their activities. Susan is increasingly interested in accelerating the use of digital technologies to enhance access and empower individuals and communities. Susan has led a number of initiatives to support agile high-quality workplace learning in diverse locations.

Susan’s first degree is in nursing, she has a master’s in Women’s Studies and a doctorate in Post Compulsory Education. Susan is a regular writer and the author of “Achieving Evidence-Based Practice” and “Leadership and Management: A Three-Dimensional Approach”. She was awarded the University of Leeds Women of Achievement Award in March 2016 and the IACRN Distinguished Clinical Research Nurse Award 2018. Susan has been a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute since 2004.

Susan is married to Ian and lives in Beverley. They have two children Callum and Holly. Susan has a keen interest in keeping fit and leads a weekly women’s walking group in Beverley.

Jim Harris
Jim Harris Governor

Jim went to school in Brigg and from there to university in Nottingham on a British Steel sponsorship to study Applied Chemistry.

In a life-changing moment on graduation he decided that working in a people environment rather than in heavy industry was the way forward. There followed a successful career in retail and facilities management.

This included five years in the early noughties running his own security and cleaning business and then coming to Hull in 2009 to take over the newly-completed St Stephens shopping centre. A visionary employer allowed Jim to complete his master’s degree in Facilities Management and also to become involved with the local community. He is now the director of Hull Business Improvement District and the Hull and Humber Chamber of Trade as well as being a Trustee at Dove House Hospice.

Prior to joining the board at Bishop Burton, Jim was a governor at East Riding College.

Jim lives just outside Beverley with a big enough garage to indulge his passion for classic cars and access to lots of great golf courses.

John Hurst
John Hurst Governor

John was brought up at Bishop Burton where his father became the first Vice-Principal of the college when it opened in 1954, becoming Principal in 1964 and remained in the post until his death in 1985. John graduated from Walford College in 1976, following two years in farm management in Shropshire. He then spent the following three and a half years working as a fieldsman for Birdseye in North Lincolnshire before returning to farm management. For the last 30 years, until his retirement in July 2018, John worked in corporate farming, responsible for the management of 26,000 acres on five estates across the country. He was also responsible for the company’s Management Trainees and Apprenticeship training schemes. Following his retirement from corporate farming, he was appointed chairman of “The Green Pea Company”, which he held until February 2023.

John attended the 40th Worshipful Company of Farmers - Advanced Farm Management Course in 1990 and he still meets up annually with his fellow colleagues. He is a member of the Oolitics farmer discussion group whose 14 members meet monthly. John is married to Gill (who graduated from Bishop Burton College), they have two children David and Emma. John lives at Saxby all Saints on the South Bank and is a keen cyclist and walker.  

Adam Milner

Adam was born and raised in East Yorkshire, where he spent the first 10 years of his career working in the property sector. Following a change of direction in 2012, Adam pursued his lifelong interest in farming and the countryside by becoming a student at Bishop Burton College, where he studied for a degree in Agricultural Resource Management. Graduating in 2015, he then went on to Harper Adams to undertake an MSc in Rural Estate and Land Management. Adam now combines the knowledge he has gained over two very different careers in his role with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, where he manages the council farm estate.

Not coming from an agricultural background, Adam is particularly interested in encouraging new entrants into the farming sector. He is also a big proponent of sustainable agriculture and of better public engagement.

Adam lives in Kirkella with his daughter, two dogs and an array of chickens. He is actively involved in field sports during the winter months and enjoys spending any remaining free time gardening and walking. He will happily tell you that his years as a Bishop Burton student were some of his best!

Emma Milson
Emma Milson Governor

Emma grew up in the East Riding of Yorkshire, attending schools in the county and then university in Manchester and Rochester, New York, leaving with a first degree in Hospitality Management and a PGCE in Secondary Food.

Her primary career has been in teaching, firstly in Goole and then spending ten years in a variety of roles at Longcroft School in Beverley (where she also acted as a Governor) before teaching in adult education.

Since leaving teaching Emma has worked as Catering and Visitor Services Officer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust based at Spurn National Nature Reserve and specialising in rural tourism and locally produced food; was Regional Development Manager at FareShare Hull and Humber; and was County Organiser for the East Riding Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. She also studied at Bishop Burton herself and achieved a floristry qualification.

Emma is currently a Rural Development Officer for East Riding of Yorkshire Council. In her spare time, she is an Education Mentor for the Prince’s Trust; volunteers with Ladies in Pigs, a national organisation that promotes British Food and Farming and is a qualified National Federation of Women’s Institutes Cookery Judge.

She lives in Beverley with her two teenage sons and Springer Spaniel Lola.

Sheine Peart

Sheine was born in Reading Berkshire and has studied at Universities in London, Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham gaining a bachelor's degree in biology, and a master's degree and doctorate in education.

She began her career in education in 1986 working first in secondary schools, followed by a period in advisory and youth and community work and then spent 15 years as a manager in further education. While in FE she also taught numeracy to learners on a wide variety of vocational programmes and managed the College's teacher education programmes. She transferred to higher education in 2006 and through her external examiner work with a range of universities has developed a deep appreciation of quality assurance and strategies to enhance programmes.

Sheine has a deep commitment to justice and equality, and has led a number of projects designed to enhance and broaden student experience. This understanding of justice was strengthened through serving as a Justice of the Peace for 30 years. In her current role at Bishop Grosseteste University she is Associate Professor for Access, Equality and Inclusion and the Programme Leader for the Education Doctorates. Sheine lives in Nottingham with her husband and has an adult son.

Peter Phythian

Peter was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire and student Agricultural science and business studies.

He has spent his career running his farm, in conjunction with roles such as British Charolais Cattle Society Chief Executive Officer, Eurofins PLC and the Meat and Livestock Commercial Services Limited (MLCSL) Chief Executive Officer. All the roles have involved working within the business and agricultural sector.

Peter is very passionate about the beef sector and spends his summer at shows, looking at and judging beef cattle. He lives in the East Riding on his commercial fishery and lodge accommodation and has two adult children, one living in Leicester and the other in Cardiff.

Martyn Thomas
Martyn Thomas Governor

Martyn was born and brought up in Sheffield. He studied Economic and Social History at the London School of Economics and Political Science and enjoyed eleven years in London, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross and Co.

On moving to Beverley, Martyn worked for Kingston Communications in various roles for eleven years before moving to TSYS International based in York, where he is currently Director, Finance & Accounting.

Martyn has two children, both working in the UK, and two step-children, one at Imperial College, London and one at sixth form college. He moved to Brighton in 2020 and is based in the TSYS London office. He is trying to keep fit, is a dedicated supporter of Sheffield United, and sometime trumpet player.

Graham Towse
Graham Towse Governor

Graham has substantial experience in Further and Higher Education spanning almost 30 years. He started studying at Hull College as an apprentice Engineer in 1985 and enjoyed 11 years in industry. In 1996 he took up the post of Lecturer in Computer Aided Design and Manufacture at Hull College prior to being promoted to the position of Head of School of Engineering and subsequently Director of Learning for Young People. Graham moved to Bishop Burton College in 2006 as Deputy Principal and then to The Grimsby Institute Group in 2010 as Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Principal. In 2013 he took up the post of Principal of Hull College, part of the Hull College Group.

In 2017 Graham set up his own Management Consultancy specialising in quality improvement and development of management talent. He has worked with a number of Colleges across the Country, as well as the Association of Colleges as a Peer Advisor. In 2018 he took up the role of Interim Vice Principal (Curriculum and Quality) and subsequently Interim Principal and Chief Executive at Blackburn College. Since 2019 he has worked as a Coach and Mentor to around fifty leaders and managers in Further and Higher Education.

Graham is married to Sharon and has two daughters, two grandsons and a granddaughter on the way.

Ian Watson Governor
Ian Watson

Ian was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, following local education he left school at 16 and attended Norcat in Kings Lynn on the YTS programme and then attended Easton College on a part time basis, where he gained an NCA whilst working for Booker Farming near Kings Lynn. His educational history makes Ian a firm believer in work place education.

Ian moved to Louth in 1994 to work on another Booker Farming, Louth Park Farms. Ian has held various roles at Louth Park and in 2008 he became overall manager of both the arable and pea operations. Since 2008 he has remained at Louth, but the business has seen various corporate owners, in 2018 the business transferred to private family ownership.

Ian has been Chair of Governors at a primary academy in Louth for over 15 years, a role he has recently stood down from. He has attended both The John Edgar Trust course and The Worshipful Company of Farmers 62nd Advanced Agricultural Business Management course, and he is also the current President of Louth Young Farmers.

Ian is married to Kathryn, a Community Nurse Practitioner, and they have two sons, one of whom is an ex-Bishop Burton student.

Co-opted External Members

Clare Walters – Audit Committee 

Clare was born in Dunbartonshire, Scotland and moved to North East Lincolnshire as a teenager. She graduated in 2001 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Middlesex University. Clare spent a decade working for Centrica Plc, the owners of British Gas, where she was responsible for implementing the operational risk framework, assurance and insurance programmes across its Power Business Unit and then the offshore gas production field. In 2020 Clare left the private sector and joined Ebor Academy Trust, a York based primary focused multi-academy Trust, as director of Risk, Governance and Compliance.

Clare lives in Market Weighton, with her partner and two sons. She’s a keen rider, competing member of British Dressage and enjoys RoR and veteran showing.

David Richardson- Finance & Resources Committee 

David was born in East Yorkshire into a farming family, he studied law at the University of Hull and qualified in 2011. After University, David worked for three commercial Law firms in Leeds before returning home to East Yorkshire to take up a position with Wilkin Chapman LLP Solicitors in Beverley where he specialises in Commercial and Agricultural disputes and litigation.

David has a real passion and interest for farming and the "rural life". So much so that he chose specialised as a solicitor in that area. David's family has close links to Bishop Burton College, with three generations of his family having attended the College.

David lives in Welton, Brough with his wife and two young children. When David is not stuck in a soft play centre somewhere, David enjoys getting outdoors as much as possible and enjoying the Yorkshire countryside.

Staff Members

Rebecca Brassington
Rebecca Brassington Staff Governor

Rebecca graduated from Lincoln University in 2005 with a BSc (Hons) Equine Science before qualifying as a McTimoney Corley animal therapist. Rebecca has a background of working as an equine therapy practitioner, as well as a shift manager in a Microbiological testing laboratory, before joining the lecturing team at Bishop Burton College.

During her teaching career Rebecca has developed the BSc (Hons) Equine Therapy and Rehabilitation programme, lead the validation of the suite of equine degree titles and is currently HE Academic Lead for Equine and also interim for Sport, holding Senior Fellowship with Advance HE.

She has published work in equine hydrotherapy and presented research on hydrotherapy and equine behaviour at UK and International conferences. Rebecca continues to research water treadmill exercise, in collaboration with researchers at Nottingham Trent University, and supports students with presentation and publication of their research. Rebecca owns an ex-racehorse and enjoys walking with her husband and border terrier.

Sharon Kirby
Sharon Kirby Staff Governor

Sharon is a member of the Higher Education Faculty leading up the Land-Based department. A farmer’s daughter from Yorkshire, but now residing in Lincolnshire, Sharon has worked for the college for over 25 years and has recently been in receipt of a long service award.

Sharon began her teaching journey at Caythorpe Court Campus, when it was part of the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture, and then helped oversee the transition of the curriculum and resources when they moved to the Riseholme Campus in 2002. Sharon has a real interest in getting young people into agriculture from a non-traditional route. Sharon sits on the Lincolnshire branch of the institute of Agricultural Managers. Away from work she can be seen walking her two terriers, riding or volunteering at a variety of local and national events.

Student Governor

Max Robson

Max Robson has been a student at Bishop Burton since 2021, firstly completing a Level 3 in art and design and continuing to progress onto Level 3 Policing in 2023.

During his time at the college, Max has been actively involved in the student association, being Student Vice President 2 years in a row, also taking on the role of LGBT officer and helping to raise awareness and improving education about the topic across the college.

Max grew up in Driffield but thinks of Bishop as his second home. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with friends, creating art and travelling.

Antoni Simpson

College Principal

Bill Meredith
Bill Meredith Staff Principal

Bill has spent most of his career in Further Education (FE) and was appointed CEO and Principal of Bishop Burton College in 2018. Bill was born in Lincolnshire and studied Agriculture and Crop Protection at Harper Adams. He has spent most of his career in specialist land-based education, primarily with Bishop Burton College.

Bill is the current Chair of the Humber Principals’ Group and represents the group on the Local Enterprise Council’s Employment and Skills Board. He is also a national director of Landex – a consortium of colleges which was formed to promote excellence in teaching and learning within the land-based sector.

In 2012 Bishop Burton College acquired Riseholme College near Lincoln and, shortly after, Bill was heavily involved in the establishment of an entirely new specialist land-based campus on the Lincolnshire Agricultural Showground. The distinct identity of Riseholme College has been maintained whilst the range of provision has been extended to include general FE and Higher Education.

In 2019 Bishop Burton College was successful in its application to become part of two new regional Institutes of Technology: the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology and the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology. Bill is a director of both of these institutions which have a remit to work with employers to deliver higher level technical skills training.

Bill is passionate about sustainable farming and skills development. He has three adult children and lives in Ellerker, East Yorkshire.

Become a Governor

Are you committed to improving standards in education and willing to act as an ambassador of excellence, for the College, within a local and regional setting? Contact to express your interest.

External Governance Review

As detailed in the DfE’s External Governance Reviews: Guide for FE College Corporations and Designated Institutions, it is a requirement that all Further Education Corporations undertake an External Governance Review every 3 years.

The Corporation commissioned an AoC facilitated External Board Review to be undertaken in the Spring Term of the 2022/2023 Academic Year.

In accordance with the guidance noted above the details will be included, as appropriate, in the Annual Report and Financial Statements of the College.

Mindful always of its purpose, respect and responsibility to the stakeholders and the communities it serves, the Corporation welcomed and embraced the External Board Review which provided an opportunity to celebrate, reflect, discuss and enrich the governance sitting at the heart of the College

The Corporation will now seek to embed its recommendations whilst continuing to deliver excellence in practice as evidenced by the College’s two most recent OFSTED Inspections; an Outstanding in residential accommodation and a Good for its overall effectiveness with two Outstanding judgements

Such success, continual evolvement and enrichment, alongside the dedication of all those associated with the College, is an absolute testament to us being, and remaining, the College of first class, first choice technical education

Policies and Key Documents

Check out our policies and reports page for access to a range of useful documents, including minutes from our governance meetings.

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