Rachael Weir – Clerk to the Governors

Rachael joined the college in Sept 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 is a former student at Winstanley and went on to achieve a First Class degree in law and then on to train and qualify as a solicitor at a global law firm. James is a commercial lawyer working with Brabners LLP specialising in commercial contracts, intellectual property, privacy and sports law. 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.


Alison Mullan

Alison has over 20 years’ experience working in higher education across a range of universities in the North West and is currently Head of Academic Standards and Quality at Lancaster University. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with sixth form and further education colleges in a variety of capacities including for recruitment and admissions, and for the validation of higher education provision offered within further education settings.

Outside of work, Alison has held a number of voluntary roles, including spending 10 years as a volunteer with her local Youth Offending Team.

Alison is passionate about the transformative nature of education and is committed to supporting young people from all backgrounds to reach their full potential.


Elizabeth Collins

Liz is Finance Director at First Transpennine Express, part of the global transport
operator FirstGroup, which includes FirstBus and FirstRail in the UK. The only female
Finance Director within FirstRail, Liz is responsible for the strategic financial direction of TPE
and is also Deputy Managing Director.
Liz joined FirstGroup Plc’s Rail Division in 1997 and undertook many finance roles before
being promoted to Finance Director in 2005, following mobilisation of the new Transpennine
franchise and establishing the finance team.
Liz’s key achievements include FTPE winning a British Quality Foundation Award in 2014,
the first rail company to do so, and stepping in as Interim Managing Director in 2015. Liz was
also recognised the Northern Power Women Power list as one of the top 100 influential
women in the North of England and is also a member of the Board of Governors of
Winstanley College in Wigan.


Dean Hilton, Support Staff Governor

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 undergraduate and postgraduate level Dean pursued a career in education beginning 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 job opportunity. Through his role in guidance, he has seen first-hand how pastoral support can benefit students academically and support their growth into becoming well rounded and personable individuals.



Mark Hanrahan, BEng(Hons), CEng, FIMechE, CQP, MCQI

Vice Chair, Chair of Finance & Resources and Search

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


Michael Oates CA

Michael is a former student.  He studied British Politics and Legislative Studies (BPLS) at the University of Hull and 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.

Michael is a Chartered Accountant working in practice as an Audit Manager.  He is qualified and has been admitted to membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He spends his time primarily working with corporate and education clients and acts as one of his firm’s ‘audit quality champions’. Michael brings his experience and expertise to the College’s Audit committee, acting in a personal capacity.

Michael lives in the Borough and enjoys travelling, cycling and the outdoors.


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 teaching career teaching English to refugees in Sudan and has almost 30 years’ 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.


Antony Kearns CDir FIoD

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 and lives locally. His passionate about business and improving the life chances for young people in the borough.

Nayyar Naqvi OBE

Consultant Cardiologist

Nayyar graduated in medicine in 1968. He was trained in cardiology at Manchester and St Thomas Hospital, London. He 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. In 2010 Wigan Council awarded him the Wigan Life Award for services to the public, and in 2013 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

Nayyar Naqvi

Margaret McKenzie – Chair of Audit

Margaret is a former pupil of both Upholland Grammar School and Winstanley College as Margaret 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 Chair of Audit and the designated safeguarding governor Margaret is keen to keep a close eye on the things that ensure the college continues along its successful path.

Margaret McKenzie

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.

Kevan Ryan