Meet our Board of Trustees
Dame Pam Coward DBE
Pam Coward is a retired Headteacher (August 2004) who also worked as a leadership and management consultant. Her national profile has included a Directorship of the National Council of the Specialist Schools Trust, membership of the reference group of headteachers, supporting the work of the Director General of Schools at the DCSF and leading work as part of a national project to raise boys’ achievement with Cambridge University. She was awarded a DBE in the Birthday Honours List 2003 for services to education. In her spare time, she enjoys the theatre and being with and entertaining her 2 grandchildren who live in the UK, with a further granddaughter living in Australia.
Julian Appleyard OBE
CEO and Executive Principal
Julian is the Founding Principal of Rochdale Sixth Form College and a National Leader in Education (NLE). He joined the college from New College, Pontefract where he was Deputy Principal. Julian started his career as Business Studies and Economics teacher, and has worked in two 11-18 comprehensive schools, one as Deputy Head teacher. He worked for a number of years at Greenhead College, a sixth form college in Huddersfield. His time there was spent as part of the unique pastoral system that became centre of national interest. Having been headhunted to work with ALPs (advanced level performance systems) as Director of Education, Julian worked with school sixth forms and sixth form colleges throughout England in delivering senior and whole staff training on quality improvement using the ALPs processes and his personal experience of raising achievement in post 16 institutions. He has delivered Key Note speeches and addresses at a number of post 16 national conferences in the UK. Julian was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016 for services to education.
Julian is a keen rugby league and football fan, following Castleford Tigers and Leeds United – he enjoys following both, when his two children allow. He is also a huge music fan, but probably has different tastes to his students – he is not sure how many of them have heard of Paul Weller who sadly he has seen over a hundred times.
Richard was a school improvement officer for Rochdale LA. He held the full time post of senior school improvement manager for the LA where his major responsibilities were to ensure that schools causing concern to the LA and those in OFSTED categories improved rapidly. He regularly worked in primary and secondary schools including those with sixth forms.
Richard has also been a registered OFSTED inspector and led many inspections of primary and secondary schools. He has been a registered trainer of OFSTED inspectors.
In his spare time Richard enjoys playing golf, reading and attending the theatre.
Stephen is a born and bred Rochdalian. Until he retired he was a consultant town planner: having previously been Rochdale Council’s Director of Town Planning and Development Services. He is a volunteer at Springhill Hospice. His particular interests relate to the future development and maintenance of the college campus and buildings. Stephen’s other interests include skiing, rugby (both league and union) and travelling.
Jock recently retired from Manchester City Council where he was the Strategic Lead Commissioner for Children and Mental Health services. He is currently supporting local authorities in looking at innovative ways of funding preventative approaches to achieving a social impact for vulnerable citizens. He has a background in post 16 funding which has proved very useful in his role as a Governor at Rochdale Sixth Form College. Jock has lived in Rochdale for well over 30 years and has a deep commitment to ensuring that young people in the Borough have the best possible options to support their progress towards higher education and employment. He uses his spare time to visit his children and grandchildren, to garden with his wife and to ride his bike around the beautiful moorland landscape which sits so close to the town.
Kitsa is a practising Solicitor and has been a partner in a large legal firm in Rochdale since 1985. She specialises in property work. For many years Kitsa was a Non-Executive Director of two National Health Trusts, and she is now a Trustee of Springhill Hospice and on the steering committee for the town’s annual Business Awards. She lives locally and enjoys working with people with other backgrounds and experiences to her own. In her spare time Kitsa enjoys travelling (anywhere), skiing (badly), live music of any kind (except jazz), and a good night out.
Rodger is a Chartered Accountant, a former Partner in Ernst & Young, Finance Director of a nationwide furniture retailer and Head of Special Projects at Manchester Central Convention Complex (a role encompassing finance, information systems and commercial development.
Now retired he works in voluntary roles within the charity sector.
He is a keen music follower with tastes that embrace most popular music genres. An active supporter of Manchester United and Rochdale he enjoys all sports although participation is now restricted to the gym and walking. Travel, food and MG sports cars complete his range of interests.
Until 2012, Jo was Director of the Aimhigher initiative in Greater Manchester, leading a large partnership of schools, colleges and universities to raise the aspirations of young people with no higher education heritage to go to university. Aimhigher delivered university summer schools and campus visits for school pupils and a wide range of support and activities in schools and colleges.
Jo lives in Rochdale and has three daughters who all attended local schools. She believes in the transformative power of education and the right of all to achieve their potential.
In her spare time, she likes to dig the allotment, walk and learn Italian in preparation for a trip to the cities and hills of Italy.
Susan has worked at a local primary school in Rochdale for 15 years as a Teaching Assistant and has lived and worked in Rochdale for most of her life. She is a keen gardener, likes walking, camping and enjoys listening to live music and socialising with friends.
Susan had a son and daughter attend Rochdale Sixth Form College and has been very impressed with the college and its commitment to the students. Her son is a student at the University of Leeds and her daughter is at the University of Hull.
Susan believes Rochdale Sixth Form College, being ranked the best performing college in the country, will continue to have a big impact on the town as our young people no longer have to go out of town for quality post 16 education. Julian, and all the staff’s, dedication and enthusiasm drives the students to success and the results speak for themselves!
Rupert is a former Special Adviser to HRH The Duke of York, KG, and Project Lead for The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. He is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has broad research interests in physics, computing, technology enhanced learning (especially international higher education development), quality enhancement and the student experience. He is also an avid learner and is currently completing his seventh postgraduate qualification across a range of disciplines. When he’s not deep in thought he likes travelling, photography and supporting his local football team in Old Trafford.