Directors Information

Nicola Barcroft

Director
Chair of Governing Committee, Employer Relations and Community

My name is Nicola Barcroft. I have been the Chair of Directors for Valley College since January. My day to day employment is landlady of The Station Hotel in Helmshore. I am a local business person with an invested interested in developing opportunities for young adults with SEND in their community. I believe that all young adults should have the opportunity to gain employment or voluntary work within their community and lead successful futures within society. Learners from Valley College gain work experience opportunities within the pub and I want to develop this further by supporting college in developing supported internships.

Julie Hayton

Director
Vice Chair of Governing Committee, Advocate/ Parent and Governance

My name is Julie Hayton and I am currently employed as an English teacher at an 11-18 comprehensive school in Oldham. I have a teaching career that spans 28 years and feel that I understand the challenges faced by teaching and support staff. My son is diagnosed with ASD. He attended Broadfield School until he was 16 before moving to Tor View. He currently attends Valley College, where he is making excellent progress. I have been a Governor at Helmshore Primary School since 2001 and Chair of Governors for the past sixteen years. During this time I have witnessed many changes in education both in terms of the curriculum and inspection. I have taken on the roles of Literacy and Safeguarding governor and have met with Ofsted Inspectors on three occasions representing the Governing Body. I deal with any parental complaints that may arise, meet regularly with the Headteacher and other members of staff. I hope that my experience will contribute to the Governing Body team and I look forward to working with you over my term of office.

Sarah Walton

Director
Education and Safeguarding

I have worked within Further Education for the last 14 years. My roles have included learning support assistant, teacher, team leader, Deputy Head and Head of Division. I have led the Foundations Curriculum in a college that provides curriculum form entry level to level 1, and also a discrete curriculum area that provides a curriculum for learners to support them to their next steps of academic study or provide them with a bridge to employment via a supported internship. I have worked closely with Tor View School for the past 8 years, developing a college link programme that supports learners to have a strong transition to a college environment. I have managed the learning support department for the past 7 years and I have led both strategically and operationally on the provision for learners with high needs across the college. As part of a newly merged college i have brought together three entirely separate learning support departments to provide a consistent support service for learners of any age and any type of provision to ensure that they have a personalised package of support to help them achieve their aspirations

James Findlay Pidcock

Director
SEN and Governance

I have been a Governor for approximately 5 years in a variety of settings, including; a Pupil Referral Unit as a Co-Opted Governor, Vice-Chair of a mainstream Primary School as a Trust Governor and most recently as a Director of Valley College, an independent provider of specialist adult learning. As a qualified teacher, I have worked across a range of settings, including; Primary, Secondary, Pupil Referral Unit and, latterly, an outstanding Generic Learning Difficulty Special School. I have been a school leader for over 5 years, holding a variety of Senior Leadership responsibilities including; Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Pupil Premium, Safeguarding, Teaching and Learning, Behaviour and Curriculum. I am a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) and a Primary Maths Specialist Teacher (MaST). I have completed the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership and I am a National Pupil Premium Reviewer. Recently, I became a Whole School SEND (nasen) SEND Reviewer, to support schools in their SEND provision. With a colleague, I have co-authored and delivered a new training package for SENCOs through nasen to improve High Quality Teaching and Learning strategies for learners with SEND. I am currently the link Director for SEND and I believe whole heartedly that every learner, especially the most vulnerable, deserves a champion

Mary O'Keefe

Director
Training and Development

I have lived in Haslingden for 27 years. I grew up in Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland and moved to Lancashire to train to be a nurse for people with learning difficulties in my late teens. I have spent many years supporting adults and young people with learning disabilities in formal settings, their own homes and in the community. I am married and have 3 almost grown up children. When my children were small I changed career and retrained to work in education. I am now a specialist tutor for Specific Learning Difficulties and am part of the Learning Support team at Accrington and Rossendale College. I have a wide range of experience which I hope will benefit the students at Valley college as they prepare for adulthood and employment. In my spare time I enjoy reading and music, especially live music and live comedy.

Directors Information