Mark Roper

Chair of the Corporation  

Member of Search & Governance Committee / Finance & Resources Committee / Senior Post Holder Employment & Remuneration Committee

Mark’s connection with Leeds College of Building dates back to 1980 when he first attended the college to study ONC Civil Engineering. More recently, Mark has been a Governor at the college since 2015.

Mark has a particular interest in the Higher Education Faculty and currently chairs the Degree Apprenticeship Employer Advisory Board on behalf of the college. He is a successful civil engineer with over 40 years of experience and is currently working with a civil engineering contractor based in Leeds. Mark is also involved with a community interest company called Give Construction a Try, a business that promotes construction as a career to hard-to-reach students in areas of deprivation. 

Nikki Davis

Principal & CEO

Member of Finance & Resources Committee/ Search & Governance Committee/ Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Nikki's first role in further education management was as Course Leader for Business and Economics at Calderdale College, before moving back to Park Lane College as Curriculum Manager for Business and Enterprise.

A role at Kirklees College as Head of Department came next, managing various departments from Hospitality to Business Development. Nikki then joined York College as Assistant Principal leading the apprenticeship programme before being promoted to Vice Principal for Technical and Professional programmes, which included leading the successful bid for the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology.

Nikki commenced at Leeds College of Building in May 2019 as Vice Principal – Teaching, Learning & Quality. In August 2022 she became the first woman to hold the post of Principal in the College’s 60-year history. Nikki is delighted to build on the College’s previous successes and first rate tradition of delivering exceptional training to leaners across the UK.

Sandra Burnhill - Board of Governors

Sandra Burnhill


Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Sandra’s first role in further education was as a lecturer at the former Dewsbury College in Sport and Public Service in 1989 having worked as both a police officer and freelance aerobics instructor. She was promoted to Head of Department and was then appointed to Director of Curriculum at Kirklees College. She was subsequently appointed to Assistant Principal with strategic responsibility for Apprenticeships and Adult provision at the college.

Sandra was appointed to the role of Vice Principal at Askham Bryan college in 2016 where she was strategically responsible for Quality, Students and Apprenticeship provision. She also sat on the board of Land Based Assessment Ltd a company set up for apprenticeship provision in the land-based sector.

Sandra is passionate about skills-based learning and particularly apprenticeship provision. She is an advocate for students receiving high quality teaching and learning.

James Dunford


Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

James has worked as a Teacher of English since 2006. Starting at Carr Manor Community School as an NQT, he began managing the English team in 2011. Over time, he progressed to the Senior Leadership Team, where his responsibilities have included the school’s results, destinations work – including careers guidance and pathways work – and, more recently, attendance. In all of these roles, he has tried to work in an inclusive manner, using a high challenge and high support ethos to get the best out of those around him.

His areas of knowledge and interest include careers and destinations work. Having focused on outcomes for pupils for a significant period of time, he has begun to understand how important a clear pathway is to the engagement of pupils. This includes their pathway after college – post-18 – where the work of those of us in education starts to really impact on society.

He is passionate about improving life chances and creating opportunity for all – especially those who may have face greater challenges than others. He is extremely interested in how young people can progress through education, through colleges, into purposeful and fulfilling careers that enhance society and allow them to be the best that they can be.

Wasim Feroze


Chair of Search & Governance Committee

Member of Senior Post Holder Employment and Remuneration Committee

Wasim joined Leeds City Council in 2014 as part of the council’s graduate programme. Since then, he has held a diverse range of roles, including leading the Policy Team in the Chief Executive’s Office. Currently, Wasim works as part of the Leeds Health Partnerships Team as a Strategy and Partnership Development Manager, supporting the city’s strategic ambition in tackling health inequalities. Wasim is very passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion.

He is currently an active member of a regional Race Equality Network working with a diverse range of partners in West Yorkshire, including in the NHS and third sector. He has also led a local authority Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network which played a leading role in the development of a Race Equality Action Plan, which aims to further improve the experiences of ethnic minority staff across the council. Wasim is looking forward to supporting the College as a Governor, in making further progress to become a truly inclusive organisation that reflects the diverse communities across Leeds and beyond. He is currently an active member of a regional Race Equality Network working with a diverse range of partners in West Yorkshire, including in the NHS and third sector. He has also led a local authority Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network which played a leading role in the development of a Race Equality Action Plan, which aims to further improve the experiences of ethnic minority staff across the council. Wasim is looking forward to supporting the College as a Governor, in making further progress to become a truly inclusive organisation that reflects the diverse communities across Leeds and beyond. 

Debbie Forsythe-Conroy


Chair of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Debra has over 20 years of FES inspection experience and is a former HE QAA Reviewer. Debra is also an OFQUAL national external expert working directly with awarding bodies and providers. Debra is a member of a number of governing bodies and was recently appointed Non-Executive Director (NED) for a large national training provider. A former College Principal, Debra has established her own consultancy business. 

She has written national qualification standards up to and including HNC/HNDs. She has worked extensively on curriculum developments, including in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Athens and Cyprus. Debra has also worked over 32 years for Huddersfield University as the subject specialist lead on the Cert Ed/ PGCE programmes. Debra feels that her experience will complement and support the vision of Leeds College of Building and the work of the governing body. 

Rachel Lindley


Member of Audit & Risk Committee/ Finance & Resources Committee

In 1989 Rachel joined the Audit Commission as a Trainee External Auditor. In 1994 she became a Chartered Public Finance Accountant. In 2021 she was appointed as a Senior Manager for KPMG. In 2014 she transferred to Yorkshire Water and in 2017 progressed to becoming the Head of Risk and Audit. She serves as a governor to use her skills to support an organisation that makes a real difference in the lives of young people in the city and beyond. She believes it is an investment in the future. 

Caroline Meehan


Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Caroline Meehan is the Northern Regional Director at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Since joining the FMB in February 2018, Caroline has introduced several key strategies to increase member engagement throughout the North and the rest of the UK. She sits on several committees and boards, such as Leeds College of Building, Construction Alliance North East and Working Well Together. Caroline has worked in Australia where she founded a not-for-profit charity, Heartfelt Homes. 

Heartfelt Homes provides an essential accommodation service to regional and rural families across Australia who have a critically ill or injured loved one admitted to a city hospital far from home. Caroline has won several awards for her work and was nominated for the Pride of Australia medal. She serves as a governor due to her passion for the construction industry and to support the success of apprenticeships. It allows her to support the drive for improved standards in teaching and learning by ensuring good control systems and challenging areas for improvement. 

Julie Tolley


Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Julie lives in Leeds and has worked for over 30 years in the HE and FE sectors. She was a Vice Principal at Wakefield College before working for over 10 years as a Management Consultant with Colleges and Universities across the UK. She brings a range of skills and experience to her role with LCB having developed business cases (SOCs/OBCs and FBCs) to inform estates planning, capital build projects and new partnership options; supported organisations to explore options for new operating models including merger; used LEAN analysis to improve internal processes and procedures and identify more efficient ways of working; and led on communications and stakeholder management on large projects.

Following a role as an Adviser to the FE Commissioner, Julie qualified as a Senior Practitioner (EMCC) Executive Business and Leadership Coach in 2018 and now offers coaching and mentoring for effective leadership and improved performance to senior executives, their management teams and Boards of Trustees/Directors with a particular focus on the education sector. She is involved as mentor and coach on several national projects in the FE sector including Strategic Innovation for Skills for senior FE leaders and Leading from the Middle for middle managers.

Julie is particularly interested in engaging with students and ensuring their views are sought and heard in order for the College to be relevant, successful and outstanding.

Peter Norris


Member of Audit and Risk Committee/ Chair of Finance & Resources Committee

Peter graduated in Economics and Public Policy in 1978 from the University of Leeds. He has spent his working life in Financial Services with Yorkshire Bank (now Virgin Money) and Skipton Building Society. He has led many large teams and developed expertise in Retail and Commercial finance, Risk Management and Operational Excellence. 

He is now retired and is passionate about the role of Further and Higher Education in provisioning opportunities for students from all walks of life.

Mick Norton

Staff Governor

Member of Finance & Resources Committee/ Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Mick is the IT & Learning Resources Manager at the College. He is also a qualified teacher. He was appointed as a Staff Governor following an election amongst Business Support Staff in September 2022. He wants to promote positive change throughout the College, to ensure staff feel that they have an approachable voice, and to use his background in IT to come up with efficient solutions to discussions.

As a member of the IT Team, he believes he gets a wide view of different departments / opinions / issues which he feels would be beneficial as a Staff Governor. He prides himself on being able to find a solution to problems raised, using data to back up decisions, and using reflective practice to ensure that decisions made are the correct ones. As a Staff Governor he wants to ensure that the work that IT does is fed into governors’ decisions, enabling planning to match the needs and demands of Leeds College of Building.

Sarah Gibson


Associate Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Sarah joined the Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee as a co-opted member in 2023

She’s currently the interim Assistant Director of Communications for the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. She’s a former international journalist and senior leader with BBC News, where she ran several large editorial and operational departments, led change and transformation, and oversaw editorial and production standards, compliance, risk and financial accountability. She set up innovative and influential EDI initiatives, and was global president of the Worldwide Association of Women Journalists and Writers.

Sarah spent six years as a Council member for the University of Kent during which time she established and chaired the Ethics Committee. She continues to sit on the University’s EDI strategy committee.

Sarah has also held senior leadership roles in the private sector, worked as a journalist in Australia and Russia, and worked as a strategy and EDI consultant. She has worked in media literacy and mentors regularly, with a particular interest in widening participation.

Now resident in Sheffield, Sarah has just qualified as a teacher of French, Russian and German. She also teaches journalism in the HE sector, and is an external examiner for City, University of London’s MA International Journalism.

Dave Russell


Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Student Experience and Resources at Leeds Arts University, Professor Russell has over 30 years of experience in the Higher Education and Further Education sectors. A contributor to the National Arts Learning Network (NALN) and former member of the University of the Arts, London Awarding Body Advisory Group, he is currently a board member for Go Higher West Yorkshire and Yorkshire Universities representative on the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s Culture, Arts and Creative Industries Committee.

He has been part of the senior management team at Leeds Arts University since 1999. During this time he has had various strategic responsibilities including academic standards, quality assurance, widening participation, teaching and learning, as well as resources and central services. An MBA graduate of the University of Leeds, he was awarded the title of Professor in 2017. He is a passionate believer in the contribution that specialist institutions bring to the education sector, where all their resources, from teaching and support through to management and governance are focused on serving the needs of a specific industry. 

Matthew Shields


Chair of Audit & Risk Committee/ Member of Finance & Resource Committee

Matthew is a Chartered Accountant and currently a Finance Director of M Group Services Plant and Fleet Solutions Ltd based in Castleford. He has spent most of his career in utilities and his current company supports a group maintaining water, energy, telecoms and transport infrastructure all over the UK. He wants to support the college, its unique facilities and its dedicated team to develop students’ construction and built environment skills.

Sarah Wilson


Member of Audit & Risk Committee/ Finance & Resources Committee

Sarah is a Solicitor and Partner at Bevan Brittan LLP, a national commercial law firm. She works as a construction lawyer specialising in negotiating construction and other related contracts. She also resolves construction disputes by negotiation or court and other proceedings. She has an in-depth knowledge of the construction industry, the challenges involved and the law relating to it. She is keen to promote construction as a career.

Clare Harrigan

Associate Governor

Member of Search and Governance Committee / Senior Post Holder Employment and Remuneration Committee

Clare joined the board originally in 2010 and was a board member including vice chair and chair until stepping down in 2015. In 2018 Clare joined the Search and Governance committee as a co-opted member and now chairs the committee.

Clare has a degree in quantity surveying and has a background as a contractor’s and client QS before moving into the affordable housing sector. She is currently Director of Development for a housing association which delivers around four hundred new homes annually across Teesside and North Yorkshire. 

In the 2016 New Years honours list Clare was awarded an MBE for services to education and construction, following nomination by the College board.

Clare is passionate about the construction sector and in promoting training skills and careers in construction. In particular she has a commitment to support Leeds College of Building to deliver the highest possible service to students and employers.

Molly Fulton

Student Governor

Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

Molly is studying Construction in the Built Environment at the College. She was appointed as a Student Governor in September 2023 after being recommended through the Student Representative programme. She wanted to become a Student Governor to help the College ensure that all students get equal and fair opportunities, as well as to help the College as a whole excel forward.

Robert Grice

Associate Governor

Member of Audit & Risk Committee

Robert spent more than 50 years in the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Agencies. He had a distinguished career in the Trading Standards Service and following his retirement as Chief Officer, he worked as a Training and Development Officer with West Yorkshire Police.

He was the Secretary of State's Enforcement Representative on the British Hallmarking Council and chaired its Enforcement and Education Committee. He held the historic role of Guardian at the Sheffield Assay Office for 20 years. He was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in 2020, his citation stating “Robert Grice, formerly of the British Hallmarking Council for Services to Hallmarking Law”.

Steven Carmody


Member of Audit & Risk Committee / Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

As SCP Infrastructure (part of RSK) Managing Director, Steve leads Infrastructure design, management and planning for a range of Private and Public schemes. Steve also has a strategic role directing and controlling business operations.

Steve has been in Leeds since the mid 1990’s and has attended Leeds Beckett University and Leeds University graduating with a degree with Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying.

Steve is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has been for over 15 years.

Steve is also actively involved in national Institutions including the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transport, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, and Institution of Civil Engineers. Through a combination of these roles and his day-to-day role.

Steve is keenly involved in Apprenticeships and achieving end-point assessment requirements.

As an effective leader, Steve promotes SCP on its core Values of Great Service, Highest Standard, Professional Team, and Creative Solutions.

With his combination of wider site development, Steve also has experience in a broad range of Construction and planning lead services, including Master Planning, Flood Risk, Drainage, Utility, Plot layout and levels along with his Roads design skills.

Appointed 31 October 2023

Laurence Kendall - Governor

Laurence Kendall

Associate Governor

Member of Finance & Resources Committee

Laurence has been a successful leader on major civil and building projects over nearly 40 years. Much of the time delivering schools, and universities as turnkey projects engaging with the LA Directors of Education and Principles to develop and provide facilities that were suitable for their use and flexible to evolve with changing educational requirements.

More recently worked on nuclear civils infrastructure projects at Hinkley Point C and Sellafield leading large teams to provide a compliant end product and building and growing into high performing teams. All in a collaborative and coordinated manner in a challenging environment.

Because of his vast experience in buildings and civils structures, he felt this was a great opportunity to support the college in managing the sustainability and development of the estate working with the other governors, and also encourage the student and teachers to embrace new methods of construction and environmental changes in the world, and the importance of engaging early with the students to encourage them the develop into the future leaders in this industry.

William Wallace

Staff Governor

Member of Quality, Curriculum & Performance Committee

William is the Personal Development Manager at the College. He is also a qualified Commercial Pipe Fitter Welder & has worked at the College as a Plumbing Lecturer since 2018. He was elected as Staff Governor in 2023.

William's main aim as a staff governor is to use his experience as a lecturer to provide valuable insights into the needs and concerns of staff members at ground level, he is eager to work with Governors to ensure that positive student development and their success are put first in everything that happens at Leeds College of Building.