Our Governors

About Progress to Excellence

Upholding our vision

“Our vision is to create a brilliant service for lifelong learning where all of our learners fulfil their potential and where we are seen as the provider of choice for employers, employees and stakeholders.”

The responsibilities for the Progress to Excellence (PtoE) Board of Governors are as follows:

  • Determine the educational character and mission of the organisation and the oversee its activities
  • Approve the quality strategy of the organisation
  • Effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the organisation and for safeguarding assets
  • Approve annual estimates of income and expenditure
  • Appointment, grading, pay and conditions of service of the holders of senior posts
  • Set a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.

Meet our governors

Carole Carson Chair of Board of Governors at Progress to Excellence Ltd

Carole Carson

Carole now operates as a Non-Executive Director, supporting businesses to drive strategic vision and support good growth, after working in various senior management positions throughout her career. Carole most recently was the very successful CEO of Babington. Carole was appointed as Chief Executive in October 2011 having joined the Babington Board of Directors as Chief Operating Officer in March 2011.

Carole’s role really focused on achievement of the operational and strategic business objectives of the company and she has been instrumental in growing the business both in terms of revenue from C. £2m to C. £23M and diversification of contracts; from delivering apprenticeships through to developing new divisions of Employability and Commercial; whilst always delivery quality.

Previously, Carole was Operations Director for the Shaw Trust and prior to that was Director of Employability at InTraining. She has also been recognised by Ofsted (ALI) as a Quality Champion and has over 20 years’ experience at Director and Senior Management level in both private and public-sector organisations.

Carole is a motivational leader, proficient in delivery management, with proven capability in managing complex operations; to achieve exceptional performance and profitable growth.  Successful in implementing and managing government funded contracts in excess of £30M and has been instrumental in ensuring a sustained pipeline of new business in excess of £200m. A highly experienced communicator with recognised negotiation and influencing skills to build excellent relationships and partnerships.

Leanne Tutill Progress to Excellence Ltd Board Member

Leanne Tutill

Leanne brings with her a wealth of financial experience and knowledge, having worked in the sector for 14 years. This includes 6 years in practice and 8 years in the education sector. Leanne’s particular area of expertise is ensuring a business is operating effectively and efficiently, by monitoring and improving internal controls.

Leanne works for Progress to Excellence Group, the parent company of Progress to Excellence Ltd. She works closely with the CEO and Senior Management Team of Ltd, to ensure the business operates efficiently.

Fraser Ingham

Fraser has been working for awarding organisations for more than 16 years, both in the vocational and general qualification sectors. This has included six years as a Customer Relationship Manager for City & Guilds and three years as a Senior Manager within the Operations Division of OCR. During this time, he helped set-up and establish a new team to support the exams office function within schools and colleges.

Since 2010, he has worked as Sales & Marketing Director for Skillsfirst Awards. They have used their expertise and experience to build an excellent team and create a regulated awarding organisation that is focused on service, innovation and partnerships. More than 400,000 people have now achieved one of their qualifications, a figure that they are extremely proud of. In addition to his work at Skillsfirst, he has served as a School Governor at a local secondary school and sat on the advisory board for Youth Employment UK. He was delighted to accept the opportunity in 2017 to join the Progress to Excellence Ltd (PtoE) Board, the company has very strong values and puts the learner at the heart of everything it does.

His expertise is in post-16 government education policy and primarily the ongoing apprenticeship and technical reforms. He also works closely with the Association of Employers and Learning Providers (AELP) and Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), sitting on a number of special interest groups. Therefore, he is able to support PtoE through his knowledge of the sector, helping keep them abreast of policy changes and new developments. Fraser sees it as his role to challenge PtoE on its strategy for growth and its ability to adapt to meet the challenges of the apprenticeship reforms.

It is important that the quality of teaching and learning remains central to everything that PtoE does, whilst also maintaining the fantastic growth witnessed in recent years. Fraser sees it as his role to help ensure that this remains the case.

Sandra Kirkham Progress to Excellence Governor

Sandra Kirkham

As Progress to Excellence Group Ltd MD, Sandra is always on hand to provide support whenever or wherever it is needed. Her role as Board Governor requires her to provide strategic direction and leadership as well as maximise performance and success within PtoE. As a board, Sandra believes that we must collectively manage risk and  make transparent decisions to support the business, it’s employees, learners and employers.

Sandra’s background lies within the social care sector, after she started her career by training to be a Radiographer. She then progressed into working with children in residential care settings before developing an interest in training and development. Sandra’s interest in health and social continued to develop and she trained and then practised as a Practice Tutor and teacher for social work students. She then became an Inspector for Adult Learning Inspectorate and Ofsted where she would inspect the quality of training provision for health and social care students as well as running her own business. Sandra’s passion for improving the quality of care for end users through exemplary training remains to this day and her role as Group MD at PtoE provides her with never – ending opportunities to continue to feed her passion!

Sandra believes that the following continuous improvement challenges are essential drivers for her role as a Governor:

  • Maximising performance and success
  • Ensuring accountability and compliance
  • Promoting values and behaviours that safeguard learners and employees.

Oliver Barkes

Oliver has worked as an Accountant and Corporate Treasurer for a number of companies including WPP Group and Avery Dennison and was Group Treasurer of Polestar. He has also worked as a Finance Director/Consultant in the education sector for the last 10 years and has been a Director of Progress to Excellence Ltd since 2011. Oliver is a full member of both the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and Association of Corporate Treasurers.

Would you like to apply to be one of our Governors?

If you share the same passion as our existing governors, and would like to apply to join our board. Please email Lisa.Shannon@progresstoexcellence.co.uk or call 0151 650 6933.