Tributes to Frank as he hands over chair of governors role after 20 years at the college

Frank and Ann Harrison
Frank and Ann Harrison

Wigan and Leigh College chair of governors Frank Costello has retired.

Mr Costello has been a governor for 20 years, spending the last three of those in the top seat and has seen the institution develop and improve during his time.

During his leadership the college has significantly increased the breadth of learning opportunities and qualifications available to young people, including the development of higher degree apprenticeships and extra provision for students with special educational needs.

The college has transformed with results for classroom learning significantly above national averages and achievement rates for 16-18 and 19+ improving significantly.

Being named Educate North’s College of the Year in 2018 and the FE choices survey reflecting that the college has the highest student satisfaction rates in the Greater Manchester were big highlights during his final three years.

Principal Anna Dawe said: “Frank has shown an unerring moral compass in his advice, support and actions and he has acted as an exceptional role model for other governors.

“His expert stewardship has also brought the college to good financial health during a period where the whole further education sector has experienced significant financial difficulties.”

The college is now delighted to welcome Ann Harrison, who has taken over as chair of the Governing Board until October 2023.

She is a partner and chairwoman of Stephensons Solicitors LLP, one of the largest firms in the North West and has worked there for nearly 30 years.

She has been an independent member of the governing board since 2011, chair of the Audit committee for the last few years, and co vice chair for the last two years.

“I am delighted to be elected to the role of chair of the governing board at Wigan and Leigh College, Ann said.

“I would like to see the College become the educational provider of choice for everyone in the borough of Wigan.”