We’re delighted to announce a new Chair of our Board of Directors, taking over from Margaret Coleman, our Chair since July 2011. Margaret joined Yorkshire Dance as a Director in 2008. Her support over 8 years leaves a thriving organisation.
Shirley Parks joins us this month, and we’re very pleased to welcome her into the company at this exciting time. We are building on several successful activity strands with artists, commissioners and partners to create a 5 year plan that will lead to our 40th birthday in 2022. With some very exciting opportunities emerging through Hull 2017, Leeds Dance Partnership and other key partnerships regionally and nationally this is a time for reshaping our ambition to champion dance in the region and beyond.
Shirley has over 20 years of leadership experience in the education sector in national and local government and as the Chief Executive of a multi-academy trust. She is currently a senior leader in the Children and Young People’s Directorate of the London Borough of Brent. Her expertise lies in strategic planning, managing performance and developing public-private and multi-agency partnerships to deliver services for young people.
Born in Hertfordshire but having lived in Yorkshire for over 25 years, Shirley has a degree in European Studies and Italian from Kent University and a Masters Degree in Demography from the London School of Economics. Shirley has held various senior roles at the Education Funding Agency (Department for Education) where she worked closely with Minsters to deliver major national change on capital funding for local authorities, and Partnerships for Schools, a government delivery agency charged with improving the school estate. Between 2000 and 2007, Shirley worked for Education Leeds/Leeds City Council, where she was responsible for a number of education services aimed at improving student outcomes.
Shirley is passionate about helping young people to achieve their potential and removing barriers to education and opportunity. She has held both executive and non-executive roles in the education sector, including Director of the Aldridge North West Education Trust and Chair of a successful Leeds secondary school where she has been a governor for over 10 years.
In her spare time, Shirley pursues her interests in dance, theatre and live music and enjoys cooking, walking and reading.
We offer our sincere thanks to Margaret Coleman for her wisdom, good humour, acumen and commitment at the helm of Yorkshire Dance for that last eight years. We’re tremendously grateful for her exceptional service, and we wish her well as she hands over the position to Shirley Parks.