New Year Honour MBE for Worksop man

Ken Barrass
Ken Barrass

A Worksop man has been made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for his services to further education.

Ken Barrass, who has lived in Worksop all his life, has been involved with Rotherham College for 17 years, and was the chair of governors for five years before stepping down in January 2016, after roles as vice chair and a governor.

He said: “It’s a great honour. It’s the first one in the family. It’s something to be cheerful about.

“My wife is quite looking forward to the investiture. She put up with all the time that I have devoted to the college over the years - so it will be some reward.”

Mr Barrass, played a key role during the merger, in 2016, of Rotherham College with North Notts College, based in Worksop, to form the RNN Group, now one of the largest education and training providers in the region.

Mr Barrass, 69, of Water Meadows, who is married with two sons, was an accountant with British Steel at Rotherham.

He said: “The merger with North Notts College to form the RNN Group was the defining event in my period as chair of the college and has created an organisation that will benefit the students of the area for many years to come.

“I have been able to drive things forward as I wanted to and worked well with the principal Gill Alton.”

He was the first chair of the new group before handing over to Atholl Stott in August 2016.

Mr Barrass led the board during a key period of development at the college, with £20m invested in facilities for students and an improvement of its Ofsted grade to ‘good with outstanding features.’

John Connolly, chief executive of RNN Group, said: “Ken’s leadership of the Board during the period up to the merger date and beyond was instrumental in the successful launch of the RNN Group.

“He was exceptionally generous with his time and expertise throughout that period, to ensure the merger delivered the best outcome for students and employers across the region.”

Atholl Stott said: “Ken contributed so much to the organisation and his foresight and professionalism played such a major part in the formation of the RNN group.

“This award is much deserved and a wonderful recognition for all Ken’s hard work and commitment to the community.”