We're today announcing that our Chief Executive Simon Parkinson is to move to the WEA (Workers’ Educational Association) to take up the position of Chief Executive and General Secretary.

Simon Parkinson headshot

He will move into the new role following our Centenary Conference, which takes place from 26-28 November.

Many achievements

Having been in post since March 2015, Simon has overseen a significant expansion in our work, with national and international projects launched. These have included Youth Co-operative Action, delivered thanks to support from the Co-op Foundation and the #iwill Fund, as well as Co-operative Adventure, a landmark project that empowers and inspires young people with learning difficulties, disabilities and autism to make a difference in their communities.

Simon leaves at a particular high point for the College, having successfully guided us through our centenary year, with a future Co-operative University now firmly on the horizon. 

Looking forward

Reflecting on his time at the College, Simon commented,

I have enjoyed my time at the College immensely and have felt privileged to lead it through its centenary year. The power of people working together should never be underestimated, it is after all what built the global co-operative movement. With high profile projects such as a Co-operative University now tantalisingly close to fruition, I feel the College is well placed to build on the enthusiasm and momentum created. Through our work on the Adult Education 100 campaign, we have built on our strong relationship with the WEA and I hope to see this relationship go from strength to strength in the future.

Nigel Todd, Chair of Trustees at the Co-operative College commented,

Simon has made a huge contribution to the Co-operative College, and has helped to open many new doors for Co-operative education.  We’re therefore very sorry to lose Simon, but of course happy for him and delighted that the WEA will gain his skills and leadership qualities that we’ve enjoyed. The WEA was a source of inspiration for the founding of the Co-operative College a century ago and Simon’s appointment brings us closer together again at a crucial point in the story of adult education. In a sense, it’s goodbye but we’ll see you soon.

If you have any questions about the above announcement, or about our work in general, we're always happy to help! Simply get in touch via the button below.

Get in touch