Our leadership team has a passion for seeing learners, our communities and the businesses we work with succeed. They combine this drive with expertise, skills, knowledge and experience, from both the public and private sectors, to lead with ambition, care and professionalism.
Jason Austin is CEO/Principal and SLT Lead of the RNN Group. Jason has worked in Further Education for 25 years having worked in four colleges, undertaking various teaching and management roles. Jason’s teaching career began as a lecturer in Sport and Leisure and since then has taught and managed across a variety of curriculum areas. He has been in College management for the past 18 years and Deputy Principal for three years at Dearne Valley College with strategic responsibility for Curriculum and Quality across the College. In his three years at Dearne Valley Jason led significant improvements to achievement rates and the student experience. Jason is on the Board of trustees with a National Awarding Organisation as a representative from the Further Education sector.
Paul Baylis is Interim Vice Principal of the RNN Group with responsibility for Quality, Curriculum and Student Services at our three Colleges in Worksop, Rotherham and Dearne Valley. His teaching career began when he taught video production to disaffected young people. He has managed a wide variety of curriculum delivery in several colleges including Leicester, and was a Director, then Assistant Principal at North Notts College. Paul’s qualifications include a Masters Degree and BA Honours in Media and Communications, and a Certificate of Education. He worked as an editor, writer and examiner for several exam boards and is a published author of several media text books.
Kate Noble is the Executive Director of Finance for RNN Group. She has overall responsibility for financial leadership, management and expertise for RNN Group and to ensure long term financial health and viability. Before joining RNN Group, Kate held senior finance positions in different sectors including construction and the steel industry. Kate is a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and has a PhD in Chemistry and Materials Engineering from the University of Sheffield.
Jane Hartog is the Executive Director of Human Resources, Organisational Development and Marketing at the RNN Group. She has overall responsibility for the design, development and implementation of the People Strategy for the RNN Group. Before joining the RNN Group, Jane held a number of senior positions in different organisations including Nottingham Trent University, Rolls Royce, Aviva and Derby University. She is a Fellow of CIPD and has a Masters in HRM. Her aim is to make the RNN Group a great place to work, in conjunction with the strategic vision and values of the RNN Group.
Tony De’Ath is the Clerk to the Governors and Executive Director of Corporate Services at the RNN Group. Prior to this he was the Clerk to the Governors at Dearne Valley College for 25 years alongside his role at the College having responsibility for Estates, Health and Safety, IT and Human Resources Leadership and Management. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Campus Management – Rotherham College (including Dinnington Campus)
Claire Godfrey is the Assistant Principal at the RNN Group, leading a diverse range of curriculum including the areas of the Arts, Creative Digital, Business Services, Engineering, Construction, Health, Care and has strategic responsibility for English and maths, in our three further and Higher Education colleges. Claire was a Director at North Notts College from 2007 onwards, leading on curriculum delivery and planning, and learner experience. Claire joined the education sector as a tutor, after running her own business alongside study at Nottingham Trent University.
Campus Management – North Notts College
Angela Adams is the Assistant Principal Student Support and Safeguarding at the RNN Group. Angela leads on safeguarding, additional learner support, nurseries and learner journey and success focused services. As Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead and Special Education Needs and Difficulties (SEND) Contact, Angela chairs the Equality & Diversity Committee and is a member of the Safeguarding and E&D Management Groups. Angela has worked in the education sector for several years and was Head of Student Services at North Notts College, one of the constituent members of RNN Group. Angela previously worked in the private sector in business and administrative roles and has a Degree in Education and Training and a Cert Ed. Angela represents the RNN Group at Designated Person Focus Groups, safeguarding forums and is the lead for High Needs Students and EHCP consultations with the Local Authorities.
Campus Management – Dearne Valley College
As Assistant Principal Quality and Learner Experience , Cheryl Martin is responsible for maintaining and improving all aspects of quality assurance and improvement. After a career working in a variety of roles within the private sector, Cheryl joined the education sector in 1999 as a Marketing and Events Manager for the online learning provider Ufi/learndirect. She joined Dearne Valley College in 2007 and has gained extensive experience since then in curriculum and quality management. Cheryl’s qualifications include a Master’s Degree in Learning and Development Management and a Certificate in Education. She is passionate about improving the life chances of children and young adults and has recently been appointed as Governor for one of the UK’s best performing group of academies.
Lisa Wilson is the Director of Apprenticeships for the RNN Group. Lisa has worked within the FE sector for the past 10 years leading work based delivery teams for with private training providers and colleges across a range of sectors.
Before joining FE Sector, Lisa held senior management positions within International business and strategic outsourcing providers.
Lisa joined the group in Jan 2019 with strategic responsibility for apprenticeship delivery across our four college sites. Lisa’s qualifications include a BA Honours in Business Administration and is a Graduate member of Institute of Export.
Jana Checkley is the Director of Higher Education and Skills for RNN Group and leads on the Higher Education degrees and Apprenticeships across our three Colleges. She began her career teaching English Literature and Information Technology at Royal Holloway, before moving into education management. She became Resident Director, then the Director of Academic and Student Services before joining RNN Group; overseeing the curriculum and strategic planning of Higher Education programs. Jana’s qualifications include a Master’s Degree in English and Master’s Degree in Education, and a PGCE. She has also developed online training courses in English, maths, and study skills. Jana is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Natalie James is Director of Funding and Contracts at the RNN Group. She leads on funding and is responsible for management information, bids and contracting. Natalie is also the lead for the Sports Centre at Dearne Valley College. Natalie is a CIMA qualified accountant and has an MBA. Natalie previously worked at Barnsley and Doncaster TEC, Barnsley Health Authority and in the manufacturing, hotels and electrical retail sectors before joining Dearne Valley College in October 2001 as Financial Controller. Prior to merger, Natalie was the Executive Director: Finance.