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 Vice Principal and Interim 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 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 Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development 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 Director of Estates and IT 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.
Interim Campus Manager – Rotherham
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.
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.
Interim Campus Manager – Dearne Valley
As Director of Quality, 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.
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.
Interim Campus Manager – North Notts
Angela Adams is the Director of Student Support 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.
Interim Campus Manager – Dinnington
Julia Arechiga is the Director of Student Experience at the RNN Group responsible for the strategic lead on employability and work placements, enrichment, student voice, tutorials, pre-16 and home educated student provision. She has extensive experience across many curriculum areas and different types of qualifications including both further and higher education. Julia has worked in the education sector for 23 years starting out at Rotherham College as a lecturer in Beauty Therapy and has since been a Curriculum Manager, Head of Department , Quality Enhancement Manager and Associate Principal of Student Services. She has also been an Ofsted Inspector. Julia has an Advanced Level 7 Diploma in Management Studies. She is an active member of Rotherham Town Centre Sub-Group, Cultural Partnership and Business Growth Board.
Apprenticeship Delivery Support
Bev has extensive experience of working in further education and skills, including senior management posts as Deputy Principal with whole institutional responsibilities predominantly in curriculum and quality. She has been worked freelance since 2008 across the sector to provide education and training consultancy, professional development and interim management at senior and middle management tiers. This extensive experience means that Bev is confident and able to cover a broad range of providers, funding streams and academic levels. She has worked for other key sector organisations, including CEL/LSIS, NCSL/NCLSCS, LSC, TES and the AOC, for the latter she delivered residential management training for sector managers. Bev’s former career included working as both midwifery and nursing sisters in the public and private health sectors.
Bev is also an Ofsted Inspector badged for long and short inspections of FE, independent learning and community learning and skills providers. She has inspected all 3 areas and multiple curriculum areas on long and short inspections, including conversions, under the current CIF. She also has 6 years’ experience as a Lead Inspector for ISI (the Independent Schools Inspectorate), inspecting FE and English language qualifications for international learners.
Bev retains an active presence and currency in the sector through regular interim management assignments at senior and middle management tiers, where contracts are regularly extended. For example, an assignment as Assistant Principal Quality and Standards was extended to provide direct support to one underperforming area leading to improvements; this was further extended to provide external scrutiny for SAR validation panels. In a previous assignment Bev was directly answerable to the overarching group Principal, working on the senior team as Director of Curriculum at a remote site; this included mentoring and support for all tiers of management and staff, with a remit covering quality, equality, MIS, human resources, finance, examinations, marketing, IT, estates, refectory, administrative support and curriculum areas, including work-based learning provision, in the build-up to a subsequently successful inspection.
Alongside this Bev completes advisory work and delivers professional development to all tiers of staff, from support colleagues to governors, with an emphasis on quality assurance/improvement, curriculum, data management, key performance indicators, performance management and advice on restructuring. Again, success is indicated by longevity in the sector, based on recurrent work and frequent referrals, as well as influencing improved outcomes for learners and providers.
Helen has worked in education for over 40 years. Her career started as a PE teacher in a Rotherham secondary school before moving to teach in several other schools, 6th form colleges, general FE, HE and community based education. Helen has been a part time inspector since 1993 and continues to inspect across most aspects of the post 16 sector. Helen has held senior management positions in education for more than 30 years. These include Deputy Principal in a Beacon FE College and CEO of a community learning consortium delivering contracts across the Yorkshire and Humber region. She now works as a consultant primarily supporting FE providers in to improve their quality processes– especially for teaching learning and assessment, both pre and post inspection. Helen continues to teach on Initial Teacher Training programmes for the university of Huddersfield. She is also a director of two small business. and volunteers as a business mentor for The Princes Trust, helping young people start up new businesses.
Interim HR Consultant
Andy is a senior HR specialist with significant employee relations and business restructuring experience primarily gained over 35 years in the rail, coal and steel sectors. His down-to-earth, no nonsense approach has brought success in helping employees at all levels in business through periods of significant change and uncertainty including through pre and post privatisation, business downsizing and TUPE scenarios. His ability to see the big picture has helped individuals and teams understand complicated situations thus aiding successful decision making and robust business planning and implementation.