Our Leadership Team

Our leadership team is responsible for the delivery of the DN Colleges Group strategic plan to transform our communities through learning.

Our leadership team is responsible for the delivery of the DN Colleges Group strategic plan to transform our communities through learning.

This focused and skilled team has oversight of all aspects of our curriculum and the day-to-day operations of our Colleges, as well as Group operations. 

Supported by expert staff in departments across DN Colleges Group, our leaders are the link between the day to day experiences of our students and our strategic vision of inspirational education and training that enables our students to achieve their full potential.

Meet Our Group Executive Team

Our Group Executive Team spans DN Colleges Group, Doncaster College and North Lindsey College.

John Rees

Chief Executive of DN Colleges Group

John is Chief Executive of DN Colleges Group, which incorporates North Lindsey and Doncaster Colleges.John joined DN Colleges Group as Chief Executive in August 2022 and has worked in the FE sector for the last 26 years. He started his career in teaching roles in Lincolnshire, before progressing into curriculum management and then into senior leadership roles in Warwickshire and West Yorkshire.

As CEO, John is responsible for developing DNCG’s long-term strategy and for strategic collaboration and partnership working. He believes passionately in the social and economic value that colleges deliver to their local communities and is committed to working with our partners to achieve this.

Sharon Smith

Principal and Deputy CEO

Sharon Smith commenced the role of Principal and Deputy CEO at DN Colleges group in August 2021, having been Vice Principal at York College since August 2017 and has previously held leadership roles at The Sheffield College and Calderdale College.

In her role at DN Colleges Group, Sharon has responsibility for Curriculum, Quality, Teaching and Learning also working closely with other members of the Executive Team, Managers and Team Leaders across the College to ensure the operational success and teaching and learning excellence of our organisation. She provides leadership of the operations of North Lindsey College, the UCNL, and Doncaster College and University Centre and supports the CEO with employer and stakeholder engagement, to ensure growth and development.

Barrie Shipley

Chief Finance Officer

Barrie Shipley has been Director of Finance and Procurement for DN Colleges Group since July 2019, taking on additional responsibilities for Internal Audit, Risk Management, Estates, Facilities and Sustainability from August 2021.

A Chartered Management Accountant, Barrie brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sector, and more recently higher education.  Barrie is extremely proud to be working for DN Colleges Group and is committed to making a difference for our students and in our local communities.

Rachel Maguire

Chief People Officer

Rachel Maguire commenced the role of Chief People Officer at DN Colleges group in June 2021, joining us with a wealth of knowledge and experience having previously held leadership roles in a number of private and public sector businesses. In her role at DN Colleges Group Rachel has responsibility for People Services, working closely with other members of the Executive Team, Managers, Team Leaders and all staff across the College to ensure that the strategy and processes related to the building and retaining of an exceptional team of professionals is maintained throughout the College.

Rachel is passionate about staff health & wellbeing and is leading on the creation and delivery of a strong and coherent People Strategy to ensure that all people-related activities are based on our vision and values, ensuring colleagues work together, feel valued and embrace change to support the achievement of the Colleges strategic vision.

Jason Wilkinson

Chief Information and Strategic Planning Officer

Jason Wilkinson brings with him over 25 years’ experience as a technologist and technology leader to DN Colleges Group, with a background in software development, infrastructure, information security, data protection, business transformation and innovation.  Jason is passionate about working with people to improve processes and bring industry best practice to organisations.  Jason is leading our technology and innovation initiatives and managing operations and business transformation across our curriculum administration functions.

Commercially astute, Jason is also responsible for Strategic Planning looking at the future direction for DN Colleges Group, bringing innovation to the education sector, driving funding opportunities and forging mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships with external organisations both locally and nationally.

Enrolling on to a degree was one of the best decisions I made. The course has opened so many doors to future career prospects.


Alex Drury

My tutors were so supportive and understanding of all of the students’ needs and are more than happy to help. You can genuinely see that they go out their way to make our learning as enriching as they can.


Jordan Murray

Related Content

Our Strategic Plan

Transforming our Communities through Learning.

Meet our Governors

Our Governing Body is a strong team that brings together skills from the public and private sectors, education and business and represents our local and regional communities.

Local Stakeholder Boards

Serving the needs of our local communities.