Laura Clark

Clerk to the Corporation

Laura joined the College as Clerk to the Corporation in June 2013 and has recently returned following a period of maternity leave. She is committed to supporting and advising the Governing Body and is primarily responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient conduct of Governing Body business.

Laura grew up in Doncaster and has lived here for the majority of her life. She studied Law (LLB Hons) at the University of Manchester and went on to spend 5 years working at a Legal Business Consultancy in Manchester where she became Head of Research.

Following the birth of her first daughter, Laura embarked on a change of career and in 2011 was appointed Clerk to the Corporation at Thomas Rotherham College in Rotherham before moving to Doncaster College 2 years later.

Laura mainly spends the rest of her time running around after her little girls and having time with family. She also enjoys shopping, good food and watching sport, particularly athletics.

Laura Clark

Paul Pascoe

Vice Chair of the DN Colleges Group Corporation Board

Length of Service on the Board – From March 2012

Paul was born in the Doncaster area and on leaving school became a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice in precision engineering, later moving to heavy engineering and was involved in the machining of the enormous cylinders that operate the Thames flood defences.

Paul left industry to be teacher trained and became a lecturer in Mechanical and Production Engineering, specialising in Computer Numerical Control CNC and Computer Aided Manufacture CAM, alongside becoming an Examiner for City Guilds.  The time Paul spent in Education also included extensive experience in developing and managing Business Focused European Projects.

Paul has spent the last 8 years working in South Yorkshire and the wider region for Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency, using his knowledge and skills to improve the economic opportunities, of People, Communities and Businesses through the building of strong relationships that recognise together we can make changes for the benefit of all.

Paul has always had a passion for education and recognises its importance; the people of Doncaster deserve the best education, the college is key in the process of developing academic potential, so the town of Doncaster will continue to be a good place to live work and do business.

Paul Pascoe

Meryl White

Length of Service on the Board – From August 2011

Building on over 30 years experience in education Meryl White works with a wide range of clients in education, learning and skills sectors. She held, until she retired in 2009, a senior post within a South Yorkshire local authority, providing strategic direction and leadership to raise the aspirations of young people, enable partnership working between education providers and widen curriculum choice for 11-19 year olds in schools, colleges and work based learning. She has wide experience of planning, collaborative working, performance management, self-evaluation, curriculum development and project leadership.

Meryl is also a cookery writer with the publication of Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking, a collection of her Grandmother’s recipes. She is keen to share her passion for baking and delivers talks and demonstrations on traditional baking to baking devotees, intriguing memories for culinary nostalgics and invaluable hints for those new to baking.

Meryl gives of her time in a voluntary capacity as a trustee of the National Board of Young Enterprise and the Chair of the South Yorkshire Young Enterprise Board.

Meryl brings experience, intellectual commitment to achievement for all, value for relationships and enthusiasm for the work of staff and students at Doncaster College.

She enjoys gardening, swimming and reading in her spare time.

Meryl White

Ian Falconer

Length of Service on the Board – From February 2014

Ian was born in Chesterfield, graduated in Mathematics at the University of Leeds, and after ten years in London where he qualified as a public sector accountant, he settled in South Yorkshire in 1990.

He began his audit and advisory career in Central Government, and spent almost 20 years in professional practice (latterly with Grant Thornton UK LLP) acting as audit partner to many universities, colleges, government departments and other public bodies. He also worked with a number of regulatory bodies (e.g. HM Treasury, Skills Funding Agency), advising on professional standards for governance and audit.

Ian has always been a passionate advocate of further education, prompted by the personal experiences of his wife and two daughters, each of whom followed the FE route into higher education. He is therefore delighted to continue his association with Doncaster College, for whom he acted as internal audit partner for five years.

Ian is also a trustee of the Sheffield Music Academy and is a regular volunteer with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. In his spare time he enjoys live music, theatre and the visual arts, and walking in the Peak District.

Ian Falconer

Robert Stubbs

Length of Service on the Board – From October 2009

Robert has been a chartered accountant in private practice for over 30 years and a partner for 20 years. He saw his practice grow from having 25 employees to having 800 members of staff and over 50 partners. He was named ‘Star in the Community’ in 2005 by the members of the West Riding branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Robert was also a Governor for 10 years for one of the largest FE Colleges in the country.

In his spare time Robert’s hobbies now include recreational sailing having raced around the world in 1996/7, motorsports and he is also a prolific fundraiser for various local and national charities.

Robert Stubbs

Mathew Lynds

Length of Service on the Board – From December 2013

Having enjoyed school life, but not having had great achievement, I decided to do some travelling and worked abroad, and had many low paid jobs; all of which I enjoyed and do not regret. I later went back to school as a mature student to study. A success which I enjoyed. Having always had a job of some sort since the age of 13, I took the first job I could get after finishing college; a tea boy on a building site, aged 26! Not great, but it was a job. That was my first step to my current career, leading on with simple steps forward and always continuing my education. Fourteen years ago I set up my own Facilities Management company, which goes from strength to strength. We now employ nearly 100 staff around the region, and work throughout the UK.

I believe passionately in Doncaster and the importance of the College in its future. Speaking from experience, education is the means by which we can create opportunity, empowering the individual and ultimately, the region. The Doncaster area is uniquely placed and the students of the College have a fantastic opportunity to make Doncaster a vital national asset, even European. I want to take part in that and help make it happen today.

I am proud to live and work in Doncaster, and I look forward to a bright future for the Doncaster region.

Mathew Lynds

John Doherty


Date appointed – October 2016

I was born in Sheffield and graduated from Staffordshire University with a Degree in Geography in 1995.

After working in retail lending and investment for a major UK Bank, I successfully completed the NHS Graduate Financial Management Programme qualifying as an accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (A.C.C.A) in 2003 and am a Fellow of that Institution.

I have worked for almost 17 years in the NHS in senior finance management roles around the Yorkshire and Humber region. Although I’ve now left the NHS in a substantive capacity I still provide Financial Consultancy services back to the NHS via my own company.

My main passion is football.  Having previously played at semi-professional level I still play albeit at a more modest level on Saturday mornings. I combine this with watching my beloved Sheffield Wednesday and also coaching my son’s U12 football team.  My other interests are running, film and television and Middle Eastern Politics.

Irrespective of your background and circumstances I firmly believe education is the most powerful and valuable commodity you will ever possess to change your life for the better and help you to realise your dreams and aspirations.

John Doherty

Deborah Hilditch

Date appointed – March 2016​

Having worked for 32 years in the NHS, mainly across South Yorkshire and Doncaster, I am now Vice Chair of Healthwatch Doncaster, a community interest company and a part-time Human Resources advisor as well as a Governor at Doncaster College.  I have a human resources and corporate governance background at Board level, having previously worked for NHS South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw cluster and Doncaster Primary Care Trust.  From 2012 – 2015, I worked with all five clinical commissioning groups across South Yorkshire providing a wide range of services on a semi-commercial basis.  I have supported many NHS organisations with implementing large scale management change programmes and supporting transformational change.  I am a firm believer that high quality education supports the health and wellbeing of young people and promotes confidence and independence. I am married with two children, both of whom went to Hall Cross Academy and am a keen gardener and decorator.

Deborah Hilditch

Mark Swales


Date of Appointment – March 2017

Mark has lived in South Yorkshire for twenty five years.  He attended school in Goole and Selby and is a graduate of Sheffield City Polytechnic where he studied Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management.

Mark has ten years’ experience in the Hotel and Leisure Industry followed by 30 years in Higher Education covering commercial, facilities management, estates and academic timetabling.

He has been Director of Estates and Facilities at Sheffield Hallam University since 2010 and in this time the department has gained “Investors In People” Gold and Customer First standards and achieved IS0 14001 and ISO 5001 for environmental and energy management, a first in the sector.

Mark has chaired a variety of university sector wide groups and professional bodies. He is currently a trustee for a number of local charitable organisations including Voluntary Action Sheffield and a Fellow of the British Institute of Leadership and Management.

He is involved in the Sheffield City Regions work on the public sector estate and a member of the Property and Construction sub group of the Local Enterprise Partnership and on the Rotherham Together Partnership Board.

Mark is keen to make a positive contribution to the work of Doncaster College in transforming lives and building its reputation as an outstanding educator and provider of training and employment opportunities for its students.

Mark Swales

Keri Walker

Student Governor

Date appointed – September 2016

Previously trained in classical ballet, Keri danced professionally for some time before concentrating on teaching dance and conducted dance workshops in primary schools. An injury ended her career.

Moving into business and sales, she gained a vocational qualification in customer services and worked as deputy team leade​r for a leading energy provider. To diversify her skills further, she moved into motor insurance before taking a sabbatical to raise her family.

She decided to retrain and is currently a 2nd year degree student, studying criminal justice at University Centre Doncaster. She has applied herself actively in student life and volunteers for open days. Initially nominated as student representative, she has also recently become student advocate, positively promoting education. Originally intending to convert her degree to a full law degree, she is now considering a Masters.

In her free time, as a devoted single parent to her 3 children, 13, 11 and 10, she is dedicated to their endeavours, often found pitch-side proudly cheering them on. She is passionate about human rights issues, lobbying for positive changes to governmental policy and transparency. In equal measure she fervently believes education should be accessible for people from all socio-economic backgrounds and all are equal.

Keri Walker

Nigel Jackson

Staff Governor (Teaching) - Appointed August 2017

Nigel previously spent ten years working within the Motor Industry, in both independent garages and dealership service centres. He also served as a workshop controller for a major manufacturer before moving into the Further Education sector.

Nigel worked for a local independent training provider for 13 years prior to joining the team at Doncaster College in 2015. During his time as a lecturer he has supported learners across various levels ranging from Entry 3 to Level 4; been a Lead Internal Verifier and held the position of Teaching and Assessment Quality Co-ordinator, a role that involved him supporting his colleagues in developing new ideas within the teaching environment, and as the OFSTED nominee develop the self-assessment report in line with the common inspection framework.

Nigel has also worked with the administration team for the Equality Network, travelling to various colleges around the country supporting the team in the running of seminars and training courses.

In his spare time Nigel is the training officer for the RAF Air Cadets at 103 (Doncaster) Squadron, where he works within the executive team to ensure the cadets have the best experience in the organisation whilst raising the profile of the squadron in Doncaster.

Nigel believes that everyone, both learners and staff, should receive a positive and enjoyable experience at Doncaster College

Nigel Jackson

Paul Senior

Governor - Appointed April 2017

I have great pride in my association with the borough of Doncaster, having lived and worked in the town for over 30 years and in which both my children were born. Although originally from Sheffield, I have worked for a number of the Keepmoat companies in Doncaster at various levels, including at a director level for the past 16 years.

During this period, I have been associated with a number of other business and academic related organisations including: chairing the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce Construction focus group for 8 years; working as an external examiner at a number of regional universities including Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Beckett; and  president of the Yorkshire Builders Federation.

I have also been extremely involved with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) at both a regional and national level. This has included being chair of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire branch.  I am currently a member of the education, qualities, standards and practices board (EQSP) for the institute.

Having worked in the construction industry for over 40 years, and in both the Civil Engineering and Building sectors of the industry, I am confident that I can use my experiences in both the technical and business environments for the benefit of Doncaster College. I am currently heavily involved in the Doncaster bid for a university technical college (UTC) in the town, which again demonstrates my commitment to improving education in Doncaster.

Paul Senior