Create optimistic futures by nurturing talent that leads to aspirational destinations.
Predict and serve the needs of our business and civic communities.
Preparing individuals for the next phase of their lives: The world of work, entrepreneurship, advanced study, career progression and to contribute as positive citizens.
As CEO, Mandie Stravino works in partnership with the Board to shape DCG’s vision and future direction; drives the implementation of the corporate strategy and monitors strategic enactment and performance. Her lead in strategic advancement and utilising design thinking has led to financial turnaround and improvements in services and student success across DCG.
Mandie has a diverse leadership portfolio, in both the private and public sectors. Her experience in Further Education includes work within colleges and an ITP. She holds a range of related non-executive/representative roles including: Vice Chair - CBI Regional Council (following a term of office as regional chair), Member of the City and County Economic Development Leadership Boards (DEP and Derby Renaissance Board), Member of the AoC National Quality Policy Group and Director of Land-based Assessment Ltd. In December 2019, Mandie completed her two-year term of office on the FE Commissioner’s Principals Reference Group. Other previous board member roles have included: Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP) Governance Board, Derby City’s Opportunity Area Board, an ITP membership organisation, an awarding body and a primary school.
Mandie is a qualified teacher, holds an MBA and has more recently completed the Further Education Strategic Leadership Programme at Said Business School – Oxford University.
Heather Simcox reports directly to the Chief Executive and oversees the day to day and operational functions of DCG. Heather holds accountability for the performance of academic, technical and vocational education. In addition, She leads the Group’s student support services and corporate services which include: curriculum improvement, property and estates management, finance, health and safety, human resources, IT services, systems and Infrastructure, management information services, marketing and strategic direction.
Heather is the Group’s business continuity leader, is the Chair of the Group’s risk management committee and is the executive officer for the Group’s audit committee as well as representing DCG on several external Boards and organisations.
Richard joined the organisation in 2012 as Director of Management Information Systems. After a short break, he returned to the Group to continue responsibility for MIS and picking up the responsibility of finance undertaking the role of CFO. Richard is a member of the AOC East Midlands Finance Directors Forum and the Derbyshire Economic Partnership Board.
April Hayhurst is responsible for apprenticeships, quality assurance, commercial activities and employer affairs across DCG. Her role includes leading the organisation’s business engagement strategy – ensuring that DCG meets the needs of employers by generating the talent required in order for them to flourish. She oversees the innovative Employment and Skills Boards and Employer Academies and the work experience function which have all been recognised nationally as best practice and has contributed to DCG being chosen to be part of the first tranche of T Level provision. A key development under April’s leadership has been to develop national apprenticeship academies to support several global Tier One manufacturing companies. April is a board member of CETA, Canal Engineering and Enthusiasm.
Vice Principal Kate Martin leads academic and technical education, which includes designing and developing all areas of the curriculum. She leads five Colleges and the community provision as well as being accountable for the College’s Higher Education provision and the continual developing of teaching and learning. Kate is a qualified teacher and has worked in secondary and further education. Prior to being appointed Vice Principal, Kate was Head of the Joseph Wright Centre. She is a member of the DANCOP board; Derby Opportunity Area Board and Chair the Post 16 sub group; Derby Leadership Board and a Trustee of Derby Book Festival.
Helen Jefferson is responsible for cross-college student support services and is the Designated Safeguarding Lead for Derby College. Helen is the Careers Leader for DCG and the Designated Senior Leader for Mental Health. She represents DCG on the Derby City Prevent Steering Group; Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Education Hub; Careers and Enterprise Company Education and Skills National Steering Group as well as being the Designated Senior Lead on Mental Health and Careers on the East Midlands Network Group and a member of the National Association of Student Services Managers.
Rose Matthews was appointed, by the Board, to support and facilitate continuous improvement in College governance. She also has experience of academy and third sector governance and is a member of the AoC Midlands Clerks’ Network.