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John Taylor

Honorary Doctorate - 2009

John Taylor, former principal of Sheffield College and interim principal at Doncaster College, is known for his strong management skills and ability to turn around organisations in crisis.

His first job was teaching economics and business studies in Stafford, but after several promotions he took a step out of further education and into business. In 1980 he became training manager for Tetley Walker in Warrington, part of Allied Breweries. He arrived just after the longest dispute in the brewing industry. The plant had been in conflict and there was a great challenge to achieve reconciliation and productive working, through consultation and communication with the staff.

He returned to further education as head of business studies at Halton College in Widnes in 1983, then in 1987 as Vice-Principal of West Cheshire College. In 1990 he became principal of Park Lane College in Leeds and achieved outstanding success with the awarding of Charter Mark and Beacon status and exceptional grades at inspection. Ten years later he became principal of Sheffield College, which was in need of serious attention. He soon introduced policies that raised academic standards and achieved financial stability a year ahead of the four year target. He also built the Hillsborough Campus and rebuilt the city centre site. After retirement John took on an interim role at the troubled Doncaster College, and is currently working to lay the foundation for the organisation’s future.

Nationally, John was a member of the Learning and Skills Council, the Joint Information Services Committee and chaired the British Education and Communications agency. He is a member of the Catholic Education Service Management Committee, a trustee of the Charles Plater Trust and previously chaired Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds.

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