From education to employment

Scotland’s Colleges appoint new CEO

John Henderson, incoming chief executive of representative body Scotland’s Colleges, has expressed his delight at being appointed to the role following its extensive restructuring.

Currently deputy director of the Scotland Office, Mr Henderson will be responsible for improving Scotland’s Colleges’ effectiveness as the sector support, policy and training agency for the college sector in Scotland.

“There is no doubt that the college sector in Scotland has a vital role to play in helping ensure that Scotland has a well-trained, well-educated workforce with the appropriate skills necessary, which are vital to our economic recovery,” he said.

Scotland’s Colleges was created from the merger of the Association of Scotland’s Colleges, the Scottish Further Education Unit, Scotland’s Colleges International and COLEG (College Open Learning Exchange Group).

It exists to support, represent and develop the Scottish college sector, whilst providing leadership, guidance, training and policy to achieve sustainable change in the sector.

Mr Henderson added: “There are many challenges – particularly reducing budgets at a time of unprecedented demand for college places and the whole future of higher education funding where over 20 per cent of HE is delivered by colleges.

“However, I know I am joining an experienced team and I very much look forward to getting out and about in visiting colleges and meeting colleagues throughout Scotland.”

Mr Henderson has worked across the FE sector, including his role within the Scottish Education Department as the head of the Further Education Funding Unit, and as head of team for Vocational Education in Scotland.

Brian Keegan, chairman of Scotland’s Colleges, said: “We had an excellent response to the job advertisement with several candidates of a very high standard. However, the panel was unanimous in its selection of John Henderson as the outstanding candidate.

Mr Keegan continued: “We are confident, given the financial and political challenges the sector is currently facing, that John is the right man for the job. John’s extensive experience as a senior civil servant, as well as his previous roles within the Scottish Education Department, make him, not only a CEO for this organisation, but one for this sector and for the future.”

He will take up his new position from 21 March, replacing outgoing CEO Ray Harris following the restructuring.

Mark Astley

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