A new programme designed to equip Chairs of College Governing Bodies with the skills they need to drive success in their organisations has been launched by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF).

Called The Further Education Chairs Leadership Programme, it was launched at the Association of Colleges’ annual conference in Birmingham today (Wednesday 21 November 2018). It will be delivered by the world-renowned Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

The programme will provide a unique opportunity for Chairs to take time out to reflect on their role as governance leaders and identify ways in which they can further enhance the value they add to the Board and their wider organisation.

It will feature insight into how to establish high performance, explore a Chair’s relationships with the Clerk and CEO, and enhance understanding of the responsibilities of the Board around an institution’s mission and purpose, financial management, performance and people.

It will feature a residential element at Oxford which will include a taught component and a dinner with a keynote speaker, as well as intensive support for nine months afterwards and ongoing alumni engagement.

Delegates can expect to gain a deeper understanding of their role in the context of the FE sector, a broader network of peers and strengthened leadership capabilities.

Sir Frank McLoughlin, ETF Director of Leadership, said:

“Leadership is the key to the success of any organisation and the leadership challenge in our sector continues to develop in scale and complexity. There is a growing recognition that the most effective strategic response is led by the Chair of the Governing body and college governors, together with the CEO and executive team. This programme offers Chairs the opportunity to work with the prestigious Saïd Business School and a network of fellow chairs to develop more robust governance and organisational resilience, and to strengthen leadership capability and drive higher performance at their college.”

Atholl Stott, Chair of the Association of Colleges Governors Council, said:

“Colleges are growing and becoming increasingly complex and multi-faceted organisations, placing increased demands on their chairs, boards and leaders. In designing this programme, the ETF has actively listened to stakeholders, requests from college Chairs and feedback from board members and senior leadership teams. In doing so, it has sought to understand the myriad challenges Chairs face which include strategy, business skills, education and understanding the environment we all work within. By shaping an offer that includes the key skills and knowledge required, we are confident we have produced an attractive programme. This will not only provide the support and development needed, to ensure effective consistent levels of good governance are maintained across the sector, but also deliver and embed transferable governance skills which can be used in any organisation or sector.”

The course has been welcomed by Mark White, Chair of Governors of the Stockton Riverside College Group:

“This programme is a very welcome and much-needed addition to the support the Education and Training Foundation offers to senior leaders in Further Education. It offers not only a mix of elements that will provide effective support for Chairs of FE Governing Boards, but also the opportunity to work with the much-respected Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. I look forward to undertaking it.”

For further details of The Further Education Chairs Leadership Programme and to book please visit its homepage. The programme is funded and subsidised by the Department for Education for eligible organisations funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. It builds on the support for leaders in Further Education already offered by the ETF, which includes programmes for Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officers. Details are available on the ETF’s Leadership Hub.

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