From education to employment

Breyan Knowles, Chief Executive of AOSEC, Retires at 63

The Association Of South East Colleges (AOSEC) has announced the retirement of Chief Executive Breyan Knowles this month.

After many years in both music teaching and in education management, Mr. Knowles, 63, has elected to pursue other interests with his newly found leisure time, including a return to his musical activities. His post will be taken by Sandra Harding ““ Deans, who was formerly the Head of FE for the Learning and Skills Council in Surrey responsible for planning, funding and issues of quality.

A Brief Picture

Mr. Knowles began his education by attending Stockport School before entering the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. After teaching music in various different schools he became Lecturer in Music and Education at the Culham Teacher Training College, Oxfordshire. He gained a Master of Arts Degree from Sussex University and then entered Education Management.

His first role in this field was with the Southern Regional Council for Further Education. He was a key player in moving this organisation from its Local Authority roots to an independent Company, which led to its gaining Charitable Status and taking on its current guise of AOSEC. He is married and has two children.

The Future

Mr. Knowles spoke of his desire to continue with his music now that he has retired, saying: “I am looking forward to pursuing my musical activities, especially learning to play my newly acquired French Horn and to continue with my church music interests.”

Sandra Harding ““ Deans spoke of her excitement at taking up this role at such a time of change in FE, saying: “After 25 years in School and FE Sector teaching and management, then four years in LSC, I am ready for a new challenge. My new appointment certainly offers that! A lot is happening in the FE sector, as ever, but this is a particularly busy time, with numerous White Papers, Agenda for Change and the Foster Review.

“The colleges have risen to the challenges and, through building on their strengths, whilst acknowledging and addressing weaknesses, they have made significant progress, especially in success rates and inspection outcomes,” she continued. “However, there remain challenges, in particular clarity of purpose and reputation. I look forward to working not only with colleges, but also pro-actively with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), the Association of Colleges (AoC), the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) and the Government Office for the South East (GOSE), to drive forward the agenda.”

Jethro Marsh

Welcome Sandra to her new post in the FE Blog

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