From education to employment

CEL presents its Strategy in the House of Lords

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) presented its strategy for sustainable development at the House of Lords on 15 November 2007. Towards leadership for sustainability sets out CELs plans to help develop the capacity and capability of leaders at all levels in the further education sector to lead and support the embedding of sustainable development throughout their organisations.

The strategy was informed by two research projects conducted for CEL, one by Forum for the Future, and the other by a team from the Education for Sustainability Programme at London South Bank University; extensive consultation with partners, influencers and staff members; and strategic partnerships with stakeholders in the FE system and beyond.

Conrad Benefield, CELs programme director for sustainability, said, “We recognise the FE systems critical role in supporting individuals and society to understand and implement sustainable development. Our research and consultation process identified that we should support the development of leaders” and organisations” capacity and capability to be leaders for sustainability, and that we should actively contribute to policy development and practice. We should build our own capacity and practice too, and lead, support and contribute to debate, discussion and improvement in leadership for sustainability.

“It is really important to embed sustainable development into every part of leadership, not only into aspects of estates management, learning delivery and operations, but also into curriculum design, strategic planning, business development and workforce development. This is how we will be able to achieve truly sustainable organisations, where leadership for sustainability is a way of life and how we run the business, not just something we apply to particular tasks or departments.”

Lynne Sedgmore, chief executive of CEL, said, “A challenge for further education, and its leaders, is how to balance and satisfy the very clear economic, social and environmental imperatives that it faces. Learner achievement is of course the primary aim of every learning provider, CEO or principal, but sustainable development is intertwined with the mission and values of our sector ““ to promote opportunity, create economic prosperity, support social inclusion, build communities and encourage responsible and ethical living. The further education sector clearly has a role to play in ensuring that we change how we live our lives so that our children and future generations may enjoy a good quality of life.”

The launch event was hosted by Baroness Wall of New Barnet, who paid tribute to CELs focus on leadership and its innovative leadership of important initiatives in the FE sector. She also praised those providers who were pioneering effective practice in the areas of sustainability and of listening to and working closely with learners.

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