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Former NUS President Stays in FE and Moves to Leadership Body

In a bid to tap the largely untapped potential of the learners in FE consultation, the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) have turned to a former colleague for assistance.

The person who has been appointed to lead their bid to broach the barriers surrounding learner opinions is Kat Fletcher, the former President of the National Union of Students (NUS) and a former FE student herself. During her time at the NUS she was active in raising the profile of the learner representatives in FE, so often a neglected silent partner in learner debates. Her work is now being carried forward by her successor at the NUS, Ellie Russell.

New Role

From now on, Kat Fletcher will be the Leadership of Learners Strategic Coordinator. As such, she will be the individual with the responsibility for offering support for the representatives in colleges, thus improving the level of student leadership in FE and enabling greater participation in the management and governance of their respective institutions. As part of this, she will be part of the campaign for developing and providing leadership-focused student governor training and policy development for leading learners.

Kat Fletcher will also be advising the CEL and colleges on issues of quality improvement from the perspective of student leadership. This fits neatly with the remit that the CEL has been given in ensuring the delivery of quality leadership in FE following the Government’s White Paper, “Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances.” The CEL has already been participating in the creation of the mandatory principal’s qualification.

Welcoming New String to Bow

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The Chief Executive of the CEL welcomed Kat Fletcher on board. Lynne Sedgemore said: “Kat’s appointment reflects the growing importance of the learner voice in our leadership development work and we are confident that, with her valuable insights and experience, she will be able to help us ensure that this facet is fully integrated within our programmes. We have already worked with Kat on various projects, and are delighted that she has agreed to join us and take on this new challenge.”

Speaking of the appointment, Kat Fletcher stressed the importance of continuity in the appointments in FE leadership for the requirements of the sector in the future. She said: “Having previously worked with CEL, I was very impressed with the organisation, people and direction. I applied for this role because it seemed like a natural progression from the work I had been doing at NUS, where I”d led a step change in the organisation’s work in the learning and skills sector.

“I”m glad that both the Foster review and the FE White Paper acknowledged the need to involve learners in their educational experience, and am really looking forward to having the chance, in my new role at CEL, to help embed these principles across the sector,” she concluded.

Jethro Marsh

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