From education to employment

Leadership and Management Training Key to White Paper and FE Success say CEL

The issue of management within the FE sector has remained a contentious one, and is an area that the recent White Paper on Further Education is seeking to tackle.

The Paper, entitled “Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances”, is intended to serve as a blueprint for the future of FE, and has been welcomed to varying degrees by different organisations across the sector. The Paper highlights the importance of staff development and continued training programmes for those working within the sector as crucial to the recruitment and retention of the best individuals for the posts available. The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) has particularly welcomed this news, with their Chief Executive Lynne Sedgemore expressing pleasure that FE has finally received the attention it deserves.

Millions of Learners

Responding to the publication, Lynne Sedgemore commented on the scale of FE, saying: “Further education equips millions of young people and adults with the skills needed for a productive and competitive economy, and we are pleased to see it being given the recognition and encouragement it deserves.

“We welcome the proposals that all new college principals should gain a leadership qualification,” she continued, moving on to discuss the staff training elements, “the importance placed on continuing professional development (CPD) for all staff within the sector and the powerful commitment to equality and diversity that will be incorporated in the quality strategy. CEL clearly has a pivotal role to play in all these areas and we”re delighted that this has been recognised and acknowledged in the White Paper.”


Lynne Sedgemore also spoke of the need to work in conjunction with other agencies, particularly mentioning the Quality Improvement Agency that is to be launched next month. She said: “We look forward to consultations with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) about the mandatory principal’s qualification and to working with our partners, the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) and Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), to develop the Quality Improvement Strategy for further education.

“We are already planning significant activities in response to the expansion of our diversity and equality remit, and will continue to work closely with the BlackLeadership Initiative, the Network for Black Managers (NBM), sector providers and our partners to deliver them.” She also spoke of the need for cross sector partnership agreements, saying: “In light of the proposed reforms and the need for collaboration between the school and college workforces and organisations that support them, we will also continue to work closely with the National College of School Leadership and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.”

Finally, she looked to the future, saying: “This White Paper heralds significant reform, and CEL is committed to playing its part in helping the further education system realise its full potential.”

Jethro Marsh

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