From education to employment

Principal training builds on FE White Paper

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) has responded to the introduction of the Further Education and Training Bill by announcing a qualifying programme for FE principals.

The Bill, presented to the House of Lords last week, contains the provision to regulate for mandatory qualifications for FE principals.

On 14th September, Bill Rammell, the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education had announced planned regulations to cover newly appointed principals, but did not make the qualification mandatory for serving principals.

The CEL qualifying programme is available to all principals, including those already serving and will be personalised to the individual needs. The training will be based upon the role specifications for FE principals developed in collaboration with the FE sector.

CEL’s chief executive, Lynne Sedgmore, said, “We welcome this announcement as an important step towards increasing the professionalism of our leaders and further enhancing the excellent reputation of the sector. We are working with key leaders, partners, opinion formers and credible delivery organisations in the sector to build a strong reputation during design, development and delivery.

“This will be supported by robust assessments at the start and finish of the programme, and consideration of accreditation of prior experience and learning. We are delighted that Dame Ruth Silver DBE has agreed to Chair our assessment panel”, she added.

Dame Ruth said, “I am very pleased to take on the role of chief assessor for the qualifying programme. We will guarantee the quality and high calibre preparation of tomorrow’s leaders for FE.”

CEL will take into account experience of its Senior Leadership Development Programme (SLDP), which has delivered more than 15 new principals since 2003. The SLDP will continue to provide significant credits towards the qualifying programme for anyone wanting to progress to their first principal’s role, and is likely to stand them in good stead with any selection panel.

The programme will be launched for the first two cohorts in January 2007 and become incorporated within CEL’s portfolio from September 2007. Serving principals will be encouraged to undertake the qualifying programme on a voluntary basis.

Irene Watt.

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