From education to employment

Strong Relationship Cemented at Dinner Ceremony Hosted by NBM

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) and the Network for Black Managers (NbM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a dinner hosted by the NbM for black principals and chairs of governors in London on Thursday 23 February 2006.

The agreement sets out their collaborative working arrangements for the next three years. This includes the NbM advising CEL on effective strategies to improve the Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) profile of leaders in the sector. NbM will “equality proof” CEL’s curriculum offer to ensure the promotion of strong positive messages.

Relevant Research

Relevant research and data analysis will be undertaken to provide clear baselines for improved action and targets. Managing diversity will be embedded as a core competence for leadership training in all CEL mainstream programmes. Both the CEL and the NbM are to work proactively to create the conditions that will lead to increased numbers of BME leaders in senior positions and to encourage better quality in line management of black staff.

CEL chairman David Marshall said: “We are delighted to formalise the strong relationship that we already enjoy with NbM. Working in concert with NbM and the Black Leadership Initiative, which is a CEL project, we are committed to developing and delivering a national leadership strategy to radically improve the diversity profile of our leaders.”

NbM chairman Ahmed Choonara stated: “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to collaborate and promote synergy where there is a clear mutual interest that will provide added value to the sector that both organisations serve.”

The Organisations

The CEL was launched in October 2003, to ensure world-class leadership is achieved within the learning and skills sector. It particularly provides support to FE colleges, training and work-based learning providers as well as adult and community providers, on how to boost and develop skills, improve learning and make organisations more flexible through effective leadership.

The CEL comprises of a partnership between the Learning and Skills Development Agency and Lancaster University Management School and also receives support from the Ashridge Business School. Hence, it calls itself a “virtual” organisation. Making more progress with the BME group is the next step for CEL. “Improving diversity and extending opportunity is fundamental to CEL’s talent management and succession planning agenda,” said CEL chief executive, Lynne Sedgmore.

The NbM is a not-for-profit company with a mission to develop an organisation that addresses the needs of black learners, managers and other sector workers; raises awareness of race issues and promotes equality of opportunity within the learning and skills sector in England and abroad. So, this collaborative agreement with the CEL affords the NbM greater scope for making more headway.

Robin Landman, NbM’s executive director, said: “We welcome the chance to work with CEL as an organisation that clearly embraces those values and supports our objectives. Through CEL programmes and BLI initiatives, BME staff have access to development opportunities, work shadowing, mentoring, coaching, placements and career advice, and we will provide advice, encouragement and practical support to ensure their success.”

Sudakshina Mukherjee

Will agreements really change the equality situation in FE? Tell us in the FE Blog

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