From education to employment

Anne Milton appoints top college principals as National Leaders to drive improvements in Further Education

Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton appoints seven of Country’s best principals as National Leaders to use their expertise to support other colleges

  • New appointments to raise standards and encourage collaboration in the further education sector
  • Experienced serving principals to be consulted on critical issues to improve college performance

Some of the country’s top college principals have been appointed to a new group which will work with underperforming colleges to help drive up standards and improve quality of teaching.

The seven National Leaders of Further Education (NLFE) will provide support to the further education sector, to help improve provision so that more people have access to high quality education and training.

All the NLFEs, confirmed today by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton, are college leaders from good or outstanding colleges who have a strong track record of delivering improvement – both in their own colleges and in working with others.

Anne milton100x100Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

We have a number of fantastic leaders across the FE sector, who have already achieved great results. Now we want them to use their expertise and experience to help other colleges to improve.

This is an exciting new programme that will provide colleges with practical advice and support from experts within the sector, who have a proven track record of delivering results, giving learners a greater chance of gaining the skills and knowledge they need in later life.

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) supports and welcomes the appointment of the first seven National Leaders of Further Education (NLFE). As serving college leaders with a strong track record of delivering improvement, both at their own colleges and in working with others, they will provide strategic mentoring and support to other colleges that need to improve.

As the national professional development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector, the ETF were represented on the NLFE appointment panel by Sir Frank McLoughlin CBE, Associate Director for Leadership.

david russell100X100David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), said:

These high calibre appointments will play a pivotal role in supporting their colleagues to improve their colleges for the benefit of learners, employers and their communities. Further Education is critical to the future of the country so enabling these outstanding leaders to spread their knowledge and expertise is an opportunity that must be grasped. We should all be grateful to them for wanting to play such important national roles and make a real difference to the whole sector.

The ETF believes that continuing to improve leadership in the sector is vital to its success. This is why we support this initiative alongside the leadership training we are doing in partnership with Oxford Saïd, University of Oxford. The range of programmes includes the Strategic Leadership Programme for current Principals and CEOs and the newly launched Preparing for CEO programme.


It has also been announced that seven new members have been appointed to the Principals’ Reference Group, made up of experienced principals from good or outstanding colleges, who will advise and challenge the FE Commissioner and help inform policy development affecting colleges.

Additionally, more Deputy FE Commissioners and Advisers have been selected to support the FE Commissioner in leading interventions to help struggling FE and sixth form colleges.

These high quality appointments were made following a rigorous and open recruitment process.

Membership of the Principals’ Reference Group includes seven serving chief executive principals from good or outstanding colleges, plus the FE Commissioner.

Seven principals have been appointed to the first cohort of NLFEs, and will have their induction day on 29 January.

Four new Deputy FE Commissioners and one new FE Adviser have been appointed.

The Principals’ Reference Group are:

Gill Alton, Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education

Judith Doyle, Gateshead College

Shelagh Legrave, Chichester College Group

Paul Phillips, Weston College

Graham Razey, East Kent College and Canterbury College

Jatinder Sharma, Walsall College

Mandie Stravino, Derby College

NLFE cohort:

Lindsey Whiterod

Tyne Coast College

Peter McGhee

St John Rigby College

Gill Alton

Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education

Lowell Williams

Dudley College of Technology

David Gleed

North Kent College

Graham Razey

East Kent College & Canterbury Colleges

Paul Phillips

Weston College


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