From education to employment

Carole Carson, Executive Chair of SCL Education Group, named CEO Monthly’s Education Chairperson of the Year (UK)

Carole Carson, Executive Chair of SCL Education Group, has been named CEO Monthly’s Education Chairperson of the Year (UK) in the Chairperson Awards 2021.

The Chairperson Awards 2021 honour those who possess the ability to take a business to the next level thanks to their commitment to promoting innovative approaches, business excellence and resolution.

An exemplary figure in the education sphere, Carole joined SCL in December 2018 as Chair and was appointed to Executive Chair in 2020. As Chairperson of SCL, Carole has helped shape an incredible force for good, supporting SCL in helping thousands of young adults and children through the exceptional power of sport.

“SCL Education Group are motivated by the power to help people and shape lives. They do this through their unique approach to sports centred learning (SCL). Their purpose as a business and their values align with my own aspirations to have a positive impact and create life shaping experiences” Carole Carson

SCL Education Group is built on four divisions, all driven by the same goal, to unlock potential across the UK. SCL are a leading provider in education, predominantly sports education and coaching using the power of sport as a motivational tool to create positive outcomes. Across their other divisions they deliver apprenticeships, traineeships, adult education, childcare, and end point assessment.

Over the last twenty-two years, SCL has provided children aged 4-12 and 16+ with the opportunity to gain qualifications, learn key values, maintain good habits and establish strong social skills to support their transition into adult life.

Carole shared her thoughts on her appointment and current goals:

“I was appointed to Executive Chair to support the newly appointed Chief Executive and working alongside the owners of the business Lewis Field and Steve Franks. The business is now in its 22nd year – the pandemic has been challenging, but we’ve navigated it well and the future looks exciting.

We’re looking towards good growth driven by delivering good customer experiences. With two newly formed business divisions this year, we are driving positive impact from early years to adulthood across a range of services and establishing SCL in new markets. It’s great to be in this position and supporting the new CEO, Brad Rushton, who is truly passionate about doing the best for the business and the individuals that come through our doors.”

The Chair of the board works closely with the Chief Executive to provide them and the executive team with positive challenges, experiences and business knowledge. A Chief Executive role can be lonely, and the job of the Chair is to act as a true support to the CEO to create a healthy environment, as Carole explains:

“I understand that everyone is different. Everyone is motivated by different things and engaged in different ways – if you can understand people, you can understand how to drive business success. I have seen first-hand how nurturing and engaging people in the right way has positive results. The key to success is remembering that People are what drives your business.”

One of the greatest tools a chairperson can have is experience – and Carole certainly has that in spades. Beginning her career at BT and working her way up to senior management, Carole credits her tenure to establishing those first essential skills:

“In some ways, it felt like an apprenticeship in that I gained key knowledge and learned different types of behaviours that facilitated progression. I then moved into the education sector and utilised the lessons I learned at BT to deliver from a quality perspective and a more robust customer service angle.

My last full-time position was as Chief Executive of Babington, growing the business from C. £2million to £23 million and I excitedly led the company through significant periods of organic growth as well as a few acquisitions. And lastly, successfully leading the organisation through a sale.”

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