From education to employment

CEL announces first ten to pass Principals qualifying programme

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) is pleased to announce
that ten candidates have successfully completed and achieved the
Principals qualifying programme, just 12 months after they started the
programme. They are the first to meet the rigorous requirements of this
innovative and developmental assessment process.

The programme arises from the government’s reform of further education
and training, and is intended to support principals and chief executives
in leading transformational change in the sector. Offering high quality
leadership development on a par with that provided for top executives in
other parts of the public and private sectors, the Principals qualifying
programme is highly personalised and uses reflective practice and
experiential learning to strengthen leadership practice. Its flexible
design enables principals to undertake the programme at their own pace.

CEL’s programme director Mary Joyce said, “The Principals qualifying
programme starts with a thorough self-assessment and 360 feedback of an
individual’s current leadership profile, using a top leadership
benchmarking tool. An individual development plan is then developed,
with the support of executive leadership coaching by a critical friend.
The emphasis is on developing professional leadership practice and
experience as a principal, mapped against the individual’s development
needs and against the benchmark role specifications for principals of
FE, sixth-form and specialist colleges set out by Lifelong Learning UK.

"Feedback from participants has been first-class. Leaders have told us
that this programme not only helps them to develop their leadership
capacity and reflective skills, enabling a better understanding of their
leadership style and impact on others, but also that they can evidence a
positive impact on staff and learners."

Peter Hillman, of New College Pontefract, said, “As a new principal,
this programme has been valuable for me in developing a more honest,
open approach with my senior leadership team. I have been leading
learning by learning to lead.”

Francis Wadsworth, principal of East Surrey College, said, “The
programme has made me reflect on my own leadership practice and
reinforced the importance of standards and leadership excellence for
both me and my senior management team.”

Stephen Grix is the principal at Mid Kent College. “As a result of this
programme, I am focusing even more on improving leadership and
determining our key values, which will benefit learners,” he said.

Mark Dawe, principal at Oaklands College, said, “Starting the programme
as a reluctant learner, the programme has stimulated me and my desire to
learn more – not only for personal development but to ensure a modern
and innovative approach to leadership and the learning environment at
Oaklands College.”

Congratulating the candidates, CEL’s chief executive Lynne Sedgmore
said, “We can see that this innovative programme benefits both new and
practising principals. It is not a standard executive leadership
programme that you can buy off the shelf from any leading business
school. It has been designed as a best-in-class programme that takes a
fresh and highly personalised approach to leadership in the FE and
skills sector. This is not simply a right of authority to be a principal
and run a successful college – these ten individuals have shown their
true leadership spirit and have demonstrated a commitment to their own
leadership practice and that of their colleagues as part of building a
community of leadership practice, which will have a positive impact on
improving the student experience."

The successful candidates were:

* Mark Dawe, Oaklands College

* Bill Fearon, West Kent College

* Kevin Finnigan, formerly Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

* Stephen Grix, Mid Kent College

* Peter Hillman, New College Pontefract

* Jacqui Mace, Stanmore College

* Graham Morley, Cannock Chase Technical College

* Martin Penny, Stratford upon Avon College

* Frances Wadsworth, East Surrey College

* Dawn Ward, Royal Forest of Dean College

Related Articles