Leadership Business

This page provides you with access to resources on a range of key issues and priorities for leaders and managers at all levels, including governing bodies.

Under each theme below you can find resources on one or more topics. Click on the shaded boxes to view the resources relating to that topic. In most cases you can click the 'search for related resources' link to search the Excellence Gateway for more resources on that topic. (Search results will appear in a new tab or window.) You can then refine those search results using the filters that appear alongside the results.

Working in the sector

    Strong governance underpins all successful organisations and helps to ensure that learners have an excellent experience. The following reports provide information on good governance, the composition of boards and on the role and responsibility of clerks.

    Code of Good Governance for English Colleges

    2015 Board Composition Survey

    2015 Clerks Survey

  • National Leaders of Governance

    Through the ETF funded Governance Development Programme, support is available to colleges from National Leaders of Governance (NLGs). NLGs are individuals who have been recruited by AoC to support college boards in fulfilling their responsibilities. They are either highly effective serving chairs of governors or serving governors with relevant experience of chairing in other sectors. NLGs work with individual colleges and lead or contribute to national or regional events. Please visit the AoC Governance page for information on who the NLGs are and for details on how to get support.

    There are also 10 case studies(download all) covering each of the principal responsibilities of good governance from the Code of Good Governance for English Colleges, highlighting the work of the National Leaders of Governance.           

  • College senior staff and their contribution to governance

    A brief, research-based guide on the contribution of senior college staff to governance in their institutions.

  • Clerking in the New Era: full report

    A report of research into the varied role of clerks and their requirements for training and development in the light of the new freedoms set out in the government's FE reform agenda.

  • The Effective College Board: Keeping fit for purpose

    This pack and the tools within it will enable college governing bodies in the further education and skills sector to evaluate their effectiveness and develop a rigorous governance quality improvement plan. It can be used by boards as part of their self-evaluation process, and by external facilitators when supporting board improvement.

  • ACL services paper

    On behalf of the Education Training Foundation (ETF), HOLEX has been leading a project evaluating best practice in respect of the governance of Adult and Community Learning (ACL) services. This paper describes the project purpose, aims, methodology and findings and includes a detailed summary of past inspection reports and the results of an ACL sector wide governance survey. The paper also provides recommendations for further work and advises on what 'good' looks like.

  • Governance toolkit

    This toolkit (ZIP – 6.7MB), from HOLEX, provides resources, materials and examples of effective practice aimed at providers of adult and community learning (ACL). It provides materials, tools and resources of use to those involved in governance role in this part of the education and training sector. The materials will be useful for governors of Local Authority adult learning services acting under delegated powers, Local Authority elected member portfolio holders, or trustees/members of third sector organisation boards or management committees.

  • Browse for related resources.

Regional Governance Programme

Board Assurance Practice

A project funded through the ETF regional governance programme 2016-17.

The set of clips below explores different approaches and opinions about board assurance. They are intended to stimulate discussion, debate and self reflection as part of board evaluation processes.

  1. Introduction and why board assurance as a topic? https://youtu.be/GBF845cn8t8
  2. The Importance of Long Term Vision https://youtu.be/cHnADUn6Hu0
  3. Board Structures https://youtu.be/03vcTRMH9-c
  4. Relationships and the role of the clerk https://youtu.be/AuC8yRjXNuY
  5. Approaches to being a well informed board https://youtu.be/EBriO51LOUc
  6. The Importance of Diversity  https://youtu.be/WdL0OCScxMc
  7. Going Paperless  https://youtu.be/7iT-AiYNnKk Demonstration https://youtu.be/evvGlnbxzkw
Governance Newsletters 2017

Fortnightly editions of the 'Supporting Governing' newsletters can be found below. The newsletters cover a range of governance issues and feature editorials, by Dr. Ron Hill, as well as guest blogs. Detail on a range of governance support is also featured. The link to sign up to receive the newsletters direct to your inbox is available at the end of each newsletter.




Newsletter 1

Role of Staff Governors


Newsletter 2

Time to have a serious talk with ….. yourself?


Newsletter 3

Hang on a minute……….. we're thinking more about clerks this time


Newsletter 4

Meetings - Reports - Decisions - Impact?


Newsletter 5

How Can We Help The Governors’ Governor


Newsletter 6

Improving Key Aspects of Governing Practice


Newsletter 7

A Time for First Principles?


Newsletter 8

Sharing some festive reading!


Newsletter 9

Meeting Governors’ Training and Development Needs – The Clerk’s Role


Newsletter 10

Being a Governor is about developing as a Governor


Newsletter 11

Are You a Boundary Spanner?


Newsletter 12

Let’s make a list ….?


Newsletter 13

Searching for the best Governors is only the start (Part 1)


Newsletter 14

Searching for the best governors is only the start (Part 2)


Newsletter 15

Let’s think about technology education


Newsletter 16

From being Head of the Awkward Squad to Appreciated Colleague, Adviser and Guide


Newsletter 17

College Inspection and Governance: a case of an Outstanding College Inspection and Governance


Newsletter 18

Question Time


Newsletter 19

Great Expectations


  Newsletter 20

  August is an Important Month for   Governing Bodies


  Newsletter 21

Some New Ideas for Governing from H.M. Government 



Newsletter 22

Time to rethink Governor Time 


Newsletter 23

Sharpening Your Focus on Governing Practice Using a Structured Professional Journal 


Newsletter 24

Learning about governing from the school sector 


Newsletter 25

Clerks bring added extras to governing colleges 



Newsletter 26

Behaving as Governors 


Newsletter 27

Ten Lessons I have learnt from being a College Governor


Newsletter 28

Happy New Year to all our Subscribers


Newsletter 29

Reflections on being a new college governor-Dr Andy Allen 


Leading in Local Areas

Quality improvement & inspection

Collaborative working
Quality improvement

Organisational effectiveness

Resource management and efficiency
  • Improving efficiency and effectiveness - A guide for Colleges and Providers

    This report considers what is meant by effectiveness and goes on to look at the features of some of the best providers. The report then identifies some measures of effectiveness and efficiency, the common features of "successful" colleges and elements of effective practice.

  • Case studies in improving efficiency and effectiveness

    The link above will provide you with a breadth of case studies relating to improving efficiency and effectiveness in a number of areas, including through use of technology, reducing staff costs, business process reorganisation etc.

  • 7 Key principles of management underpinning excellence

    This ebook  covers the 7 key principles of successful business and entrepreneurial triumph offering bite size “Hints and Tips”, good practice and sustainability for the future. Each of the 7 key principles picks up on the current need for effective leadership and management, delivered in an adaptable approach supported by on-line resources, webinars and opportunities for collaborative activities.
    The programme, commissioned by the Foundation and delivered by ALIN from January to June 2017, was been designed and delivered as 7 modules, each with supporting resources giving practical and useful information to support managers and leaders to develop themselves, their teams and the organisations that they work within. 

  • Springboards to Sustainability: A review of the Stepping Up in Sustainability programme 2012-13 
  •  This report assesses the impact of 13 projects completed in the 2012-13 round of the Stepping Up in Sustainability Fund, as well as the key  ingredients for success that could inform others looking to take forward similar projects.

  • Browse for related resources.

Equality & Diversity
  • Leading Inclusion: A Guide to Good Practice in Leadership of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    This guide looks at how fourteen providers that have demonstrated good practice in equality, diversity and inclusion have acted to improve and succeed in this area. The related audit tool can support providers in identifying progress and priorities for action.

  • Age equality and the workforce: resources for providers

    This set of resources can help providers to understand and apply principles that promote equality within workforce planning and organisational development, with a specific focus on age equality.

  • Emerging Voices: Breathing spaces for Values, Beliefs and Faiths in the Further Education Curriculum

    The starting principle of this report is that learners in FE should not be denied the opportunity to extend their understanding of the beliefs and values that shape their own and others' lives. The report looks at the potential for pursuing this through teaching, learning and the curriculum, and includes sample learning materials.

  • Developing a leadership Pipieline for BAME staff in Further Education and Training (2016 Report)

  • The Education Training Foundation’s survey data 2013/14 showed that 84.9% of staff are of “white British” ethnic background – which rises to 91% for senior managers. 4.5% of staff are of Asian and 3.5% of African/Caribbean descent, but only 2.4% or 1.7% respectively out of senior managers. This contrasts with 8.2% and 6.4% of learners nationally and highlights continuing inequalities within the further education and training sector. In April 2015 The Education Training Foundation laid out their plans for tackling inequality in the Equality and Diversity Strategy, which includes a commitment to seeing the senior leadership of the sector reflect the student population in its diversity by 2020. The Foundation has been engaged in a range of initiatives to support this agenda, including working towards the development of a leadership pipeline for Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) middle managers. A report on the scoping phase was carried out during February, March and June 2016. The report gives an overview of what some of the barriers are for BAME staff, then goes on to look at continuing professional development opportunities in the sector. 

  • The recommendations within the reports and action plan are for the consideration of the Education and Training Foundation and other stakeholders. 

  1. BAME Leadership Pipeline Report  Final%20report.pdf  
  2. ACL Report    ACL%20Report.pdf     
  3. Action Plan Action%20Plan.pdf
Curriculum leadership
Talent management

Click here to visit the Excellence Gateway and browse or search more widely for resources to meet your needs.