Leadership Thinking

This page offers you links to some of the latest thinking, comment and practice on leadership in the further education and training sector. Here we will highlight new resources, topical issues, news from the sector and from the Foundation, and videos, blogs and vlogs that may be of interest to you (including our own regular Spotlights) which you can access via the link below.

Hot topics
  • Area reviews and FE reform

    Further support for Area Reviews! Have you read the new ETF funded Guide for Governors and Senior Leaders on new structures? Click here to access the guide.

    Nick Boles, Minister of State for Skills, wrote to all further education (FE) and sixth form colleges and independent training providers on 24 March 2016 updating them on progress in implementing the FE reform programme, which is designed to raise the quality of vocational education for young people and adults. You can view the Minister's letter and policy brief here.

  • Transformational Leadership

    Shelagh Legrave, Principal and Chief Executive of Chichester College, reflects on why we need transformational leadership. Read more by downloading Why we need transformational leadership (PDF - 78kB)

    Dr Tanya Ovenden-Hope - The Cornwall College Group, blogs about transformational change leadership

Leadership Summit 2016
  • The Leadership Summit 2016 focused on transformational leadership. In times of constant change, business as usual is not an option. The challenge for leadership in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of an uncertain future is to know how to do things differently. A series of videos from the Leadership Summit explore the challenges that face the Post-16 sector and how leaders might respond to them.

    Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles outlines his vision and ambition for the Post-16 education sector, and in particular how FE colleges must find different ways to ensure that our vocational education system is world class

    Dr David Hall, CEO of The Ideas Centre explains how thinking pattern can trap leaders in 'rear-view mirror' thinking when they try to solve todays problems by using yesterday's solutions. He advocates playfulness and indulging our inner superhero.

    Julian Wilson, Director, Matt Black Systems - talks about self-management as a means to cut costs and increase engagement.

    Pat Carrington, Principal, City College Peterborough - talks about a city wide approach to transformational leadership.

    Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Greater London Authority. Talking about what is required to transform whole sectors, drawing on the experience of Britain's globally respected arts and culture sector.

    Four leaders from across the FE and training sector talk about what it means to be a transformational leader.

  • These provide news, information and resources on key leadership topics. Visit the Spotlights page for full details.

Featured resources
  • Ten Strategic Messages

    10 strategic messages about leadership in the education and training sector today (Word - 108KB) As work on leadership, management and governance gains momentum, the Foundation reflects on the key leadership messages for the sector.

  • The Leadership Pipeline Toolkit

    The Leadership Pipeline Toolkit is aimed at practitioners (teachers, learning support staff), first-time and middle managers in the further education and skills sector who aspire to be the future leaders in the sector.

    Leadership is usually associated with senior positions, and some may aspire to those roles. However, increasingly organisations need staff to assume leadership roles and responsibilities at all levels in order to most effectively meet the needs of learners and employers, influence change and drive innovation. Many of the leaders interviewed talked about the leadership capabilities that they had to develop and apply in the classroom, demonstrating that their leadership journey had started much earlier in their careers. Leadership isn't a destination, one doesn't just become a leader when you step into a particular role at a certain level. It is more a process of acquisition. At any time, you will be in situations where you will need to demonstrate leadership, and the more this happens the more it will become the norm. Leadership is also something to be learnt and developed over time. The more you practise the more skilled you can become. For aspiring leaders, it is important to remember this. As an aspiring leader, you can find opportunities and situations to practise leadership and at whatever level you are currently at.

    To access this useful free resource please click here . The toolkit is located on the Foundation Online Learning and you will need to register to go through the modules - registration only takes a few minutes.

  • Leadership Design

    A guide providing a clear framework for the development of inspirational leadership cultures.

  • Learning Technologies

    During 2014-2015, commissioned and funded by the Education and Training Foundation, the Learning Futures programme commissioned 17 projects to develop CPD resources for staff, leaders and governors to increase their skills and confidence to get the most from learning technologies. The project resources range from practical tools to complete online courses. All resources are free for you to use and adapt for your own purposes. You can review all of the resources together or explore them by theme. Take a look at the suite of practical resources to support leaders and governors in understanding and using technology www.lfutures.co.uk

  • Maths & English

    These guidance and resources, aimed at senior leaders and governors, help to increase the GCSE English and maths capacity in the education and training sector.

  • Leading in Local Areas

    In 2015 the Foundation commissioned two projects to support education and training sector leaders as they develop new ways of working with the new devolved or localist entities tasked with multiple local economic growth priorities including infrastructure, employment and skills.

    This document is a summary of the findings of the projects.

Leadership research
  • Leading in volatile times

    Leading in volatile times (PDF - 14.3MB) Distributive leadership can address the challenges of "volatile" times and can support strong governance. A "call to arms" to organisations in the further education sector.

  • Leadership insights from beyond the sector

    Leadership insights from beyond the sector (PDF - 610KB) Leadership strategies need to be responsive, agile and have a clear understanding of the context they are operating within. Therefore, can generic leadership programmes really work?

  • Leadership Pipeline - a strategic consultation

    Leadership pipeline - a strategic consultation Recruitment processes used for potential leaders and are potentially discriminatory for applicants from beyond the sector or those for whom English is a second language. How do we ensure that our future leaders reflect the learners they serve?

Localism in Action
  • HOLEX has been leading a project looking at best practice in respect to devolution of the skills budget and the impact of localism in devolution areas. The project was aimed at improving and enhancing the leadership skills needed to ensure the localism/devolution agenda is successful. A wide range of partners from across the local authority areas were involved. Findings from the project and useful resources can be found below.

    • Section 1: Project Overview (Doc)
    • Section 2: Top Ten Tips (Doc)
    • Section 3: Readiness Survey Results (Doc)
    • Section 4: Case Studies (Doc)
    • Section 5: Summary of deals as of March 2016 (Doc)
    • Section 6: Additional resource - Power point presentations from the dissemination events (Ppt, Ppt)