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.

    • 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.

    • 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

    coming soon


    Newsletter 19

    coming soon


    Leading in Local Areas

    Quality improvement & inspection

    Collaborative working
    Quality improvement

    Organisational effectiveness

    Resource management and efficiency
    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.