The FE sector is undergoing significant change as Area Reviews rationalise the number of individual colleges. Changes to skills policy and funding are driving a stronger commercial imperative against a back drop of stronger financial stringency. Ofsted and the FE Commissioner have identified finances as a particular concern and FE institutions are increasingly making significant decisions about investments and resources that impact not only in-year but also on the long-term opportunities for learners in their communities.
The Foundation has commissioned Publico to design and deliver a training programme for Chairs of Finance Committees and Board members with lead responsibility for finance. The content of the programme has been developed based on needs identified from a wide range of sector stakeholders, and will include:
- Effective governance and the role of Chair of the Finance Committee or Board member with responsibility for finance
- Finance and funding in the Further Education sector
- Strategic management, financial performance monitoring & risk management in the sector
- Leading sector practice including commercial strategy, outsourcing & shared services, workforce issues and estates management
Key to this training is collaborative design which ensures that the training appropriately addresses participant need and is informed by the views of sector experts. A survey of sector Chairs of Finance was issued in May 2017 and the response to the survey was positive, with more than 70 stakeholders sharing their views. 80% of respondents rated the following as high priority topics for the training:
- Finance and funding in FE
- Performance monitoring and risk
- Strategic alignment
The training will also support participants to carry out critical responsibilities of the role, which were identified as:
- Helping to ensure that the relationships between the Principal and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the wider Senior Management Team (SMT) are balanced and enables a positive culture of financial insight and understanding across the organisation
- Taking responsibility for shaping the financial and performance information that is provided to the Finance Committee and wider Board
- Leading the constructive challenge of finances and the scrutiny of the financial and commercial aspects of investment decisions
The course will be delivered through a combination of distance learning and half day face to face delivery. A guided workbook and one-to-one follow up call will also be used to help participants map the learning back to their own needs and to the context of their organisations. The course will also be tailored for colleges/providers that express an interest in tailored training for the whole governing body.
Further information will be made available through our course page shortly. In the interim to register an interest please contact Colette.Macduff@publicco.co.uk