Leaders and institutions in the Further Education industry face uncertain times in the coming years ahead. There are the longstanding issues of funding and the need to ensure that standards are constantly improving to meet the demands of Ofsted. More recent challenges surround increasing scale and complexity of colleges as well as larger trainer providers. As a result, future principals need to be effectively trained.
The Next Generation of Principals are Coming
One of the biggest yet most overlooked challenges is the succession planning for upcoming leadership as current principles retire. Presently, 45% of college principals are over the age of 55 and many usually retire around the age of 60. As a result, it is extremely important that the successors are properly trained.
For any organisation to properly work, there needs to be effective leadership. When there are significant changes in a college on a senior level, there can be a profound effect on the rest of the establishment. For example, if there is a lack of proper succession, planning or an individual who can make a seamless transition, it can be unsettling for both students and training providers.
Principals Need to be Properly Trained
By developing the upcoming leaders there can be stability, confidence and motivation for colleges. Investing in our future leaders couldn’t be more essential for the success of colleges in the UK. During the first year of new leadership, it can either make or break an establishment. Therefore, it is vital that new leaders are fully prepared as early as possible.
New Opportunities for Future Principals
In partnership with Saïd Business School, Oxford, the Education and Training Foundation have launched a new programme. It will commence at the beginning of March and is targeted at 75 senior leaders across Further Education who are expecting to become principal of chief executive within the next two years.
The programme will develop the technical expertise necessary for any leader. Furthermore, there are also opportunities for reflection and personal development. Trainee senior leaders will be able to network with other fellow professionals in one of the world’s top business schools.
Following years of neglect, leadership training is now being properly invested in. Such attention can only benefit future generations of leaders and their students. Although times may be challenging, it is a great opportunity for potential leaders to develop their skills and make a difference as they commence their new job roles.