Foundation appoints first board members

The Education and Training Foundation has named its first board members.

The seven men and women who will help to steer the organisation, formerly known as the FE Guild, to set professional standards across the sector, include Don Hayes MBE, chief executive of voluntary skills consortium Enable, Lynsi Hayward-Smith, head of adult learning and skills at Cambridge County Council, and John Hyde, co-founder and executive chairman of HIT (Hospitality Industry Training).

Joining them will be Chris Jeffrey, strategy and policy adviser for General Physics (UK) Ltd Skills Training Academy, Asha Khemka OBE, principal of West Nottinghamshire College, Peter McCann, principal of Kirklees College, and Mark White, vice-chair of Stockton Riverside College.

The appointments were put forward by foundation members the Association of Colleges, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the Third Sector National Learning Alliance, and the Association of Adult Education and Training Organisations (HOLEX).

The board will now appoint an independent chair and up to five more specialist directors “to encompass all the independent skills, competencies and diversity needed for the board to fulfil its role”, said a spokesperson for the foundation, due to launch in August.

She added that discussions around learner representation on the board were “currently being addressed in partnership with the National Union of Students,” after the union campaigned on the issue.

David Hughes, the independent chair of the foundation’s shadow board and chief executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, said: “We’re building a very strong team.

“The insight and experience brought forward by this group will be invaluable as we move forward to develop the foundation’s mission and vision, and to agree the priorities and business plan for year one of the new organisation.

“Wider sector involvement of course remains key, and we are committed to continuing to engage with and listen to sector colleagues when determining the foundation’s strategy and decisions.

“I am confident that the new board will continue to work well with other sector bodies and organisations.”

The foundation spokesperson said the panel of unpaid members would meet four times a year to take forward the body headed by interim chief executive Sir Geoff Hall. It has government funding of £18.8m for its first eight months.

She added: “To ensure a rotation of board members, nominated directors will serve for fixed terms and, after the first couple of years, a proportion of the nominated directors will stand down at each annual general meeting.”