Commissioner: only the brave need apply

Commissioner: only the brave need apply

These are the tough nuts you’ll have to crack if you want to be the new FE Commissioner, FE Week can reveal.

The imposing interview panel is a fearsome line-up that includes sector chief executives and directors.

They’re all that stands in the way of the £800 a-day job that includes travelling the length and breadth of the country.

Skills Funding Agency chief executive Kim Thorneywork is the Alan Sugar of the bunch, leading the pack as chair during preliminary interviews and assessments. They’re due to take place October 9 to 11 with final interviews on October 28 and 29.

If a college is placed into administered college or administered institution status the FE Commissioner’s role at this point is to conduct a structure and prospects appraisal,”

Ms Thorneywork will be flanked by the Education Funding Agency’s chief executive, Peter Lauener; Association of Colleges chief executive Martin Doel; and, Ofsted’s national director of FE and skills, Matthew Coffey.

And last, but by no means least, will be the deputy director of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Bobbie McClelland.

The menacing quintet was revealed on Tuesday, September 10, with the launch of fecommissioner.com to recruit to the post.

It is the second attempt at hiring for the role, after a failed attempt in May when no-one was appointed despite a number of interviews.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “We are looking for a high-calibre individual to perform this critical role, with a proven track record of successfully leading and driving change in FE colleges, universities, academies, training organisations or similar types of institution.”

The FE Commissioner will review the improvement plans of troubled colleges within a two-week timescale and brief ministers on the competency of principals and governors.

The successful candidate will also have the power to issue notices of concern to failing colleges and close colleges that don’t improve.

“If a college is placed into administered college or administered institution status the FE Commissioner’s role at this point is to conduct a structure and prospects appraisal,” said Mr Hancock.

“The FE Commissioner will aim to complete the appraisal within three months.”

The job specification says the ideal candidate should have experience developing forward-thinking strategies, leading and influencing complex organisational change and the ability to maintain a positive approach in challenging circumstances. The post is offered on a two-year fixed term contract, with an expected commitment of around 80 to 120 days each year.

Visit www.fecommissioner.com before the closing date of September 22 for more details and to apply.