Chartered Institution for FE admits 6 new members

The institution now has twenty-one members paying an annual subscription fee of £5,000

The institution now has twenty-one members paying an annual subscription fee of £5,000

The Chartered Institution for Further Education has admitted its first new members since before the pandemic and has proffered fellowships to several sector leaders.

Six new members – including four colleges and two independent providers – will join the institution and receive chartered status today during a ceremony at Apothecaries’ Hall in London.

Institution chair Lord Lingfield said they are “delighted to be welcoming new members… Technical and professional education is paramount to the UK and world economies, so we are exceptionally pleased to be granting chartered status to those in the sector coming forward to demonstrate their commitment to excellence in this field,” he explained.

The new member providers are Bolton College, East Coast College, Kaplan Financial, Solihull College & University Centre, South Staffordshire College and The Skills Network.

Twenty providers now make up the membership of the institution, who pay an annual subscription fee of £5,000.

Skills minister Alex Burghart will be attending the event, as will Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Garden, business leader Jacqueline Shopland-Reed and the institution’s former chief executive, Daniel Wright.

The latter three will be made honorary fellows, alongside seven new fellows, including WCG (Warwickshire College Group) chief executive Angela Joyce, Hull College interim principal and chief executive Lowell Williams, and Bedford College Group chief executive and institution council member Ian Pryce.

Burton and South Derbyshire College chair Everton Burke, London South East Colleges group chair Stephen Howlett, and consultant Allan Schofield are among the other people being made fellows.

The institution was awarded chartered status, with the help of former skills minister John Hayes, in 2013.

Chartered bodies are concerned with technical excellence in their area of focus and chartered status demonstrates that person or organisation has achieved a certain degree of technical competence.

Lingfield has previously said he wanted the institution to become the “Russell group of FE”.

Lord Lingfield

To be eligible for chartered status, institutions must have a direct contract with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and submit evidence in support of the institution’s nine mandatory declarations (see below).

It had been financially supported by the Department for Education, to the tune of £1.7 million. However, this support ended in 2019, when Wright quit as chief executive.

After a period adrift, the institution undertook a strategic review led by former college principal and council member for the institution Lesley Davies so it could continue on a self-sustaining basis.

It relaunched in April 2021 with a report on the importance of future skills for the construction industry, funded by building company St Modwen Homes.

The institution has previously mooted awarding associate fellowships and at Friday’s event, it will be launching a recognition and awards programme for sector individuals who demonstrate their ongoing commitment to maintain dual professionalism,” starting in the new year.

This, the institution says, will include awarding fellowships and licences.

CIFE’s nine mandatory declarations

  • “My organisation is regarded by its peer
    organisations as a role model in the way
    it delivers quality teaching and learning
    and good outcomes for learners.”
  • “The learners in my organisation
    believe the management listens to
    and is responsive to their needs and
    are satisfied or highly satisfied with
    the degree of engagement by the
    management of the organisation, the
    relevance and quality of the service they
    receive, and the support they offer to
    learners in their career paths beyond
  • “My organisation has worked with
    other organisations in the sector for the
    collective benefit of the sector”
  • “My organisation has a public and
    published commitment to continuous
  • “My organisation can demonstrate
    an exemplary record of corporate
  • “My organisation can demonstrate
    satisfactory financial health and is well
    placed to respond to future challenges.”
  • “My organisation can show a track
    record of community-oriented
    engagement in the FE sector which
    goes wider than just the simple
    satisfaction, by delivery through
    a commercial transaction, of
    contractually-stipulated training needs”
  • “Employers who employ learners from
    my organisation see us as a model
    training provider and an exemplar for
    others in the area.“
  • “My organisation has a reputation
    within the further education sector for
    honesty, openness and transparency”

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  1. Bill Evans

    The new fellows include the Chair of the Board and Chief Executive of Warwickshire Colleges group (WCG). Congratulations to them but please will CIFE challenge them to live up to the manadatory declarations in relation to their responsibility for Malvern Hills College (MHC), which they closed last year and whose site they are trying to sell off for development despite a) its having a covenant attached to it requiring it to be used for FE, and b) a realistic offer having been made by another provider to buy the site and use it to reopen the college.
    WCG’s actions make a mockery of the following declarations:
    2 ‘responsive to learners’ needs’; WCG have been dismissive of the adult education classes which were the core activity of MHC and did not consult in any way about the closure; they have put a lot of energy in trying to show there is no need for it.
    3 ‘worked with other organisations in the sector’ ; WCG have not engaged constructively with the would -be buyer to facilitate the rebirth of MHC; they are far more interested in setting it up for failure so they can realise the site for development
    6 ‘track record of community oriented management’; this is a joke in relation to MHC; not even WCG’s ‘Malvern Advisory Group’ were consulted on its actions.
    9 ‘reputation for honesty etc’. All approaches regarding MHC have been met with evasive stonewalling.
    If WCG facilitate the rebirth of MHC it will cement their good reputation. If they continue to refuse to do so it could destroy it.