Download your free copy of the FE Week 16 page special supplement on effective leadership and governance, sponsored by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS).

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College leaders operate in an ever–changing world against which they must act predictively and react prudently.

From considerations surrounding the new student intake every September and the vagaries of local and even national business needs, to changes in government policy and the resultant  shifts in funding hoops through which to jump — it’s tough at the top.

This supplement aims to look at some of these and other issues, casting a critical eye over where the main challenges lie and what the current thinking on them is.

Uncomfortable it may be, but it would be unwise to ignore questions about the future of this supplement’s sponsor, the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), and what next for the sector in its impending absence.

And so that’s where we begin, on the page opposite.

We then report on speeches made by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock and Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw, who have both drawn attention to the importance of education governance this year.

A selection of principals, including Blackpool and The Fylde College’s Pauline Waterhouse OBE, moves us into the next article, on page 4, where they discuss why they took on the role and what challenges they have faced.

A selection of governor chairs, including Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education’s Mike Parker, on page 5 then takes matters into the boardroom as they talk about their experiences.

A range of issues including Ofsted inspections and black and minority ethnic considerations are the focus of concern for Robin Landman, chief executive of the Network for Black Professionals, on page 6, before entrepreneurialism is investigated by Lynne Sedgmore, executive director at the 157 Group.

We hear from LSIS chair Dame Ruth Silver about the importance of quality governance on page 7 where her chief executive, Rob Wye, then goes on to outline how the government’s New Challenges, New Chances policy document changed the college landscape.

There’s plenty here to get you thinking, debating and discussing and the team at FE Week wish you good luck in facing the challenges ahead.”

A two–page advert from my own publication, FE Week, then breaks up proceedings, before we get back down to business on page 10 with a feature on college staff, including Loughborough College principal Esme Winch, who have taken LSIS advice. They all now sit in senior posts.

The same issue is then explored in relation to governance, including West Herts College’s Sheila Selwood, on page 11.

Coverage of the LSIS leadership and management conference in London, late in February, is on page 12.

The LSIS annual governance conference, held in Manchester mid–March, takes up the following, and final, three pages, kicking off with the Q&A held by a panel including Skills Funding Agency chief executive Kim Thorneywork.

Conference chair Professor Bill Lucas and Exeter College principal Richard Atkins follow, giving their overview of the rest of the conference.

They cover the theme of leadership, something that has been emphasised to me time and again while putting this supplement together.

It has become abundantly clear just how vital good leadership, good management and good governance are to producing outstanding teaching and learning.

With that in mind, whatever your role in the sector, there’s plenty here to get you thinking, debating and discussing and the team at FE Week wish you good luck in facing the challenges ahead.

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