Midday update: Sadly Martin Doel hasn’t been appointed our new editor, because this was, of course, another infamous FE Week April Fool.

However, today does mark the start of our search for a new full-time editor for FE Week. The ad is now live on the Guardian jobs website, with applications due by the end of the month.

FE Week is delighted to announce the appointment of Martin Doel CBE, as the paper’s new editor-in-chief.

Taking on the leadership of FE Week will complete Mr Doel’s triumvirate of FE roles, alongside his current post as chief executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) and his recent appointment as the first professor of FE and skills at the Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL).

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” he said.

Mr Doel and Mr Mann will unveil changes to the paper in the coming weeks.

“It’s a big moment of change for me and this gives me another area to explore and to develop into — I’m looking forward to the chance to express myself creatively.”

Mr Doel said he was confident that juggling the three hats would not affect his ability to take an impartial view of the sector.

“I am certain that I can fulfil my duties in each post without a conflict of interests. I’ve always seen myself as a chameleon in the workplace,” he said.

He added that moving into the world of journalism was an important next step for his career.

“My eight years of experience at the AoC have given me many opportunities to engage with the work of FE Week, and I’m thrilled to be now taking that relationship to a new level.”

In discussing the rigorous interview process that led to his success, Mr Doel said he approached the experience with optimism and an open-mind.

“I just knew I was the right man for the job,” he said.

Mr Mann said he knew Mr Doel was the "right man" for the job
Mr Mann said he knew Mr Doel was the “right man” for the job

“It wasn’t tough in so far as the act I have to follow – taking over from Nick Linford [interim editor of FE Week] presented me with a real opportunity to add value.”

He added: “It is time for someone to bring greater intellectual depth and vigour to the paper.”

Mr Doel will be celebrating his success in a quiet get together with family and friends.

Mr Doel said he was “really looking forward” to working with the FE Week team, and has already begun laying out his vision for future developments.

“I can’t wait to finally give them the opportunity to show their underlying talent,” he said.


“I’ll be pioneering a new section called ‘The Good News’, which I’m sure will be a hit with the readers.”

When asked what this might include, Mr Doel said it was “a work in progress”.

Shane Mann, managing director of Lsect, the publisher of FE Week, said Mr Doel’s appointment singled a pivotal moment for the paper.

“This change heralds the dawn of bright future for FE Week,” he said.

“Martin is an excellent choice and I know his wealth of experience in the sector and his sharp intellect will be invaluable.”

He added: “I’d like to thank Nick for his efforts in stepping in as interim editor until the post was filled.

“He has done a great job but I know he is now looking forward to spending more time at home with his four chickens, and his wife and children.”

Dame Ruth Silver, FETL’s founding president.
Dame Ruth Silver, FETL’s founding president.
Dominic Ponsford, editor of journalism trade paper The Press Gazette

Dame Ruth Silver, FETL’s founding president, joined Mr Mann in congratulating Mr Doel on his new appointment.

“FETL is delighted that Martin is combining our professorial work with FE Week. News in time becomes knowledge for us all, and fitting them together in this way plays strongly to Martin’s experience and sense of accuracy. We wish him all the best,” she said.

However, not everyone welcomed the news of Mr Doel’s appointment. Dominic Ponsford, editor of journalism trade paper The Press Gazette, warned that “this seems to be a case of gamekeeper turned poacher”.

“I hope this is not going to be a growing trend of papers appointing editors who have a wealth of sector-specific knowledge but who don’t have any journalistic experience,” he added.

Responding to these concerns Mr Mann added: “We interviewed a number of individuals for this role with a wide range of experiences in both the further education and skills sector and journalism. Martin’s wealth of knowledge of the issues in FE is unquestionable and it did not take me long to decide on his appointment.”

Mr Doel will officially take over as editor on Monday, April 4 2016.

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  1. Gemma Gathercole

    Congratulations to Martin on his new role and to Shane and Nickn on a fantastic appointment. Martin’s knowledge and experience of the sector and his unique perspective from AoC, FETL and FE Week is going to make a great read.

  2. Mike Cooper

    I look forward to the first article under Martin Doel’s tenure — probably either a scoop on the forthcoming Ofsted special report about the inadequate quality of spaghetti-harvesting skills provision within English land-based FE colleges, or an expose of some large GFE college’s failed attempt to set up an expensive subsidiary site in Sans Serif…

  3. Ian Wilson

    In my view FE week was doing well getting so many people’s backs up that I envisaged many subscriptions, mine included, being pulled. Everyone likes a good bit of investigative journalism but not the petty stirring that has been going on. We want balanced reporting and not a “never let the facts get in the way of a good story” mantra. Good luck Martin looking forward to your input.

  4. We agree with Mike Cooper that a feature on spaghetti harvesting skills is long overdue, especially as modern farming techniques have made the trees taller, and we hope Martin will address this in an early edition of the paper.

  5. Mike Farmer

    Read this while enjoying an entirely undeserved holiday in Normandy. The French have something they call ‘Poisson d’Avril’ which FE Week appears to have caught! Perhaps Nick and Martin have been coarse fishing?

  6. Fay Bull

    Congratulations to all involved – especially Nick Linford’s chickens who, throughout the interim editorship situation, have been the real, unsung heroes.

    As luck would have it, chickens love spaghetti so if anyone is harvesting any please do consider throwing some in the direction of Linford and his plucky hens.