Subsidised training for chairs of boards will be run by the Institute of Directors from next month, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has announced.
The Further Education Chairs Leadership Programme has been run by the Oxford Saïd Business School since 2018. The change reflects “an adjustment in the direction to meet the needs of those operating in governance today”, according to the ETF.
The Skills for Jobs white paper, published in January, said the government would be taking a “clearer position” on governance and leadership in the sector.
Provisions within the Skills and Post 16 Education Bill, currently in the House of Lords, include tougher laws that will require corporations to review education and training provision against local requirements, and gives the education secretary more powers to intervene if local needs are not being met.
The first cohort of at least 15 chairs on the new IoD programme will gather this October for a two-and-a-half-day residential course in Stratford-upon-Avon. Full IoD membership, usually costing £415, will also be included in the programme’s £750 fee.
Fiona Chalk, the ETF’s national head of governance development, told FE Week that the vision for the programme was to “enhance the value chairs add to the board and the wider organisation”.
Asked about the change from Saïd to the IoD, Chalk said: “The IoD is the only institution that runs internationally recognised qualifications for board members. Those involved in designing and delivering this programme will bring real-life business and FE practice.”
Gary Headland, group chief executive at Lincoln College Group and chair of IoD East Midlands, described the new programme as a “fabulous collaboration”. He added: “I have personally completed the IoD’s company direction programmes as well as the role of the chair course.
“The quality of these courses has been absolutely first class and I feel confident that this new partnership between the IoD and the ETF will add greatly to the capability and capacity of governors across the further education sector.”
The ETF commissions leadership programmes for sector providers on behalf of the Department for Education. A tender to deliver governance development programmes worth up to £600,000 for two years was issued by the ETF in June 2021.
A parallel IoD programme will also be offered for clerks and governance professionals, which comes with associate IoD membership, a two-and-a-half-day residential course and ongoing networking for £650. Both programmes are expected to attract cohorts of 15 to 20 chairs and governance professionals each per year.