• Whistleblowers in FE are vital for sector scrutiny

    Whistleblowers aren’t treated with much respect in the UK, even though they generally have good intentions. Dame Ruth Silver wants this to change Even for a sector with adaptation in its DNA, these are challenging times. In addition to the day-to-day pressures of accountability, budget cuts and curriculum change, sector leaders have had to deal

    5.00 Feb. 11th, 2018 | Opinion

  • FE leaders need mental health support too

    It can be lonely at the top, admits former principal Neil Bates People who have headaches but describe them as migraines have probably never suffered from a real migraine. People who sometimes feel a bit down and say that they are depressed have probably never suffered from depressive illness. My friend Joanne has a migraine

    5.00 Dec. 17th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Healthy organisations need healthy leaders

    The whole character of an institution is shaped by its leaders’ ethics, writes Dame Ruth Silver Leadership and mental health are subjects close to my heart and involve questions of trust, openness, civic responsibility and ethical engagement in further education. The issue is of current concern. In recent years, FE staff have been pushed towards

    5.00 Oct. 24th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Machiavellian advice for college principals

    Principals are often maligned, but they’re only mirroring government policy, argues Damien Page It is not hard to find criticism of college principals: academic literature is littered with it, the trade press is awash with it, social media thrives on it, and the staffrooms of colleges mutter it constantly. Principals are greedy, overpaid, uncaring, narcissistic,

    5.00 Oct. 15th, 2017 | Opinion

  • How to get more women into FE leadership

    Getting more women into leadership positions is a multifaceted challenge, but there are some practical steps leaders in FE can take, writes Pauline Odulinski We are all familiar with the concept of the glass ceiling and know that women advance less far at work. They also continue to be paid less than men for doing

    5.00 Jul. 4th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Wellbeing applies to staff as well as students

    Improving staff wellbeing is not only vital to college success, it’s our moral duty as FE leaders, says Stuart Rimmer At the recent AOC annual conference, its president Ian Ashman declared 2016/17 the year of mental health in FE. This was an important, welcome and long overdue step that has been superbly received by the

    5.00 Jan. 7th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Let's take full advantage of what devolution can offer

    The government’s devolution and localism agenda creates opportunities for the sector to refine its mission and purpose, says Ayub Khan. Devolution in FE and skills is much talked of by politicians at national and local levels and a great deal is expected of it, though it remains very much a developing area of policy. While

    10.00 Oct. 10th, 2016 | Opinion

  • College principal set to retire after record 33 years at the helm

    The longest-serving FE college principal in the country will finally retire next year, after more than 33 years in post. Dr Steve Dowbiggin (pictured) joined Capel Manor College in 1982 as vice-principal and became head two years later, in 1984. This comfortably makes him the UK’s most senior principal — and his commitment was recognised

    10.00 Sep. 10th, 2016 | News