Leaders in discussion

This programme has been designed to raise leadership capability and capacity of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and principals across the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. 

Funded by the Department for Education, the programme provides principals and CEOs with a deeper understanding of their role as change agents. It supports them in the critical part they play in delivering the ambitious plans for the FE sector, raising its capability and prestige. It applies thinking about leadership in the context of themselves as individuals, their organisation and the sector as a whole.

Key benefits

Those taking part benefit from:

  • an enhanced capacity to operate at a senior level in a complex and fast-changing environment
  • an ability to plan, lead and implement strategy for long term sustainable advantage
  • key skills for effective risk and reputation management
  • understanding important trends in the sector and the future of skills in FE
  • a deeper understanding of the political complexity of management
  • a heightened ability to communicate a compelling vision with impact
  • a diverse and talented group of peers with whom to learn, exchange experiences and generate ideas

Programme content

The programme is a mix of strategic leadership and technical. Key themes include adaptive leadership, strategic thinking, strategic finance, collaboration and partnerships, resilience, reputation and prestige.

The programme aims to develop leaders who can:

  • see and engage with the wider system and political environment
  • manage and change the institutional culture
  • build the senior team
  • work collaboratively with the Board and its Chair
  • build partnerships with employers
  • understand finance and possess business acumen
  • develop the future of work and skills for the FE sector


“The quality of academic input was exceptional, really world-class. As a CEO, creating time and space for focused, strategic thought is essential; the programme, in the terrific learning environment of Saïd Business School, was a tremendously valuable way of creating such time.”

Gary Headland, CEO, Lincoln College Group

“Well structured course, which provided the opportunity to challenge conventional thinking. Also enabled valuable networking with sector colleagues.”

Jatinder Sharma, Principal and Chief Executive, Walsall College

“The combination of residential modules, application of learning to real-life situations, small tutorials and group discussion was highly stimulating and helpful.”

Amanda Melton CBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Nelson and Colne College

This course is open to CEOs and principals who are designated as the Chief Accounting Officer for their organisation.

To find out more, please contact leadership@etfoundation.co.uk