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'The days of the charismatic principal have gone'

Deputy FE commissioner highlights the importance of good leadership teams and governance for college success

leadership principal governance FE commissioner

Deputy FE commissioner highlights the importance of good leadership teams and governance for college success

Successful principals are the ones who concern themselves with appointing good people to work alongside them, a deputy FE commissioner has said.

John Hogg told the Skills and Education Group annual conference that a leader’s personality is not the be all and end all that it used to be. “There are constant things that have existed since time immemorial in what makes a good college,” he said.

An increasingly professional senior leadership team is a sure sign of a successful college, Mr Hogg added. “The days of the charismatic principal have gone. I think good colleges are those colleges where the leader, principal, chief executive – whatever you want to call them – where he or she says ‘I’m going to appoint people who know more than I do'’’.

'Really sound governance'

He added that funding can act as a barrier to success. “I think that inevitability that good colleges have a relentless focus on teaching, learning and assessment. That is really difficult when you’re struggling to pay wages and finance remains the single biggest challenge.”

In his keynote speech, Mr Hogg said that based on the evidence of from the further education commissioner’s office, failing colleges tended to have “weak leadership and governance".

He said: “Successful colleges have good or outstanding principals or chief executives. They have really sound governance: a governing body with information to hand that can quickly and constructively challenge the information coming forward.

“Some governing body board meetings, you can weigh the papers and there often is a correlation between the weight of material and efficacy of the outcomes.”

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