Leaders of colleges rated "good" or "outstanding" are being invited to become National Leaders of Further Education and support struggling institutions.
The move was announced by education secretary Justine Greening in July, and is part of a wider programme of college improvement led by FE commissioner Richard Atkins, as revealed by Tes in September.
The National Leaders of Further Education (NLFEs) with a “strong track record of delivering improvement” are being recruited to “provide strategic mentoring and support to other colleges that need to improve”.
A 'prestigious' role
The NLFE programme is modelled on the National Leaders of Education scheme in schools. According to a statement published today by the Department for Education, “designation as a NLFE will be prestigious, helping colleges to attract good quality staff, and to build strong relationships with employers”.
NLFEs will work to support colleges which have been judged as “requires improvement” or “inadequate” at their most recent Ofsted inspection and need to improve significantly in one or more areas.
An NLFE (including their team) will be expected to commit a minimum of 10 days to their role – and to undertake at least one major improvement project partnering with another college.
Colleges whose leaders take part in the scheme will receive a bursary worth £10,000 per year. Any additional costs will be met by the college receiving support. They could be covered by the strategic college improvement fund.
To be eligible to apply to become an NLFE, a college leader must be a serving CEO or principal and have at least five years’ experience of college leadership. They must also have achieved a grade of good or outstanding in their current (or previous) institutions most recent inspection report, for overall effectiveness and in the categories of “leadership and management” and “teaching, learning and assessment”.