An opportunity, not a threat

The notion that the potential of staff is being ignored by colleges is way off the mark ("Untapped resource - right under your nose" (FE Focus, September 8).

Last year at Mid-Cheshire College we launched a year-long management development programme for aspiring leaders and managers led by the principal. It was open to all members of staff and over 30 colleagues signed up.

During the year we had high-quality leadership training, took part in a real-life consultancy for the college and also sat in on senior management team and corporation meetings. Most delegates found the experience good preparation for a potential move into management.

The talent-spotting programme attracted favourable attention from the Centre for Excellence in Leadership and we are already planning our second programme.

And, again, over half of the participants will be support staff. I rest my case!

Sarah Ashworth Mid-Cheshire College Northwich, Cheshire

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