Despite the pessimistic picture painted in the Edinburgh report, the FE sector actually has a larger proportion of female leaders than secondary schools and universities. There are 10 women in post as college principals, almost a quarter of the total. This compares well with the 12 per cent of secondary heads who are women and the sole university female principal.
Other figures, however, show that FE is no more immune from gender imbalances than other walks of life. While more than half of full-time FE lecturers are men, almost two-thirds of part-time lecturers are women.
Overall, according to figures for last year, 2,406 of the 5,343 full-time department-based staff were women, as were 2,334 of the 4,063 full-time cross-college staff (including principals).