The Dichotomy of Leadership Culture in Further Education: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Ali Hadawi


The role of a senior leader in any sector is complex and multifaceted. A principal in a typical Further Education (FE) college needs to develop broad operational and functional knowledge to run an educational institution which has the business of teaching and learning at its heart. A senior leader also needs to understand and be effective in managing finances, estates, data and human resources. Other sides to the work of a principal include building effective relationships with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, local politicians, employer groups, MPs, sector skills bodies and academy trusts, community groups, the police and many other key stakeholders.

Most FE principals and senior leaders would agree with the above descriptions of their busy role. The key point is that all of these responsibilities are focussed on the individual institution and are concerned with how a college operates and interacts with its local environment. There is a larger question about leadership of the sector as a whole and how it operates and interacts at a national level.

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