A Conference for FE Principals and Senior Managers
From Left to Right: Paul Tully (Newbubbles), Stephen Grix OBE, Helen Groves, Professor Helen Colley, Lynne Sedgmore CBE, Professor David Clutterbuck, Geoff Petty, Toni Fazaeli and Matthew Coffey.
By Julian Day, 24th March 2014
The 2014 Newbubbles National Further Education Conference entitled ‘Leading Further Education’ provided a charged and thought-provoking debate on the efficacy of current leadership & management regimes in Further Education and their capacity to generate the conditions and culture required for sustained improvement. An illustrious gala of national and international speakers for the event were assembled, with keynote contributions from OFSTED’s Director of Learning & Skills, Matthew Coffey, Toni Fazaeli of the Institute for Learning and Professors Helen Colley and David Clutterbuck. In the Question Time panel, chaired by Lynne Sedgmore CBE of the 157 Group, panellists fielded questions on leadership practices, FE standards, graded observations and the value of teaching qualifications. When asked the question: “Was the government wrong to abolish mandatory teacher training qualifications?” which came into force following the Lingfield Review in 2012, the majority of the conference’s senior management audience voted an overwhelming ‘yes’ by an estimated 5:1. Professor Colley, of Huddersfield University, discussed some of the ‘lost lessons’ of the former Teaching & Learning Research Project (TLRP) on the need for FE to pay attention to the culture of management, whilst Professor Clutterbuck’s critique of goal-setting resonated with Principals. An impassioned speech by TV celebrity and Maths broadcaster Johnny Ball on the need for FE colleges to give all learners the ‘vital numeracy and thinking skills to succeed’ invited enthusiastic applause from the conference, with one delegate reporting that “it had me close to tears”.
Feedback on the conference came from teaching guru Geoff Petty, a patron of the IfL, who praised Newbubbles for ‘getting this very ambitious initiative off the ground – it’s become a real fixture’, and Stephen Grix OBE of Mid-Kent College who “welcomed the contribution from HE…We do not seem to value research within FE and it was good to be reminded of the benefits”. Toni Fazaeli agreed: “ I thought the panels really worked and feedback from others was that the debates and issues were really engaging and stretched the minds and generated ideas for action among participants”. Reflecting on the day’s event, Newbubbles’s Managing Director, Paul Tully, stated: “We set out to have a serious discussion on how FE can create a culture in which staff feel motivated, learners succeed, business thrives and the public feels well served…with such fantastic support from some of the country’s leading FE voices, and a great team working tirelessly behind the scenes, I feel we have succeeded in this ambition, and we now look forward to next year’s conference in March 2015 which will take these messages forward”.
Newbubbles is a specialist FE training and consultancy firm, set up in 2010, to support staff development and improvement initiatives in FE colleges across England & Wales.
THE CONFERENCE IN PICTURES
THE LANDMARK VOTE AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO ABOLISH MANDATORY TEACHING QUALIFICATIONS FOR FE TEACHERS
Lynne Sedgmore asks an audience of principals and senior managers whether the government was wrong to abolish mandatory teaching qualifications for FE teachers in 2012, following the publication of the Lingfield Report.
SPEAKER MATERIALS AND PRESENTATIONS
Leaders of Teaching & Learning: Teachers and Trainers
"a valuable think stimuli for Principals and SMTs...It's good work you are doing for FE and I like being a part of it"
TONI FAZAELI (CEO, Institute for Learning)
"The event was great...I thought the panels really worked and feedback from others was that the debates and issues were really engaging and stretched the minds and generated ideas for action among participants."
LYNNE SEDGMORE CBE - METAPHORS FOR FE LEADERSHIP
Lynne Sedgmore CBE, CEO of the 157 Group, introduces the Newbubbles 2014 National FE Conference entitled 'Leading Further Education' by reviewing the key leadership issues facing college principals.
JOHNNY BALL - "WE NEED TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN OUR LEARNERS"
TV personality and Maths genius Johnny Ball of 'Think of a Number' fame gives a moving speech at the Newbubbles 2014 National FE Conference on ways of engaging learners and improving their confidence in their mastery of maths.
MATTHEW COFFEY, DIRECTOR FOR LEARNING & SKILLS, OFSTED - THE CURRENT STATUS OF LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
TONI FAZAELI - CEO, INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING - THE PROFESSIONALISM OF FE TEACHERS
Toni's keynote speech reflected on the political and professional issues the Institute for Learning has been engaged in on behalf of teachers and managers in the FE sector.
PROFESSOR HELEN COLLEY - FURTHER EDUCATION - VALUES OR VALUE?
Professor Helen Colley, of Huddersfield University, argues in a presentation entitled 'Further Education: Values or Value' whether the FE sector needs to redefine itself in terms of what is important for teachers and learners.
PROFESSOR DAVID CLUTTERBUCK - IS FE TOO GOAL-OBSESSED?
International coaching expert Professor David Clutterbuck discusses his research on goals with an audience of FE principals and senior managers in a talk entitled: 'Is FE too goal-obsessed?'
PANEL DISCUSSION - CHALLENGES AND FRUSTRATIONS FACING FE LEADERS
A Panel of Expert Speakers debate the issues and dilemmas facing College leaders in the Further Education Sector. These include: funding, leadership style, political lobbying, teaching standards and embedding maths in the curriculum. Panellists include TV celebrity and maths genius Johnny Ball, Stephen Grix OBE, Julian Appleyard, Trevor Gordon, Geoff Petty, Helen Groves and international coaching expert Professor David Clutterbuck. The panel is chaired by Lynne Sedgmore CBE, CEO of the 157 group.