FE Commissioner, Richard Atkins

FE News chat with FE Commissioner, Richard Atkins about his role as the FE Commissioner, particularly how the majority of his role which is supporting and developing the 240 FE Colleges across the sector:

Richard explains that although his role is perceived to be all about dramatic college interventions with failing colleges, this is incredibly rare and only happens on a very small handful of minor cases. The majority of Richard's role is developing a consultancy support service for colleges to continually develop and improve the 240 FE Colleges that are incorporated.

Richard discusses the National Leaders of FE and National Leaders of Governance and the Diagnostic Assessment service rolled out by his team to over 60 colleges.

This is a free service to help high performing colleges as well as colleges that are struggling or looking to improve. Richard explains that it takes time to deliver long term sustainable improvements (it took him 7 years in his previous College Principal role) and he sees this as the norm for it to take time to deliver excellence.

Richard goes on to explore how we can continually support and improve the sector, whilst trying to remove the stigma of asking for help and support. He then goes onto give some recommendations from the best strategies and processes he has seen in colleges.

After hearing about all of the many support structures in place for FE Colleges, we then go onto ask Richard for his own views to see if a support structure should be in place for Training Providers.

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