SET announce new Chair and Vice Chair

The Society for Education and Training (SET) has today (4 November) announced a new Chair and Vice Chair of its Management Board. SET is the membership body dedicated to professionals working across Further Education (FE), vocational teaching and training with over 20,000 members and growing.

Major Jim Crompton, Second in Command at the British Army’s Staff Leadership School, has been appointed as the Chair of SET. Jim succeeds Dan Williams whose tenure in the position ended last month (October). Dr Barbara Van der Eecken, Director of Quality and Service Standards at Babington, has been appointed as Vice Chair of SET - a new role on the Board.

The new appointees come with a wealth of expertise and experience in FE and beyond. Jim has worked within FE for over 17 years; from initial teacher training to management and leadership of training delivery, to creation of strategy and policy to shape professional development for the British Army and Armed Forces. Barbara has 27 years’ experience in the FE sector as a languages lecturer, teaching and learning coach, curriculum manager and a quality manager. Both Jim and Barbara have been on the SET Management Board since January 2019 and have been part of SET’s Practitioner Advisory Group for several years.

The primary roles of the Chair and Vice Chair are to drive the effectiveness of the Board and the organisation. The roles ensure the organisation has a robust strategy, clear priorities, and good governance. The Chair and Vice Chair are independent and play key roles in the development and maintenance of strong client, stakeholder and government relationships.

As part of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), SET campaigns to raise the status of the teaching profession, champion the quality of teaching and training across FE, vocational teaching and training and provide the FE workforce with access to expert teaching and training tools, research and views. SET also administers both Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) on behalf of the ETF.

Jim Crompton, Chair of the SET Management Board, said:

“I am really excited and honoured to have been selected as Chair for the Society for Education and Training (SET). I am very grateful to my predecessor, to the teams from SET and the ETF that have got us to the point we are at now. I am also really pleased to be working alongside Dr Barbara Van der Eecken who brings with her extremely impressive experience and energy to the role. Working together, we are all focused on developing SET so it continues to provide tangible benefits to all and represents our members as effectively as possible.

“We are in a privileged position to help people with professional and life skills. In FE we help people to become the best versions of themselves that they can be. Inherent in that is social mobility, providing greater access to whatever it is that people want to do. And that applies equally to our learners and to our colleagues because continuous improvement never stops. SET allows people from across a truly diverse sector to come together and learn from each other. For the FE sector, SET is the home of professionalism and a career companion.”

Barbara Van der Eecken, Vice Chair of the SET Management Board, said:

“I am excited to become Vice Chair of the SET Management Board at a time where the focus is clearly on the quality of education and the impact that great teaching, learning and assessment is having on learners. I would like to thank Dan Williams for his important contribution to SET over the past few years and I am looking forward to collaborating closely with Major Jim Crompton moving forwards.

“SET represents all parts of our varied sector and continues to promote the professional standards and collaboration between all its members. The networking aspect provided by SET is key in our sector and allows practitioners to be updated in their practice, supported in their demanding jobs and as resilient as possible in an environment in constant evolution.”

Dan Williams, former Chair of the SET Management Board, said:

"During my nearly 3 years as Chair, I have been privileged to work with many of the fantastic SET members and ETF staff to better meet the needs of the membership. Consequently, we have been involved in many changes which have contributed to meeting SET’s strategic objectives. Perhaps my proudest contribution was the development of SET's governance to bring the membership closer to decision making via the Practitioner Advisory Group (PAG) and SET Management Board.

“The new Chair and Vice Chair are the first to be appointed directly from the membership and are both high calibre individuals who represent the wider education and training sector. This marks a key moment in the evolution of SET as it increasingly becomes a more member-led organisation and I look forward to watching and participating as a member of SET as it takes the next steps in its exciting journey."

David Russell, CEO of the Education and Training Foundation and SET, said:

“The recognition of how important the Further Education (FE) sector and its workforce is to the nation is increasing. The next few years will be a crucial period for SET, the ETF and the sector as a whole with the opportunity for us to play a far more strategic role than ever before. The new Chair and Vice Chair will be a real asset with their expertise, guidance and positive challenge to continue to increase our support to teachers and trainers across the sector.

“I would like to thank Dan Williams for the crucial role he has played in helping SET advance in areas from the contemporary re-brand to enhancing the membership proposition with the development of local network groups, corporate partnerships and the design and delivery of Advanced Teacher Status. Dan’s leadership and support has helped us on our exciting path, and we look forward to his continued engagement with SET, the ETF and the FE sector into the future.”

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