Further Education Preparing for CEO Programme

Gain the insights, experience and skills to step up to Further Education college leadership

Start date:


  • 3 modules

Time commitment:

  • Short programme


  • Oxford

Supporting professional development


The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is the expert body for professional development and standards in further education (FE) and training.

We are proud to work in partnership with the ETF to design and deliver curated learning experiences, supporting leaders as they achieve their professional development goals for the benefit of their organisations, their learners and the wider economy.

Since 2017, almost 400 CEOs, Principals, Chairs of Boards and senior managers from FE colleges have deepened their knowledge across the sector through this partnership.

About the programme

Education leaders need to be able to set the strategy and the vision for their colleges.

The programme has been specifically designed for those second tier leaders in the Further Education and Training sector preparing to take on the role of CEO or Principal in the future, building a pipeline of talent and raising leadership capability within the sector.

Providing an immersive and challenging learning experience that covers leadership components of the CEO and Principal position, it enables you to gain deeper understanding of all aspects of the role and to plan your own personal development path, supported by Oxford coaches and tutors.

Throughout the programme, you build your own personal development plans based on your individual needs. You will leave with a newly formed professional network of peers from across the sector.

The programme is subsidised by the Department for Education for eligible organisations funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 


The programme provides the opportunity to explore the important part you can play in delivering ambitious plans for the sector.

Small group tutorials take place between modules, facilitating work on self-identified areas of strategic priority and to engage in action learning discussion.

By completing the programme, you will also gain:

  • an enhanced understanding of the role of CEO/Principal, and key trends within the FE and training sector.
  • strengthened commercial acumen and understanding of strategic finance, and the ability to work effectively with a range of senior stakeholders.
  • a heightened awareness of vision, values, culture, organisational alignment and organisational design.
  • membership of the Oxford Business Alumni Network, accessing benefits across the wider University of Oxford.

One in four participants gain promotion to the CEO / Principal position after completing the programme. 

Thought provoking, challenging, and insightful. The richness that comes from the guest speakers, tutors and peers is an excellent learning experience; from both theoretical and applied learning.

Danny Metters

Principal, East Riding College and Scarborough TEC


Three residential modules, supported by personal coaching to complement your learning.


Online personal assessment with GatenbySanderson, including a one-to-one session to understand your development objectives.  

Module one

27 February - 2 March 2023

Module two

3-6 July 2023

Module three

27-30 November 2023

Meet the faculty

The programme is led by Steve Mostyn and Louise Watts, who create an exceptional curriculum delivered across modules through sessions combining interactive discussion, provocation, expert insight, facilitation and reflection.

Faculty from the School are joined by academics from the wider University of Oxford, representatives from the FE sector and the broader business community, contributing thought-leadership perspectives and practitioner insights.