On Tuesday 12 November 2019, 29 leaders from colleges and learning providers across the UK’s Further Education (FE) sector met at Saïd Business School.
These Principals and CEOs were the alumni of the Further Education Strategic Leadership Programme, designed in partnership with the Education and Training Foundation, and funded by the Department for Education. The group represented the diverse range of FE provision across the country – from large general FE colleges, to adult learning service providers and specialist sixth form colleges.
One such participant was Sally Dicketts, Principal of Oxford & Cherwell Valley College and Chief Executive of Activate Learning: an education group that works across further and higher education, schools, apprenticeships and training.
Improving the UK’s education system has been a lifelong mission for Sally. She is dyslexic and was placed in a remedial class when she first started secondary school. After fighting her way into A-Levels, and despite a gift for maths, she was told by a teacher that she didn’t ‘have the right credentials’ to take the subject at that level. She recalled: ‘It was at that moment, I decided nobody should be humiliated the way I had been in my school years. I would become a teacher and make the system better.’
Sally has held the role of Principal for more than 20 years, and her impact on the FE sector was recognised with a CBE in 2013. So what led an accomplished Principal to embark on a leadership training programme at Oxford University?