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Senior Leadership Development Programme

Develop your strategic and agile leadership skills with our further education leadership development programme

Colleges need a strong team of strategic leaders to help support the students it serves in its community. Developing agile leadership skills can seem overwhelming and it can be hard to have the space to work on the college and not in it, especially in the current times. But, your college needs to strategically look forward to enable it to be ready for future challenges and opportunities.

Introducing AoC’s Senior Leadership Development Programme

Our highly interactive and well-regarded Senior Management Training Programme, aims to develop the strategic skills of senior leaders in the further education sector in a complex and uncertain world. This senior management training not only offers you an analysis of global strategic development best practice but also enables you to put your new knowledge into practice straight away.

Who is the programme for?

This programme is for senior leaders who want to improve their impact and / or advance to Principal or CEO positions.

Designed for those already working at a senior level (Tiers 1 and 2) this programme is aimed at:

➡️ Campus Principals

➡️ Vice, Deputy / Assistant Principals

➡️ Directors or those in similar roles, working in the FE and skills sector.

Upcoming programme dates
Autumn/Winter 2024 Cohort

(Delivered face-to-face at Warwick Conference Centre)

➡️ Module 1 – 28 & 29 November 2024

➡️ Module 2 – 23 & 24 January 2025

➡️ Module 3 – 12 & 13 March 2025

Click here to book your place

Programme delivery approach

"The programme has given me tools and approaches to be able to tackle a range of change projects now and in the future and, an excellent network of practitioners to call upon for help and advice!"

Mike Chapman, Assistant Principal, Darlington College

(Autumn/Winter 2021 Cohort)

By joining this executive training programme you will:

☑️ Make sense of who you are as a leader. What you stand for, what you are good at, and not so good at, and the impact you have upon those you work with

☑️ Discuss what makes a great team and a great partnership, how you measure up currently, where you should be and how you can get there

☑️ Work through a framework to clarify the core purpose of your organisation and how it relates internally and externally – enabling you to build leadership strategies to ensure future success.

" I will use the tools and learning to further develop the teams across City College Plymouth and use this to develop my own career. I will also use the recent modules to continue with my strategy refresh and continue to take my teams on a journey of change. "

Lance Chatfield, Executive of Technical Innovation, City College Plymouth

(Spring/Summer 2023 Cohort)

What's included in the programme?

☑️ Three 2-day modules to develop your strategic thinking as a leader

☑️ Residential accommodation

☑️ A networking dinner on the middle night of each module

☑️ 1:1 inter-module coaching to help you to embed your new knowledge and skills

☑️ Peer to peer support to grow your network of senior FE colleagues

☑️ Access to an online network of former alumni’s where you can ask advice and gain support

What's the investment?

The full programme costs £3,825 +VAT for member colleges and £4,425 + VAT for non-member colleges.

Attendee's can also chose to attend just one or two modules (instead of the whole programme). Each face-to-face module is priced at £1,275 + VAT for member colleges and £1,475 for non-member colleges.

We understand the value of face-to-face training and networking is extremely high, particularly in a programme like this, which is why will be running the programme face-to-face as long as it is safe to do so and in line with government guidelines.

Participants will be kept up to date at all times on any changes.


Autumn/Winter 2024 Cohort

(Delivered face-to-face at Warwick Conference Centre)

➡️ Module 1 – 28 & 29 November 2024

➡️ Module 2 – 23 & 24 January 2025

➡️ Module 3 – 12 & 13 March 2025

Click here to book your place

Who are the lead facilitators?

Barbara Van der Eecken

Barbara has 30 years’ experience in the FE and Skills sector, along with some experience within HE too. For 20 years she was a modern foreign languages lecturer and manager delivering A-Level, vocational and adult classes in Colleges and Adult Education. Barbara has held many senior leadership positions in both Colleges and large independent training providers. With a constant focus on quality and performance, she has led on multiple inspections across the devolved nations with good outcomes and led on external positive audits with Matrix Standards and Leaders in Safeguarding. She is also currently the chair of the Society for Education and Training (SET) Management Board and serves as observer of the Education and Training Foundation Board of Trustees.

Barbara's work is centred around the power of collaboration, reflection and action. She has a particular interest in developing, coaching, and mentoring practitioners and leaders across the sector, and wants to continue to champion Quality and Professionalism in FE and Skills, increasing collaborations across sectors leading to innovative, inclusive and successful teaching and learning, transforming people's lives and communities.


Hannah Wilson

Hannah is a dynamic leadership development consultant, coach and trainer. She is the Co-Founder of #WomenEd and #DiverseEd. She is the Co-Editor of Diverse Educators: A Manifesto. She is an experienced outward-facing systems leader who is passionate about disseminating best practice and believes that partnerships & collaboration are key.

Hannah previously taught English, Drama and Media Studies over a 20 year career in schools. She has held multiple leadership roles including Head of Department, Head of Year, Assistant/ Deputy/ Executive Headteacher and trust-wide/ Teaching School wide roles as well. She has also been newly appointed as a Governor for a Primary School in Bath


"I'd just like to say a massive 'thank you' for the great experience I had on the Senior Leadership Development Programme. I learnt so much about leadership and my place within my college (and in the wonderful world of FE!). I've met some fabulous people that I now consider friends - thank you Jackie and Larry and all of the 'class of 22'."

Claire Millard, Assistant Principal - Curriculum & Standards, Dudley College of Technology

(Spring/Summer 2022 Cohort)


Rated 3.9/4 stars by delegates

" I have learnt so much from this programme and have already used a lot of the content and learning with my own teams.

I have really valued the time and opportunity to focus on my own leadership and have found it so useful being able to relate it to my current challenges. Thoroughly recommend. "

Benjamin Knocks, Assistant Principal, Weston College

(Autumn/Winter 2021 Cohort)

100% of past delegates said they'd recommend the programme to a colleague or friend

Get in touch

If you’d like to learn more discuss the programme in more detail then get in touch with our training team by emailing or fill in the form below.

Alternatively, contact the programme organiser on 0207 034 9928