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Special Session Sees College Staff Complete Aspiring Leaders Programme

This month saw the final session of this year’s Aspiring Leaders programme.

Spearheaded by Gary Thomas, Assistant Principal for Teaching & Learning, the programme aims to empower staff across College to develop the key skills needed to advance into new leadership roles and/or become more confident leaders in their current roles.

The latest group of programme graduates had the opportunity to share their experiences at the final session, highlighting the lessons learned and the newfound confidence and opportunities they’ve gained.

Graduates praised the inspiring masterclasses, with several standout topics including crisis management, navigating difficult conversations, and budgeting.

A memorable moment was the special address delivered by Alex Baxter, Chair of the Corporation for Franklin. Alex commended the exceptional work and personal development of the staff, recognising their significant contributions to the college community.

Personal growth and reflection

Sherrie emphasised the importance of being open, honest, and reflective, as these qualities are instrumental in personal growth. By identifying gaps in her knowledge and proactively seeking to fill them, she experienced a significant boost in confidence and involvement within the college.

Jill highlighted the programme’s ability to foster connections with colleagues from different departments. As a result of stepping outside of comfort zone, she gained the confidence to sit in on classes and found the courage to overcome her shyness, fostering more meaningful interactions with others.

Vicky R expressed her gratitude for the programme’s emphasis on self-discovery and encouraged a more open attitude towards making mistakes and asking questions. The programme also deepened her understanding of the decision-making process, helping her grasp the thinking behind organisational choices.

Vikki J shared her excitement about joining a new team in September 2023 and how the programme equipped her with the necessary skills to navigate change and effectively manage her responsibilities. Her goal is to prioritise the wellbeing of vulnerable student groups within the college, promoting their welfare and ensuring their needs are met. She also emphasised the importance of pausing and reflecting on achievements rather than constantly moving on to the next task. Vikki praised her team for their support and highlighted the value of helping others with their ideas while actively listening to diverse opinions regarding change.

Carrie expressed her satisfaction with the opportunities the programme provided to interact with individuals in leadership roles. Her initial intention to gain more confidence was achieved, as she developed a clearer understanding of the college's operations and how different departments intersect. Looking ahead, Carrie intends to enrol in the senior leadership NPQ (National Professional Qualification) programme. She particularly cherished the meetings with Principal Peter Kennedy.

Darcie, inspired by a colleague, embarked on the programme to explore different aspects of the college. This decision proved successful, as Darcie secured a new role and found her passion in providing financial support for young carers within the college community. Darcie eagerly volunteered to be a mentor for our upcoming mentoring programme, showcasing her commitment to supporting others. Through interactions with fellow participants, she gained more confidence and developed trust in her own abilities.

In recognition of their exceptional efforts since October, each participant was presented with an award during the final session. Congratulations were also extended to Becky and Lucy who, although unable to attend the session, successfully completed the programme.

Looking ahead

Focussing on the future, the graduates discussed next steps in their ongoing development. Proposed strategies included engaging in the college mentoring programme, set to launch in September 2023, which aims to foster mentorship relationships among staff members and provide invaluable guidance and support.

Additionally, graduates were encouraged to take ownership of their projects, leading them to fruition, attend CLT (College Leadership Team) meetings, and explore internal role opportunities within the college.

A fresh cohort will begin the programme this October.