06th Jul, 2017

Reflecting on the current policy context, stakeholders’ expectations and the skills required by senior leaders, AoC Create has tailored the Senior Leadership Management Development programme for this cohort to ensure it remains relevant and meets the current and evolving development needs of leaders in the FE sector. This refreshed programme is about improving leadership in practice.

The programme aims to challenge and change behaviours, develop the personal qualities, leadership skills and high level management capability of senior leaders in the further education and skills sector, achieved through practical application of the learning to the workplace. Our facilitators will guide you through tools and techniques to apply to your own situations and challenges and equip you with the knowledge and skills to know ‘how to’ be a successful leader.

Additional strengths include speakers and case studies from FE and the wider education sector, commercial sector and voluntary and community organisations.  You will have opportunities to listen, to question, to discuss issues with peers and tutors, to receive feedback and to put your learning into practice.

Cohort 13 Dates

6 – 7 July 2017 – Module 2: Leading Strategic Thinking

3 – 4 October 2017 – Module 3: Leading Transformational Change

The main benefits will include:

  • enhanced skills and knowledge required by senior leaders to lead complex education and training organisations
  • improved understanding to empower and engage employees to enhance performance and increase productivity
  • increased resilience and personal confidence to lead effectively through transformational change
  • supported personal development to progress in the workplace

The programme consists of three core two-day residential modules with further support between modules through individual and group coaching. There is flexibility to undertake the full programme or individual modules to meet personal needs. If you are taking the full programme then it is recommended that module one is taken first, followed by two and then three. Full details of each module can be found by clicking on the Programme tab above.

There is no formal assessment. However, there will be pre-reading and/or tasks for you to complete ahead of the modules and follow-up work based on reflection, personal development, action planning and application of learning from the modules.  Individual tutorial support is included to maximise the learning opportunities and their practical implementation. Some of the modules benefit from speaker sessions from highly experienced leaders from a range of backgrounds, bringing external perspectives that reflect contemporary practice and explore the all-important angle of how to apply the learning to the workplace.


Between each residential delivery of the modules, you will be guided with your personal development, through structured action plans and career coaching:

  • you will develop and submit action plans to your coach for review and progression
  • coaches will monitor progress and review impact on a 1:1 or small group basis
  • you will be encouraged to meet together in a tutor-led ‘learning set’ to share experiences and help each other with problem solving

Who should attend?

This programme is designed for senior managers and leaders working in the further education and skills sector who wish to improve management and leadership effectiveness in their current senior role or who aspire to move on to the next level. Applicants should be able to demonstrate significant experience in people management, resource and financial/budgetary responsibility.





£1200 + VAT per individual module. Including catering and one night’s accommodation


Each module is delivered on a residential basis over two days. One night’s accommodation (between the two days) and all meals are included in each module price. Hotel bookings will be made for you. If you require accommodation the night before the first day, there will be the option to add this to your booking for an additional £76.50  + VAT

Terms and Conditions

Registration, programme and payment options: slmd@aoc-create.co.uk
020 7034 2608

Other finance queries:
020 7034 9900

Already Registered


1 – Personal Impact as a Senior Leader

2 – Leading Strategic Thinking

3 – Leading Transformational Change

Module 1: Personal Impact as a Senior Leader

16 – 17 May 2017

Great leaders inspire people to do their best. Becoming a more effective leader often requires changing behaviour and therefore adjusting underlying mind-sets. Adjusting mind-sets can be uncomfortable but when individuals are stretched at the right level it can lead to leadership performance at a higher level. This module focuses on identifying personal development needs through guided self-reflection and 360° feedback. It raises self-awareness, explores models of leadership and helps you to develop your leadership perspective and capabilities.

360° appraisal

This module is preceded by a 360° appraisal tool where knowledge, skills, performance and personal qualities are assessed by your line manager, a selection of peers, external partners and colleagues, and an individualised comprehensive analysis is produced for you. This individual report provides a strong base for extending and deepening action points, and for continuing to refine and develop the skills and qualities required of a successful senior leader.


Build the core interpersonal skills required to be a successful leader in the future (the principles and practice of relationship building, negotiating, coaching, influencing and feedback).

Day One – explores the characteristics of great leadership, examines models of leadership and offers practical ‘how to’ sessions on the required enabling skills of sector leaders.

Day Two – takes a practical approach to developing the essential skills (questioning, listening, coaching, giving/receiving feedback and handling conflict) required of an effective leader and supports you to start to focus on your development needs.

Learning Outcomes 

This module enables you to:

  • explore your role as a senior leader and models of leadership
  • develop your knowledge to that expected of a leader
  • gain a deeper understanding of effective practices in leading complex education and training organisations
  • assess your own personal strengths and development areas
  • enhance your leadership skill set with new tools and techniques
  • increase your personal confidence to apply these skills and understanding to develop the organisation for the future

The main benefits will include:

  • develop your ability to empower and engage employees to enhance performance and increase productivity
  • operate at a higher level of emotional intelligence, have the perspective to make informed business decisions and enhance the future success of the organisation
  • coach teams and build the trust and respect of others to improve working relationships and business outcomes
  • effectively handle conflicting situations through using appropriate approach and style to achieve mutual resolution
  • finesse your presentation skills and increase your personal confidence to lead and represent the organisation
  • network with others, share best practice, and support and challenge each other to gain new insight and broader working practices

Register today!

Module 2: Leading Strategic Thinking

6 & 7 July 2017

Do you have the skills to think strategically and navigate your organisation through times of uncertainty? Do you have a clear strategic direction for your organisation to support the local educational and community needs?

Study after study suggests that strategic thinkers are found to be among the most highly effective leaders. At the heart of strategic thinking is the ability to anticipate changes in the environment, weigh those against your organisation’s capabilities, identify emerging opportunities and lead the organisation forward.

This module explores a structured methodology for leading strategic thinking, taking full account of the wider environment, and your and your organisation’s capability to respond to current and emerging needs.


The two days will focus on the 4 key strategic questions that will enable you to develop a framework for understanding your environment and capabilities and making good strategic choices. You will be introduced to models and tools and will explore practical application of these to your own situations.

Day One – explores how you can think and act more strategically (strategy traps, clarity on purpose) and examines what’s going on out there that affects us in here (the external environment and the dynamics of the sector).

Day Two – examines your capability to rise to the challenge (as individual leaders and as organisations) and discover ways to make great strategic choices (avoiding biases and making effective decisions).

Learning Outcomes

This module enables you to:

  • understand the importance of strategic thinking and the role you as a leader play in determining organisational development and the implementation of strategy
  • recognise the importance of clarity of purpose above everything else
  • explore a range of models and frameworks to analyse the strategic environment and to produce a comprehensive framework of strategic options
  • develop personal action plans to improve your understanding and performance in strategic decision making and application
  • take away tools and techniques which can be used internally with your college teams to make good strategic choices

The main benefits will include:

  • think strategically and navigate the unknown effectively
  • develop skills to lead your organisation during significant changes in the environment
  • motivate and inspire people to engage with organisational strategy
  • lead strategy development and implementation through the direct application of the models and frameworks to your own situation
  • network with others, share best practice and support and challenge each other to further raise your game

Register today!

Module 3: Leading Transformational Change

3 & 4 October 2017

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in organisations? Learn the skills needed to enable you to initiate, execute and manage change effectively.

This module will help you to understand why change programmes fail and enable you to develop your skills in successfully initiating, implementing and embedding transformational change in your organisations.

You will work through a significant change you need to make in your organisation and will apply validated change theory to structure your approach. As a result, the learning and its application are immediate. You will emerge more confident and better equipped to lead and implement further changes in your organisation, and will also have moved forward on the specific change you addressed.


Throughout the two days you will gain the space and time to reflect on the changes your organisation needs to make and build a toolkit to effectively lead these changes back in the organisation.

Day One – explore why change is so difficult (the blockers to effective change), share the group’s changes to create a change community, examine the ups and downs of leading change (a fun way to explore the key steps to successful change). Understand and apply change keys: Change key 1 – How to create a real sense of urgency; Change key 2 – How to build a powerful guiding coalition around your change.

Day Two – discover ways to change mind-sets and deal with immunity to change, hear perspectives on leading change from a sector principal. Understand and apply change keys: Change key 3 – Developing an inspiring change vision; Change key 4 – Communicating for buy-in from others.

Learning Outcomes

This module enables you to:

  • understand why change is difficult and how to deal with that effectively
  • gain clarity on the transformational changes needed to meet the strategic objectives of your organisation
  • create a real sense of urgency around a significant change
  • analyse your key change stakeholders and consider how to manage them
  • learn about the key ingredients needed to ensure successful change and how to apply them to your organisation
  • develop a compelling vision around the change
  • identify ways to communicate the change in order to engage people

The main benefits will include:

  • gain a greater sense of clarity around the transformational changes needed in your organisation
  • understand the change process and learn how to communicate and build the case for change effectively
  • take away a readymade toolkit to help ensure that change is planned, implemented and embedded successfully in your organisation in today’s changing climate
  • network with others, share best practice, and support and challenge colleagues in order to develop your own knowledge and skills to lead change

Register today!


Debbie Wilshire

Debbie has twenty years experience as a senior post holder in further education, having started as a two hours per week law tutor. She has had leadership roles in small. medium and very large/complex colleges. Debbie has had board level experience since the 1990s in a range of sectors and now runs her own company providing leadership and management training and development, with a focus on building the confidence of individuals, teams and organisations. She chairs a multi-academy trust and is committed to realising the leadership potential of everyone, including students.

Michael Bryant-Mole

He has worked for two international consultancy firms and, for the last 20 years, has run a successful business of his own. His interests lie in improving performance through organisational and behavioural change. Michael brings with him many years of working in a variety of industry sectors both in the UK and overseas and has collected a wealth of best practice experience. He is passionate about developing leadership through practical enabling skills, and how enabling skills can transform all levels of leadership.

For the last four years his work has focused on supporting post 16 education and training.

Larry Shulman

Larry has experience helping both public and private sector organisations reach even higher levels of performance excellence and results.

He started his professional life in Human Resources and Change Management roles with Tesco. Several years later, he joined Coca-Cola as a Senior HR and Organisational Change Manager and then made an unusual cross-functional move into a senior sales & marketing role with Coca-Cola, where he led and grew a £25m sales, marketing and distribution business. Larry left Coca-Cola to move into organisational consulting. With over 15 years as a consultant, facilitator and executive coach, Larry’s clients have included Miller Brands UK (SAB Miller), Horizon Nuclear Power, NHS Blood & Transplant and Cancer Research UK. He also works with a number of colleges around the UK.