Innovative Leadership For FE Sector

Innovative Leadership for Forward Thinking FE Colleges


People spend time: VFT helps them spend it better


Many colleges are struggling to achieve improvement with declining resources. This is accentuated for Colleges:

  • Responding to a ‘requires improvement’ inspection
  • Seeking to avoid a ‘requires improvement’ inspection

There are options available to help, many of which are ‘tick the box’ approaches which can succeed in the short term. The VFT approach is that short-term gains are much more easily achieved and sustained by a drive for medium term change.  And this means a creating or enhancing a culture of distributed leadership.  This is where leaders define ‘what’ and staff show ‘how’.



1.VFT is a process of culture change:

2.VFT is a quality and cost improvement tool:

When you move your management style from centralised, top-down to a distributed approach, the quality of outputs improves and wasted time decreases. This identifies how well your college’s professed aims match with the way time is spent, helping you to align these better, improve quality and cut costs

3.    VFT will improve your processes

You choose the output that concerns you most, we use VFT to work out the decreases in costs and increases in output you want to achieve and how to achieve them



We meet with the senior team to identify the focus for VFT.

Though it’s good to have all three – they enable engagement at leadership, cultural and transactional levels – the choice is yours.

We work in three ways;

Consult:               A day’s introduction to VFT for senior leaders, including a single focus application

Create:                A three to five day intensive engagement using VFT to enable a college senior team to adopt VFT and use it to create impact and change

Co-create:           A longer term engagement using VFT to build capacity for the essential: culture change


We are interested in the leadership journey from ‘boss’ to ‘professional’:

Boss culture  Policy Culture Professional Culture
The boss decides what’s best The Mission decides what’s best and a policy framework facilitates this. The boss may need to adjudicate hard cases and ensure compliance. Decisions all staff routinely make support the Mission

By ‘professional’ culture we mean one in which all staff are guided always by professional rather than personal discretion: what the College would expect and want from them not what they feel like giving.



VFT is a flexible system. It can be used in three main ways:

  • By leadership level: working with senior team / managers / teaching or support staff
  • By timescale: dealing with immediate needs or working for medium term outcomes
  • By curriculum or support service: focusing on one or more of the college’s sectors

Of course, in most cases, it is a combination: for example working for medium term change with Senior Leaders and managers initially, to apply VFT to say a curriculum area and so working with teachers.



We believe in VFT

We value our reputation

We want to help improve provision for learners

We won’t contract with you if we don’t believe we can help



Sean Hanan – 10 years as a Senior OFSTEAD Inspector and a career in FE

Ed Clements – Team Integra, Lean and Improvement Expert

Andrew Thomson – Former head of the QIA and a leading thinker in FE and Quality Improvement

Tim Evans – A teaching career in FE and Improvement now making a significant impact using VFT

Chris Thomson – Principal of a foremost “Oustanding” Six Form that knows how to get there