Preparing for CEO Programme (Code: C0270)

The role of a leader in the Further Education sector is a complex, challenging and rewarding one. CEOs and Principals require a range of skills, knowledge and experience to effectively lead institutions that are experiencing continued social, economic and technical change. This programme, delivered by Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, is aimed specifically for experienced FE leaders who are looking to step-up to the role of Principal or CEO in the next 1-2 years.

Pricing options

The price for ESFA funded organisations is £4,500.

This programme is currently subject to an early-bird fee of £3,750 until July 2022.



Oxford - Preparing for CEO Programme - (For Organisations outside of England)
Date: 20/03/2023
Price: from £15000.00
Oxford - Preparing for CEO Programme
Date: 20/03/2023
Price: from £3750.00
No suitable dates or locations? Please register your interest and we will let you know about new events as they are announced.

Who is this for?

Second tier FE leaders who are preparing to step-up to the role of Principal or CEO in the next 1-2 years.

As part of the programme all participants will go through a development centre to help them reflect on their leadership and management skills prior to attending the course. This is delivered in partnership with GatenbySanderson, who have been recruiting, assessing and developing senior leaders and leadership teams in the UK public sector for 15 years. The development centre phase will require participants to complete a small amount of online pre-work in advance of attending a feedback meeting with a development coach from GatenbySanderson. This confidential session will be used to explore the feedback from the online exercises and help participants think about their development goals for the forthcoming programme.

Download the course brochure.

Training aim

The programme will help those preparing to take on the role of Principal and CEO to be able to articulate purpose and set vision, think strategically and for the long-term, work with a complex set of internal and external stakeholders, develop and lead high performing teams, manage performance with strong commercial acumen, and have a deep commitment to delivering public value.


The programme is a mix of strategic leadership and technical development. Key initial themes include adaptive leadership, understanding your leadership style, networking, reputation, culture and values, working collaboratively, resilience and understanding finance / possessing business acumen.


You will have the knowledge and confidence to:
  • become the Chief Accounting Officer - leading financial security
  • direct the educational nature of the college; creating and leading a clear vision
  • take responsibility for staff and build high performing teams
  • drive excellence in governance and working with the Board; working collaboratively .




The programme will consist of a development centre with Gatenby Sanderson and 3x three-day residential modules at Saïd Business School's dedicated executive education facilities at Egrove Park in Oxford and a digital learning module. You will also be supported by Oxford tutors and will have the opportunity to apply your learning in between modules.

All participants will be eligible for membership of Oxford Business Alumni.

Full board accommodation at the Egrove Park campus is included in the course fee.

Residential dates:

  • Module One: 20-23 March 2023
  • Module Two: 26-29 June 2023
  • Module Three: 20-23 November 2023



Entry Requirements

This course aims to support succession planning in the sector and is aimed at FE leaders who are looking to step-up to the role of Principal or CEO in the next one to two years.

This programme requires the support of your CEO/Principal to participate, and that you work in an ESFA funded institution. Once you have booked and met the entry requirements, we will be in touch with further details and to request a letter of recommendation from your organisation's CEO or Principal.

Your place will be confirmed on receipt of payment and a letter of recommendation.


Once confirmed, GatenbySanderson will be in touch to arrange your development centre activity.

If you work outside of the English Further Education system please contact us.


Contact us

If this course is not currently available at a suitable date/location, please register your interest and we will let you know about new events as they are announced.

If you have any questions, please contact:

T: 0800 0 831 830