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College CEO Accepts National Appointment

Lowell Williams Outside Dudley AdvanceDudley College’s Chief Executive Officer Lowell Williams has been named as one of only 7 appointments to the government’s new advisory group which has been established to improve the quality of further education. The group which will be known as the  National Leaders of Further Education (NLFE), is made up of some of the best principals in the country from colleges who have been rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, the sector regulator. The NLFE has been created in order to bring the quality of all of the 300 FE colleges across the country up to the standards of the very best, as part of a raft of initiatives the government is taking forward to strengthen the role and remit of the FE Commissioner.

The FE Commissioner post was established in 2013 and is currently held by Richard Atkins, who will work with the NLFE team in order to secure improvement in colleges which have been identified as needing support. This first cohort of college leaders who have been recruited to NLFE, will form part of a strategic mentoring team that will work with identified college partners. This will mean the best practice and strategic vision from the colleges of NLFE leaders will be able to be replicated in the colleges needing assistance and backing.

Dudley College, which is frequently cited in the top ten nationally, with high levels of student satisfaction and achievement rates well above national benchmarks, has been led by Lowell for over nine years. In his new role he will also draw on his breadth of experience in the sector more widely as a Director of the Black Country Colleges group and Chair of the West Midlands Further Education and Skills Productivity Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Lowell Williams CEO of Dudley College of Technology and Chair of the Board of Dudley Academies Trust said: “I’m delighted to be able to share some of the exceptional practices we have developed here at Dudley College in the years since I have been here. In doing so I will be able to draw on my 17 years’ experience as a Principal and share the knowledge I have gained from working with hundreds of very committed people.

Leading a college is a tough job, with all of the changes in the sector, colleges need to be resilient and in a position to deal with the challenges they are facing. I hope to be able to support fellow college leaders develop their own institutions with a degree of empathy for the task.”

Chair of Dudley College Corporation: Peter Davies commenting on Lowell’s appointment said: “I see this appointment as acknowledgment of Dudley College as a high performing organisation and Lowell’s contribution in helping to make it that way. He is modest about his own considerable leadership skills but I know he will take pleasure in being able to make a contribution to the success of other colleges across the country. A college and its leaders are only as successful as the learners they support, and doing the best for learners is what drives him.”