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In this series of blogs, Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), reports on her visits to Further Education (FE) and skills providers across the sector. She uncovers the transformational learning opportunities available to students alongside the dedicated professionalism of teachers, trainers and leaders from the wide variety of different providers across the sector.

As Claire Nicholson-Clinch and I stepped into East Surrey College, we were immediately welcomed by a beautiful art exhibit created by learners, including artwork which is soon to be displayed at the nearest train station and some great photography. Proud 2 B Me was about to start when we visited – a week in March dedicated to celebrating inclusion among students and staff, encouraging them to be their authentic selves. It creates an environment where every individual feels valued, respected and empowered. It all adds up to creating a welcoming and supporting environment within the colleges.

Lindsay Pamphilon runs her organisation with pride and openness. She engages across her organisation with learners, teachers and trainers and is passionate about showcasing best practice. Our conversations with Lindsay and Rebecca Taylor focused on culture and professional development. We discussed how the college can benefit from the new ETF strategy, both in terms of our programmes and using the Professional Standards to support staff development.

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