College principal named among DfE’s National Leaders of Further Education

Chief Executive and Group Principal of the Education Training Collective, Phil Cook, has been named a National Leader of Further Education.

Named among the Department of Further Education’s latest cohort of college leaders, Phil will be tasked with providing strategic mentoring and support to colleges in need of improvement.

Picture of Phil Cook

With a previous track record in college change management, Phil joined Stockton Riverside College in 2013 and, working with colleagues, quickly transformed the college from an Ofsted “requires improvement” to a “Good” grading.

Under Phil’s leadership, in 2015, the college merged with NETA Training, helping to secure engineering and construction training in the Tees Valley.

A further merger with Redcar and Cleveland College, in August 2018, helped to secure a dedicated further education college in Redcar, with Ofsted reporting rapid and significant progress in just a few months.

The overarching college group, which also incorporates Bede Sixth Form College and The Skills Academy, was renamed the Education Training Collective (Etc.), to more accurately reflect the diversity of its campuses in October, last year.

With 20 years of experience delivering further education improvement, Phil is quick to point out that success is inevitably the result of a collaborative approach.

He said: “Raising standards, in any field, is rarely the result of a singular effort. Throughout my career, I have worked with some amazing people. I love working in the FE sector and learning from those around me, and I continue to do so.”

The DfE announced plans to appoint additional college leaders to its national teams of further education and governor specialists in October last year, enabling more colleges to be supported.

Chairman of the Etc. Board of Governors Mark White said: “We are extremely proud to see our Group Principal, Phil Cook, selected as a National Leader of Further Education. At Etc. he has established a talented team who, through a culture of responsibility and accountability, are together able to achieve great things for the communities we serve.”