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157 Group

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About 157 Group

The 157 Group represents 27 of the most influential colleges in the FE sector. It was formed in 2006 in response to paragraph 157 of Sir Andrew Foster's report on the future of further education colleges, in which he argued that principals of large successful colleges should play a greater role in policymaking.

Support and services

The 157 Group bases its work around the two core principles of improvement and reputation. 

The 157 Group aims to apply its collective wealth of experience and expertise to lead capacity building and self-improvement in colleges and the sector, within a sector-led and sector-owned future. The 157 Group of Colleges produce case studies to showcase effective and best practice. These case studies have been published across a wide spectrum of themes in the FE sector, from equality and diversity to employer engagement. The complete set of case studies can be found here. As well as offering our expertise to the wider sector, 157 Group members and senior staff from member colleges take part in peer support networks. We have established groups for:

  • curriculum (for deputies and vice principals) 
  • marketing 
  • human resources 
  • international 
  • policy 
  • personal assistants 
  • IT 
  • business development managers 
  • finance directors
  • principals

These groups are designed for members to seek continuing improvement and innovation in a challenging and supportive environment, where systematic learning and exchange is mutually beneficial. Peer networks offer significant benefits and extend 157 Group engagement beyond principals to other senior managers.

As an influential group we strongly support the principles of self-regulation and a future in which the sector moves to regulate itself and reduce the levels of audit, intervention and bureaucracy. The 157 Group believes that peer review is a critical element of effective and successful self-regulation. Many 157 Group colleges engage in peer review processes to powerful effect.

Raising the regional, national and international reputation of FE colleges and the wider sector is central to all that we do at the 157 Group. The way in which colleges are perceived by stakeholders - including the government, business, media, the public and learners - is critical, and a positive perception contributes to promoting the profile and status of the whole sector. 

Contact details

Please use the contact information below for enquiries about 157 Group and the services available or to request a publication.

By post

Gemma Knott, Policy & Communications Officer
157 Group
PO Box 58147