Principals’ Professional Council

PPC logo

PPC provides individual member support and articulates to policymakers and partners the viewpoint of FE college leaders.

The Principals’ Professional Council (PPC) is a professional association which supports the interests and viewpoints of further education (FE) college principals. PPC represents you as an individual, rather than your institution.

Why do you need PPC?
National policy for the FE sector is firmly focused on accountability and governance; much of this puts a searching spotlight on the role of principals.

Pressures have intensified within the current operating environment. Financial pressures related to public sector funding reductions, the evolving role of Ofsted, the powers of the FE commissioner and outcomes of area reviews have combined to increase the challenge for college leaders.

Leadership challenges create an imperative for an effective voice for principals, alongside that of chairs of boards and clerks. We understand individuals need support when challenged personally and professionally.

What does PPC offer?
PPC members benefit from confidential networking, support and advice about matters related to governance and their individual leadership role.

Through its affiliation with ASCL, PPC provides a full range of advice and a wide range of ASCL membership services:

  • informal advice and support from members of the Council of PPC

  • specialist and confidential advice from the general secretary

  • professional employment-related support from a network of ASCL regional officers and legal advice

The support covers:

  • employment-related legal advice

  • relations with chairs of governors and boards, and with clerks

  • discipline and grievance

  • mergers and reorganisations

  • structuring remuneration packages

  • contracts of employment

  • pensions advice

  • early retirement and severance negotiations

  • general advice on FE matters

Through its relationship with AoC, the Council of PPC articulates the voice of principals and senior post holders to government. It contributes to the work of the Education and Training Foundation and provides an authoritative voice on matters of professional development for college leaders.

PPC has a council of serving members representing each of the regions, land-based colleges and deputies. The general secretary, Dr Anne Murdochwas appointed in February 2018 and was previously CEO and Principal of Newbury College.

Who can be a member?
PPC is open to principals, chief executives, and senior leaders of incorporated FE colleges in the UK. Because PPC represents you individually, rather than the college as an employer, we are able to give you personal support and guidance. You’ll have access to the very best professional advice, through our publications and telephone hotline, together with excellent support should you ever need it in your working life. To find out more email

Join PPC


Leadership in FE
Principals and senior leaders in England’s FE colleges require a range of skills to support, inform and influence FE. This, combined with funding reductions, means that some PPC members are and will be facing unsettling and sometimes difficult choices about their careers. To help, we have produced this information with our affiliated organisation, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

Questions to ask:

  1. Where is my employment contract and what does it say about redundancy?

  2. Does my college have a redundancy policy and how might it apply to me? For example does it include incentivised voluntary severance?

  3. If I am made redundant or choose to leave can I access my pension and what will be the financial impact?

  4. What are the tax implications of redundancy and pension access?

  5. In a merger how will senior posts be filled? Will I be included in an eligible pool for fair consideration?

  6. If I am unsuccessful would I be entitled to an alternative post and what criteria would determine suitability?

  7. If I take a new post what does the draft contract say about continuity of service, probation support and CPD?

  8. How can I prepare for moving up, for example from single college principal to a group CEO?

  9. How can I adjust from being the number one in a small college to one of a number of number twos in a group structure?

  10. Where can I obtain expert and individualised advice?