Why Further Education? – Tom Smith, City College Norwich

Welcome to our spotlight series, where we turn the spotlight on our clients who have chosen a career in further education. In this series, we delve into the personal journeys and professional insights of educators who are passionate about shaping the future through learning.

Each instalment of this series will feature candid interviews with our clients, exploring why they chose a career in further education, what they love most about their role, the most significant challenges they face, and their greatest aspirations.

Join us as we uncover the motivations, aspirations, and challenges that drive these dedicated educators forward in their mission to make a difference in the lives of students and communities alike.

Tom Smith – Director of Resourcing and Performance, City College Norwich

What made you choose a career in FE?

Initially, I had not considered a career in education. However, I was given a fantastic opportunity from a young age, shortly after leaving college as an apprentice, to return to that same college and begin my teaching career. It didn’t take long before I realised this was the sector I wanted to remain in. The new role gave me an incredible amount of satisfaction and love for my work.

Tom Smith

What do you love about your role?

My current role is very different from the teaching role I began in. I love that I play a lead role in planning and designing our curriculum for each academic year. With the constantly changing landscape of education, there are always new challenges to overcome while striking the balance of student experience and effective, efficient curriculum delivery.

What can be the biggest challenge?

Continuing to deliver and offer the most and very best for our learners, often on tighter, more restrictive funding streams than in previous years.

What’s your biggest aspiration in your role?

When I started my career, I never had imagined moving past working as a Lecturer; since then, I have moved into a Deputy Curriculum Manager, Curriculum Manager, and now Director roles. I wish to continue to further my skills and knowledge and one day move into a high position.

Fun fact about you?

I sometimes DJ in clubs and bars at the weekends, and people often find that surprising in comparison to my day job.

After a busy week at your college, how do you wind down at the weekend?

This linked to the previous question and probably doesn’t feel like a wind-down, but head out to either play or attend music events.

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