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‘Holding Senior Fellow status not only gives me confidence, but it also gives my team confidence’

14 Aug 2023 | Lisa Bell Lisa Bell is Head of Curriculum in Early Childhood and Health Studies, and Director of HE, at Brockenhurst College. In this blog she explains why she applied for Senior Fellowship.

Being awarded Senior Fellowship is a proud achievement whilst leading higher education (HE) in a further education (FE) college, confirming that the leadership of HE in FE has been further validated. 

I had been leading HE programs for 12 years in the college and although senior leaders value the contributions and achievements, I really wanted to document my journey of what it is I actually do. It wasn't until I began deep reflection and documenting my day-to-day practice that I thought, crikey, I do quite a lot! But it didn't faze me, it was just getting on with the job without fuss. However, the process of the application did provide me with a space to really focus on my colleagues, students and the provision and how to celebrate the good things that have been achieved for HE in FE. Furthermore, it was about being true to the mission of improvement and taking risks; having a good go at things and not being afraid to lead others within HE for them to do so too. Holding Senior Fellow status not only gives me confidence, but it also gives my team confidence. 

External recognition of meeting the Professional Standards Framework in line with other colleagues in HE environments provided newfound confidence and the motivation and confirmation that I'm heading in the right direction when leading provision and others around me.  

My university doctoral supervisor encouraged me and mentored me to apply to undergo this rigorous but rewarding process. In addition, my motivation and self-determination confirmed that it was important that someone in a FE college could also be recognised and achieve Senior Fellowship despite not being in a traditional university environment.  

Following my Senior Fellowship, I've mentored team members to achieve fellowship status and I am so humbled to help review fellowship applications with a partner university.  

Senior Fellowship has been achieved, but HE leadership, development and reflection still continues every day. 


Lisa Bell is Head of Curriculum Early Childhood and Health Studies and Director of HE at Brockenhurst College in Hampshire.  

Join us on our next Senior Fellow Writing Retreat on 28 September 2023. Find out more

Devised in collaboration with the Advance HE College-Based HE Network (CBHE), the CBHE Scholarly Activity & Research Toolkit provides guidance for staff working in UK college-based higher education institutions who wish to participate in scholarly activity and enhance the learning experience for students within the HE sector from a college-based perspective. 



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