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Speaker Biography

Paul Lawrence

Director and Head of Further Education, KPMG LLP (UK).

Paul joined KPMG in 1996; prior to that he was in schools and FE for 20 years, together with national examining experience mainly with SEG (pre AQA) to Chief Examiner level, Quality Standards Scrutiny leadership and inspection with SEAC and SCAA-pre QCA for 5 years.

Paul’s clients range from individual providers to BIS, SFA, many college providers (200+) some private sector organizations. He is currently modeling the impact of CSR and Coalition policies on the sector as a whole. His excellent network of contacts together with access to senior figures in the sector enables him to be up to date and capable of offering immediate solutions. Paul contributes to College Governance developments annually. His FE market leadership and expertise has led to significant expansion in this area. Already in 2010 he has contributed to/led seven Governor training events in different colleges including two weekend college annual updates. In 2010 he led 14 such sessions in different colleges.

Paul is well known across the FE college sector for his college “turnaround” and performance improvement work. More than 50 colleges have benefitted in this context in the last 3 years. Paul worked intensively with the DfES and No10 Policy Unit for three months in 2006 assisting in the preparation of the Trust Schools Bill - developing models, presenting at seminars and working closely on occasion with the Secretary of State and the PM. In 2004 Paul led a small team, requested by Charles Clarke at DFES to investigate and, where possible, remedy school budget deficits across England. He has also undertaken performance improvement for a school in Cairo, Egypt along similar lines.

From 2007 to present day, Paul has undertaken 20+Strategic Options Reviews in colleges and has led all aspects of mergers, each one with a successful outcome. His expertise as a market leader in this field is now recognised and used in early stage discussions before decisions to merge are reached. In every merger he has personally shaped and led the final detailed submission on the Governance structure for the newly merged college. Paul contributes back to the sector with a range of CSR activities –shorter governance inputs are given pro bono as well as various short-term one-offs that have a clear and immediate learner benefit.

Paul has highly developed interpersonal skills, is a good and patient listener and evenhanded in data collection. His reports are clear and all findings/opinion statements are strongly supported by available evidence.
All aspects of mergers, especially embedding effective Governance and other strategic changes; organisational reviews and change management, especially in ‘failing’ colleges; feasibility studies for new institutions and reconfigurations; assistance with policy implementation . Post May 2010 he has been especially effective in policy interpretation for FE.


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Panel discussion:

FE Mergers and Partnerships