Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


16 MIN READ TIME

How to make it as a…college head of beauty

Career Path

1. Understand that teaching is very much a calling

“I was working as a therapist at Willow Stream Spa in Bermuda in 2004 when I realised I wanted to teach – I was spending a lot of time training staff and designing protocols. I returned to the UK in 2007 and joined LCBT as a trainee lecturer, while studying for my assessor’s award and certificate in education. From there, I worked my way up, progressing from programme manager, deputy head and head of education and training, to curriculum and quality director.”

2. Be prepared for a hard transition

“Doing beauty and teaching it are two different things. Instead of managing therapists and a spa, you’re managing a group of learners with different capabilities who need you to tailor your approach to their needs. “Plus, in education, you have more targets to meet that aren’t as easily measured, such as the standards and outcomes of learners and how successfully you keep them engaged. As it stands, around 90% of learners go into a ‘positive destination’ after LCBT – either employment or further education.”

3. Expect some surprises

“When I started, my aim was to use my knowledge working in salons and spas to teach students all the things I thought they needed to know when entering the world of work, but you soon realise there’s a whole breadth of additional knowledge they have to learn. I had to re-educate myself on a lot of the core knowledge you don’t necessarily use in salon, such as the in-depth anatomy and physiology. Be prepared to do some revision.”

4. It’s about being commercially driven

“I spend a lot of time building partnerships with companies so we can develop courses that will be in demand and meet employers’ needs. Now, as well as beauty therapy level one to three, we offer fitness instruction and personal training, hair and media make-up, and we’ve just partnered with Sally Durant Aesthetic Education & Training on a range of Level 4 Advanced Beauty qualifications, including chemical peels and microneedling.”

5. Be prepared for criticism

“We’re delivering vocational courses that are all about skills, so it’s challenging meeting the needs of learners as well as making sure we’re compliant in our job as a funded college. The biggest challenge is the Government’s expectations on what you should be delivering and how you should deliver it.

“LCBT was set up to help learners gain the skills they need to go into the world of beauty and spa but now, if we have learners aged 16–18 who didn’t receive an A*–C in Maths and English GCSE at school, we must continue their studies in these subjects at college. Learners then re-sit the exams and we’re measured on their performance in them.”

6. You’ll need to swot up

“You can’t just step into this role from industry. You need an official teaching qualification – either a certificate in education, PGCE or diploma in education and training – and will have to do a course on developing programmes, so you understand how to meet different people’s expectations. You will also need your assessor’s award to understand the requirements of awarding bodies.” PB

This article appears in the Professional Beauty October 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty October 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty