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FRA Principal Nominated for 'FE Leader of the Year'


17th January 2017

We’re pleased to announce that our Principal & CEO, Lee Lucas, has been nominated for the TES FE Award for ‘FE Leader of Year’!  

Lee Lucas started his role at the Fashion Retail Academy in September 2014. With educational expertise across a wide portfolio of vocational fields, he specialises in the creation of industry-responsive qualifications and technical skills training. Over his 14-year career in further education, Lee has been at the forefront of industry-led jewellery, craft, retail and IT professional qualifications.      

In our recent Ofsted Inspection, we were the first college in London to receive an overall Outstanding grade under the new common inspection framework. We were also the first college in the country to receive an Outstanding grade in all areas, including Leadership & Management. This is an achievement that we are all immensely proud of. Whilst Lee has encouraged every member of staff to feel empowered by this result as a team effort, we recognise that this success wouldn’t be possible without his exceptional leadership. 

Lee’s passion and enthusiasm are infectious, and he motivates staff and students to achieve their full potential. He has been influential in bringing together the extremely competitive retail industry to achieve a shared goal: to develop and inspire young talent for a specialist career in fashion. 

He has been the driving force for change and innovation. He has recognised the vital importance of future-proofing the FRA to make sure the Academy continues to stay relevant to our students and address the needs of the fashion retail industry that we serve.  

Lee also led a national research project, supported by OC&C Strategy Consultants, to establish how changes in the retail industry over the next 10 years will impact the job market. The project also looked at how educational institutions, retailers and government can work together to make sure the industry remains as innovative and dynamic as it is today. In response to the research, Lee and his team formulated a curriculum strategy that would help employers to fill the emerging skills gaps in the retail industry. 

He has always been one step ahead in responding to industry needs. Between 2015 and 2016, he also worked in partnership with Accenture to design a ‘digital skills’ course that teaches students the knowledge and skills they need to start an entry-level digital role in fashion. 

Lee has made countless positive changes throughout his time at the Academy. For example: 

  • He secured donations for the refurbishment of our campus building to create a modern learning environment for our students. 
  • He has redefined our curriculum delivery model, making sure it meets the highest quality standards and guarantees the best outcomes for our students  

“Lee was a key part in my personal and professional development during my year at the Fashion Retail Academy. When taking on my role of Student Vice President, Lee provided excellent opportunities for me to develop myself and grow in confidence before heading out into industry. He trusted me and the Student President with the responsibility of building a Student Council, which meant the rest of the FRA students can have their voices heard and acted upon. Lee has had a very positive impact on all of the students!” 

Grace, FRA Alumni

The awards ceremony will be taking place on Friday 24th February, when the winner will be announced. Good luck, Lee!

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