Expert Contributor

  • More new qualifications? Hold on - T-levels aren't off the ground yet

    T-levels are more than another alphabet soup qualification, says Gordon Marsden. But it’s the government’s job to make sure HE and FE providers – and learners – know how much more there is on the menu Damian Hinds’s speech last week at Battersea Power Station laid out the government’s vision for a “new generation” of

    5.00 Dec. 14th, 2018 | Opinion

  • FE colleges are the 'national infrastructure' for technical education

    Education secretary Damian Hinds delivered a speech about ending “snobbery” over technical education to businesses this morning. He’s written exclusively for FE Week about his plan to tackle the issue, which includes creating a “new generation” of higher technical qualifications One year ago this government launched the first modern industrial strategy for boosting this country’s

    18.13 Dec. 6th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Don’t play the blame game over the Baker clause

    The lack of information about A-level alternatives will not be solved by cajoling schools into compliance, says Kevin Gilmartin. Instead, what is needed is an understanding of what is holding back any progress or solution There’s frustration in the corridors of Whitehall and among colleges and training providers over the perceived failings of schools to

    5.00 Dec. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Governors should ask more questions about teaching and learning

    Teaching and learning are at the core of any college, says Jill Westerman – which is why governors need to know what happens in the classrooms How much time does your board spend discussing teaching, learning and assessment (TLA)? We show value in terms of where we spend our time . . . is the

    5.00 Dec. 10th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Reform higher apprenticeships, but beware of unintended consequences

    Let’s not lump all higher apprenticeships together – some are genuinely about re-training and progression, says Iain MacKinnon The government needs to sort this out, and fast. We cannot allow the apprenticeship reforms to be de-railed by employers upsetting the balance of the programme by spending so much of the levy on management apprenticeships. But we

    12.15 Dec. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofsted understands the challenges for further education

    From funding problems to T-levels and the apprenticeship levy, Ofsted seems to have a good handle on the main challenges for further education, says David Hughes It was nice knowing, as I travelled to the annual presentation from the chief inspector of Ofsted, that I was going to hear reasoned, calm and evidence-based views on

    18.31 Dec. 4th, 2018 | Opinion

  • How DfE can better support colleges in crisis

    As she leads her new institution to financial recovery, principal Karen Redhead reflects on what can help and hinder this difficult process I took over at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College in September, in the wake of a financial notice to improve from the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and an intervention from the

    5.02 Dec. 3rd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Let’s spend more cash on SEND learners and less on admin

    Some of the funding that used to be spent on support for learning disabilities now goes on administration. Students would benefit if the money went direct to providers, says Graham Razey Throughout the 25 years I’ve worked in further education, there have been a number of clichéd expressions thrown about. From Cinderella service to cash-strapped,

    5.00 Dec. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Ofsted is wrong about arts and media courses

    The obsession with STEM is causing misperceptions about the value – economic and social – of participation in the creative industries, believes Debra Gray I like Amanda Spielman. I think she has been a force for good at Ofsted. I spent a day with the chief inspector of education, children’s services and skills last year

    7.00 Dec. 1st, 2018 | Opinion

  • Do Skills Advisory Panels even make sense?

    Will SAPs really be able to match local skills supply to employers’ needs, or is this just magical thinking, asks Ewart Keep Sometimes a piece of policy is announced and then vanishes from view for a lengthy period. This often signifies that it is proving hard to design and deliver. A current case in point

    5.00 Nov. 26th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Colleges can give students a headstart over universities

    With their close employer relationships, colleges have a major advantage over schools and universities, says Ronel Lehmann For years there has been discussion around the growing skills gaps faced by UK industry. With Brexit looming, the worry about filling skilled jobs has intensified and many employers are urgently looking at ways to address the issue.

    5.00 Nov. 27th, 2018 | Opinion