Graham Taylor

  • Let's get FE and schools talking more

    FE and schools rubbed shoulders at this year’s festivals of education and skills – wouldn’t it be interesting to get them talking more, asks Graham Taylor It was great to see education and skills – schools and FE – combined in one festival this year, at the splendid location of Wellington College. The Festival of

    5.00 Jul. 2nd, 2017 | Opinion

  • Free further education for all is not a realistic aim

    Manifesto promise: Scrap fees and loans in further education by doubling the Adult Education Budget Graham Taylor argues AGAINST There is much to admire in the Labour manifesto on education and skills. Labour has promised to make all further education free at the point of use. And who wouldn’t want this? They would “introduce free,

    16.15 Jun. 6th, 2017 | Opinion

  • A further education manifesto for 2017

    As political parties scramble to write their manifestos, carefully crafting their words to minimise the number of broken promises if they get into power, Graham Taylor sets out some suggestions for further education policies. Preserve FE funding If politicians believe their own rhetoric, that education and skills are the future of our country’s economic success,

    5.00 May. 8th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Level the playing field for colleges vs schools

    Do colleges feel picked on? You bet. Funding cuts over the last 10 years and the difficulties in dealing with less money, annual redundancy rounds and adapting to a declining market have led to us being put under the cosh by government and Ofsted in a number of ways, some unfairly. There isn’t a level

    5.00 Mar. 20th, 2017 | Opinion

  • How does Ofsted know whether work experience is high quality?

    The post-16 skills plan heralds a major change to work experience in the current system. The government wants college-based technical education programmes to include an entitlement to a one- to three-month “quality work placement” with an employer in an industry relevant to the learner’s study. Yet as revealed by the Department for Education’s recent consultation,

    5.00 Feb. 20th, 2017 | Opinion

  • The continuing QAR fiasco

    Colleges need to insist they are given the right data to make meaningful quality judgements about their own performance, says Graham Taylor. Last April I wrote about the bother over the production of the 2014/15 Qualification & Achievement Report (QAR), received after an interminable delay on April 5 and well documented in FE Week. An

    5.00 Jan. 17th, 2017 | Opinion

  • What has Michael Gove done to A-levels?

    If A-levels are big business, why don’t we allow more consumer choice, asks Graham Taylor.  A-levels are still big business and the main choice for 16-to-18s at level three. Over six times more learners take A-levels than advanced apprenticeships. Yet they are being gutted. Historian and author Simon Schama has described the cull as a

    5.00 Nov. 26th, 2016 | Opinion

  • GCSE English and maths retakes are a policy car crash

    The new mandatory post-16 resit policy for GCSE English and maths is setting young people up to fail, and government should allow other progression routes, says Graham Taylor. Mandatory English and maths aren’t going away. They are vital and underpin most things we do. But any way you slice it, this year’s GCSE resit results

    10.00 Oct. 30th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Why champion apprenticeships? There are so many other options

    Why are apprenticeships singled out for special treatment? The benefits of other qualifications are enormous and can be tested, says Graham Taylor, if we let levy payers to decide where to put their money. We’re currently obsessed with apprenticeships and the emerging minutiae, which sometimes means we can’t see the wood for the trees. So

    14.00 Sep. 24th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Reasons to be fearful for UTCs

    Graham Taylor explains why he thinks university technical colleges (UTCs) are failing to attract enough students. FE Week has exposed numerous examples of recruitment difficulties for UTCs. It was for example reported last month that 39 were open — but four were closing (or have closed) due to low student numbers. Interest from parents and

    10.00 Jun. 26th, 2016 | Opinion

  • Fifteen stairways to heaven?

    Graham Taylor explains why he is not a fan of government plans for new technical professional education (TPE) routes. George Osborne recently joked (he apparently has a sense of humour) that he’s on a 5:2 diet because “in two out of five budgets I eat my words”. Well, number one of these for education should,

    14.00 May. 22nd, 2016 | Opinion