Sharing Good Practice: Really??
Here’s a couple of questions for you: Would you rather yo...

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Cutting through the fog: EpAO Collaboration
In my article last week “Cutting through the fog: Ofqual for...

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Putting skills at the heart of our Plan for Jobs - Exclusive with Mims Davies
In her exclusive article, Employment Minister @MimsDavies ex...

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Education catch-up: is online tuition the future?
Earlier this month, news broke that the Government appointed...

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Remote learning is here to stay, but digital poverty must not be
Over the last year, remote learning has become a necessity f...

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Tackling the disadvantage gap: why we need targeted...
Sharing Good Practice: Really??
Supporting young people today and tomorrow
Cutting through the fog: EpAO Collaboration
Putting skills at the heart of our Plan...
Education catch-up: is online tuition the future?
Blueprint for recovery and renewal in young people’s...
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FE Voices

How are college estates reacting to today's changing real estate environment?

David Hutber

David Hutber @irwinmitchell discusses the major changes to Property Law that could impact the FE Sector Covid-19 has brought in major changes to property law, which though mostly temporary in nature, will affect many landlords and tenants...

Preventing Suicide and Self-Harm amongst 16-24 Year Olds

Paul McDonald, Samaritans

Suicide: The Biggest Killer  While suicide amongst young people is rare, sadly, it is the biggest killer of people aged 16-24 (ONS, 2018). Suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable and it requires us all, from...

Featured Articles

David Hutber

How are college estates reacting to toda…

Mar 01, 2021 / FE Voices

David Hutber @irwinmitchell discusses the major changes to Property Law that could impact the FE Sector Covid-19 has brought in major changes to property law, which though mostly temporary in nature, will affect many landlords and tenants in the short term. Longer term the government is pushing for the UK to be...

Video and Podcasts

The Institute talks... about T Levels wi…

Mar 01, 2021 / Podcasts

In this episode of The Insitute talks, @IFATEched talk to Havant and South Downs College (@Be_HSDC) all about #TLevels  In the podcast, we are joined by Daisy, an education and childcare T Level student and Ashley, Assistant Principal Vocational Curriculum. They talk about their experiences over the last 6 months and...

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Sector News

Connor Paskell, saving BAAE time and money.

Connor’s career takes off with BAAE ap…

Mar 01, 2021 / Sector News

 Apprentice Connor Paskell’s career has taken off since joining British Airways Avionic Engineering (BAAE) in Llantrisant Connor, 21, who lives in Llantrisant, was determined to pursue a career in engineering, but having failed to find a suitable opportunity began working in a children’s day nursery. Keen to pursue his dream career, Connor...

FE Events & Webinars This Month

Home Learning

Oak National Academy provides more than 100 million lessons

Pupils take part in 100 millionth Oak Na…

Feb 09, 2021 / Home Learning

After @OakNational Academy's call to tackle the #DigitalDivide, and in the week we've reached our 100 millionth lesson delivered (9 Feb), we’re thrilled to announce that Oak is now DATA-FREE for all on @VodafoneUK @EE @BT_uk @O2  @giffgaff @ThreeUK @SMARTYMobileUK  @TescoMobile @SkyUK @VirginMedia and @Plusnet  Oak National  Academy is the country’s online classroom, that was set up by teachers to help pupils learn...


Around the country, quite literally thousands of students are biting their nails and sweating on their A Level results, which are released later today with the lasting impact that they can often have on a young person's future.

And, in what has become an annual festival of negativity, the rallying cry has gone up criticising the perceived "dumbing down" of A Levels as a political exercise in guaranteeing constantly rising pass rates and placating the public, for whom a drop in achievement after substantial investment would represent a poor return.

But the President of the National Union of Students (NUS) Kat Fletcher calls for a more thoughtful approach. "The constant denigration of A-level students achievements is as old fashioned as the exams themselves," she said. Warming to the theme, she continued: "In any other part of the world we would be using this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our people, young and old, but we seem to be unable to do that."

Where the Real Issues Are

As has been mentioned in many previous articles regarding the standard of education, qualifications, training and learning provision, and encouraging equal status for vocational and academic education, the rejection of the Tomlinson Report (which recommended the adoption of an overarching diploma to replace the current system) remains a bitter pill to swallow; a pill, in fact, that has stuck in the throat for many who believe that the way to move education in Britain forward is this type of development and reform.

Kat Fletcher calls attention to these issues, and points out that this kind of backwards "“ looking attitude is counter "“ productive. "The old prejudices that prevent us from praising high achievement can be compared to those which ensure that vocational courses are consistently portrayed as the soft option," she said. "All our members have worked incredibly hard for their examinations, academic or otherwise, and should be rightly proud of their results."

What the Headlines Leave Out"¦

The arguments that rage about standards at A Level will undoubtedly continue; but they can often obscure other vital issues that need to be addressed. One such issue is the number of students going on to A Level / post 16 education, with some 49% of students failing to achieve five or more passes at GCSE level. The Government's plan to ensure that 50% of young people move on to Further or Higher Education, for the NUS, means that the time is ripe for a re "“ appraisal of the Tomlinson proposals.

Kat Fletcher stated: "NUS calls for a framework of qualifications which provide alternative pathways to further and higher education and move away from high risk exams at 16 that nearly fifty per cent are failing." She also spoke of education provision for all who demonstrated the desire and potential, saying: "We look forward to the forthcoming Foster Review this Autumn and hope the government will reconsider an integrated diploma to truly ensure that A stands for Achievement and Access."

FE News would like to take this opportunity to echo Kat Fletcher's praise for the achievements of young people across the UK. It is all too easy and all too common to knock down success, and this should be an opportunity for recognising the hard work that is still done every day by learners and teachers, whilst using this as a platform to call for change for the better.

Jethro Marsh

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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