Well youve heard it. An extra £14 Billion in spending in education over the next 3 years. More money for apprenticeships, with a a 500,000 target. Training Allowance for 50,000 16-17 year olds. £2,000 - £3,000 for SMEs who provide Basic Skills training. Education up to 18 years old. Student Debt sell off. It all happened. Not the best day for our old editor to leave, especially whilst we still looking for a replacement.

So what did the industry think of the Brown Budget? Did they think of Golden Brown or something that is Brown and smelly?

First up is the AoC. Commenting on Gordon Brown's new education spending commitments Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, John Brennan, said:

"We are delighted that the Chancellor has announced another generous funding package for education. This decision reflects the need to ensure all young people and adults are equipped with the necessary skills to maintain Britain's prosperity well into the 21st century.

"We were particularly pleased to hear Mr Brown announce that the Government will be consulting on ensuring all young people stay in education or training until they are 18. Colleges strongly support this ambition and will be the vital factor in ensuring it becomes a reality.

"This new commitment for young people is accompanied by a long-term pledge to ensure adults" skills requirements are met, as recommended by Lord Leitch in his report last year. Again, this will be welcomed by colleges.

The UCU reveiew is a little more cynical. They seem a little more sceptical about the rhetoric and spin of Mr Brown in what is widely thought to be his last budget. The UCU are especially concerned about the Student Loan sell off.

The University and College Union (UCU) today said the Chancellor needed to demonstrate his commitment to all areas of education. The union welcomed the extra money for the education sector, but warned that much more needed to be done if the UK was to really lead the way in education. It also cautioned against plans to sell off student loans.

UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "All politicians tell us that education is a priority "“ some repeat the mantra three times. Rhetoric alone cannot support our universities and colleges, especially if the challenging participation targets in the Leitch Report are to be realised.

"The increase in the percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on education to 5.6% is welcome. However, part of that increase has come from charging university tuition fees. When the DfES and the devolved governments come to divvy up the overall education budget they must look to increase spending on further and higher education.

"We want public spending on higher education to rise as a proportion of GDP to the international average. UCU has called on the government to use the forthcoming comprehensive spending review (CSR) to bring Britain in line with countries such as America and our European neighbours.

"More money for employers to fund training is to be welcomed and hopefully the reduction in corporation tax will prompt companies into significantly increasing their outlay on training and career development. However, there was sadly no mention of how the government intends to address the funding and pay gap between our colleges and schools."

Commenting on the news the government is planning a £6 billion sale of the student loan book, Sally Hunt said: "This appears to be a short-term strategy as the government will ultimately lose money in the long-term from repaid debts. Let's not forget that few private companies have a proud record of taking over the running of systems like student loans.

"We need assurances from government that the money raised will be ploughed back into higher education and not used to replace public funding. Furthermore, as students are forced to borrow more to meet the cost of their university education, we need a guarantee that the interest rate on student loans will not rise."

"We are pleased that these decisions strongly support AoC's own priorities for the sector and we look forward to discussing with Government how these ambitions can now be met."

The Association of Learning Providers are really pleased about the recent budget. A spokesman for the Association of Learning Providers said: "We"ve been pressing hard for months, actually years, for much closer links between the skills and employment remits of the DfES and DWP respectively. Therefore we were greatly encouraged about today's announcements about aiming for a seamless service between the LSC and Jobcentre Plus, particularly in respect of putting unemployed youngsters into jobs where they can improve their skills under the Train to Gain programme."

CBI Director-General, Richard Lambert, said: "The skill levels of many young people leaving secondary school remain poor despite almost a decade of rising investment in schools. Basic skills remain a real weak point of the UK economy. As employers and taxpayers, businesses will expect spending increases to deliver a faster pace of improvement.

"The CBI supports moves to raise the age at which young people can leave education or training to address the lack of basic and employability skills amongst many young people entering the labour market. Raising the leaving age must therefore be part of a wider package which also includes government funding for reformed, fit-for-purpose qualifications and high quality careers advice.

"We welcome the new proposals aimed at encouraging 16 to 18 year olds into training who are currently outside the education system."

What do you think of the budget, good news for FE or bad? Email your article to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 12 hours 25 minutes ago

We will ensure that schools, colleges and universities stay open: We will ensure that schools, colleges and univers… https://t.co/3pcnapPV5k
View Original Tweet

FE News has published a new article: Covid-19 changing employee motivations 18 hours 47 minutes ago

Latest Education News

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.

Sector News

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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page