"

At the Association of Colleges (AoC) conference, held in Stratford "“ upon Avon this week, the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) announced the formation of a new improvement body to improve the Further Education sector qualitatively, both for students, teachers and for employers, addressing concerns regarding the future course of the qualifications and their assessment.

The Chief Executive of the LSDA, Mr. Thompson, spoke to the assembled audience of college principals, educators and assorted administrative representatives of the concerns that many have expressed on the somewhat fragmented nature of the sector and the need to further specify the areas in which qualification provision can be improved both from the point of view of potential employers and from the standpoint of the consumer; to whit, the student.

Meeting the Needs of the Students and the Economy

Mr. Thompson began by addressing the need to change the focus of the sector which, for much of the previous decade, has been focused on growth, often for growth's sake. He highlighted the need to return the focus more squarely upon the needs and wants of the student and the employer, and iterated what was to become a recurrent theme in his address; namely that the primary and fundamental task of all those working within the FE sector was to make the world "a better place".

In the past, according the Mr. Thompson, there has been some inertial resistance to new training and movement within the sector, and he called on those present to join a general opening of minds to new ideas to carry training and educating forward with the changing times. This is necessary given the metamorphosing face of the economy and the new training demands that are the result of a post - industrial economic stage.

The Basics of the Quality Improvement Agency

Having introduced the challenges facing FE in the coming months and years, he introduced the newest development of the LSDA, namely the Quality Improvement Agency (the QIA), and outlined the basic principles upon which it will operate.

The first of these is the quest for greater clarity in the sector, encouraging agencies to work more efficiently together in the promotion of self "“ improvement in training provision. A certain amount of self motivation is looked for in the sector "“ in various different statements and opinions given at the conference, there was a broad consensus that a greater degree of local autonomy of policy and strategy was desirable, especially if it were to be properly funded and recognised by the government and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

In a society that Mr. Thompson referred to as being driven and conditioned towards being "risk "“ averse", the QIA will also seek to accelerate the rate of improvement for service provision and qualification development. As part of the white paper on Lifelong Learning, the new agency will also form up in support of considered and agreed reforms, and will hope to steer the sector towards a stage of self "“ improvement that would eventually allow it to be entirely self "“ regulated.

One Strong Voice

In a remarkable visual tool, Mr. Thompson brought out in series upon the projector screen the logos of each of the various organisations that work within the FE sector, which certainly represented a healthy cluster for the audience to watch fade in. He argues that the QIA will help in simplifying this, and thus bring about the happy situation whereby the sector would be able to speak and act with a single voice.

He was careful to stress the continuing importance of consultation both in the formation of this new agency and its subsequent actions. The vision for the QIA is of an organisation that listens and learns from the experiences of the sector, and shapes matters logically and coherently. He mentioned the vast quantity of data that is available "“ indeed, he suggested that there can sometimes be too much data, and stated that the QIA would seek to use the intelligence sensibly, referring to T.S. Elliot's comment on losing wisdom through gaining knowledge.

In the coming months, the Foster Review will report on the progress of the sector, and amongst the questions asked will naturally be the value that the public are getting for their tax pounds being spent. With the Leitch Review being more quietly conducted by the Treasury to determine the skills required for the economy in 2020, the near future will do much to shape the future of education and training in Britain. Mr. Thompson welcomes this challenge, and looks forward to the QIA proving an invaluable weapon in the sector's armoury for success.

Jethro Marsh

Is the QIA the answer? Share with us in the FE Blog

"

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Since the call here seems to include Mind the Quality,
in which ways should quality be defined and...

Abertay has published a new article: How do I qualify as a First Aid Trainer? yesterday
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter yesterday

The latest podcasts from FE News for 10/16/2021 - https://t.co/Hyjo6M7BQX
View Original Tweet

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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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