The LSC is a remarkable success story and I am proud of what it has achieved.

Under its leadership, Further Education has been transformed. In towns and cities throughout England there are now world class buildings providing world class learning facilities; there are record numbers of young people participating in learning and enjoying unprecedented success; there are more adults than ever before with the skills and qualifications they need to improve their life chances; there are thousands of employers being helped to improve their competitiveness; there is an apprenticeship system delivering results to match the best in the world.

The LSC is a remarkable success story and I am proud of what it has achieved.

Under its leadership, Further Education has been transformed. In towns and cities throughout England there are now world class buildings providing world class learning facilities; there are record numbers of young people participating in learning and enjoying unprecedented success; there are more adults than ever before with the skills and qualifications they need to improve their life chances; there are thousands of employers being helped to improve their competitiveness; there is an apprenticeship system delivering results to match the best in the world.

The LSC has made enormous strides in reaching out to disadvantaged communities; reducing the number of young people not in education, employment or training; helping offenders into the world of work; and improving access and opportunities for those with disabilities and learning difficulties.

Through new funding approaches we are putting power and choice into hands of learners and employers. We have focused our funding on priorities and have sought to make it more responsive to local needs. And of course along the way we have hit – and often exceeded ‐ every target that has been set for us.

Importantly we have shown that you can achieve success while driving down costs. Our annual running costs are now some £100m less than our predecessor bodies.

All of this has been delivered through an enormous effort from all of you, the staff of the LSC, and many thousands of others across the wider system. I believe in years to come that people will look back at this time as an important period for Further Education, a time of investment of improvement, progress and innovation.

But the world does not stand still. In 2010 the LSC will enter its tenth year and this represents considerable longevity in an era of constant change. At that point we will have been in existence longer than any of our predecessor bodies. Since last summer we have known that 2010 will be a time of major change for us and today, with the publication of the Machinery of Government consultation document, we have finally got the chance to see the very different configuration of the post 16 landscape that is being proposed.

In summary, there will be two new bodies that will continue to drive ahead the huge agenda that we have been charged with since 2001. For young people there will be a new national Non Departmental Public Body, with some regional capacity, which will support local authorities in their new role in commissioning and funding 14-19 provision. Local capacity on 14-19 will therefore, as expected, be with Local Authorities. For adults there will be a new Skills Funding Agency, again with some regional capacity, which will oversee the distribution of funds to the sector and manage the performance of FE colleges. The Agency will also house the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the National Employer Service, and the Adult Careers and Advancement Agency. As has already been announced, the Train to Gain brokerage service will transfer to Regional Development Agencies in April 2009.

Although there is still a great deal of work to be done to flesh out the detail of the proposals, what we now know is that in 2010 some of our staff will transfer to local authorities and some will move across to the two new organisations. Even before that, some staff will move over within the LSC to work for the NAS which is aiming to be up and running by April 2009 at the latest. Throughout the transition period we will work with and support all our staff as we move to the new arrangements.

Over the next two years there will undoubtedly be difficult decisions for us all – but there will also be new and exciting opportunities.

This two year period also allows us to continue to build on what we have achieved so far. There are more great buildings to be completed as we drive ahead with the renewal of the FE estate; there are new and stretching goals to be achieved in Train to Gain and Apprenticeships, and in driving yet further participation and achievement for 14-19 year olds. I want us to leave an outstanding legacy of achievement – one that we will be able to build on as we take up new roles and opportunities in the future.

In the meantime, we are working through the detail of the proposed changes and will be seeking the views of all members of LSC staff. To this end, we are sharing as much detail as we can today and we are putting in place further opportunities for feedback over the coming months. Through this consultation, we have the opportunity to influence the way in which the new organisations and arrangements will work and I want to ensure that the knowledge, expertise and experience of our staff are fully utilised in the development of these new models.

I will also be visiting as many offices as possible to hear at first hand your thoughts about the proposals. Last Autumn I managed to fit in 26 of these sessions over a period of a couple of months and I will be aiming to do much the same between now and early May.

I also want all staff to have a more formal opportunity to contribute to thinking on the implementation of the changes and I have asked Verity Bullough to work with other members of Management Group to put in a place a process to enable this. What I have in mind is that staff should meet in their national, regional or local teams and in regional and national Open Forums to discuss the proposals and provide written feedback that can be collated in Coventry and fed into the consultation. We will also, of course, continue to work closely with the PCS. Verity will write with further guidance on staff consultation in the next few days.

Last month I announced that David Russell would chair the Programme Board that will oversee transition arrangements. David will provide further details of how this Board will operate in the coming weeks.

This is an important day for the LSC and I would urge you all to read the document and take the time you need to digest the information. I am asking all managers to free up their diaries so that there is sufficient opportunity to discuss the changes with teams and, where appropriate, with individuals. Our focus must be on supporting all staff as we move through this period of change.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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