FE News

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

College privatisation plans are likely to bring "fragmentation" to the further education system according to a teachers" association.

Martin Freedman, Head of Pay, Conditions and Pensions at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), criticized recent proposals put before government that some colleges should be privatised, arguing that they will merely become "skills factories".

He said: "Any attempt to privatise FE colleges will bring further fragmentation to the education system. Colleges must continue to be a resource for their local communities. We have already seen the consequences for students and lecturers where colleges have removed A-Level and adult education classes from their curriculum".

"If colleges are allowed to act entirely on a market basis, they will turn into skills factories where students would be enrolled purely on the basis of how much funding they could bring with them and lecturers would be paid as non-professional trainers on short-term contracts".

The government however, welcomed the proposals, put forward by Ioan Morgan, Chair of the influential 157 Group, last week.

Speaking to FE News, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell, said: "Our FE agenda is not about wholesale privatisation and the vast bulk of provision will remain in the public sector. But we are interested, in the right circumstances, at looking at new models which will release more of providers" energy to focus on improvements and meeting the needs of learners and employers".

"Federations, trusts or formal partnerships with private sector organisations can help in some circumstances. There is a clause in the Further Education and Training Bill to facilitate this".

In an interview with FE News last week, Mr Morgan noted the "increasing trend" of colleges entering into partnerships with private companies, including the Carter & Carter Group.

Di McEvoy-Robinson, Managing Director of Apprentice Learning at Carter & Carter, said: "Carter & Carter Group PLC is actively working in partnership with over 100 colleges and schools. We believe such partnerships are a statement of our commitment to the further education sector and to ensuring that we can offer a total training solution for employers".

"We have a memorandum of understanding with Castle College, Nottingham and we are presently in talks with a series of other educational organisations and major employers across the UK".

"Our strategy is to build a network of partnerships across the UK that enable us to deliver first class training solutions that directly benefit learners, local communities and employers".

Lawrence Miles, Chief Officer of the Independent Organisation for Licensed Verifiers and Assessors (IVA), commented on the formation of the 157 Group: "The 157 Group" "“ it has a ring to it "as of bullion", and mystery, rather like those dismal cul-de-sacs one finds in remote villages near Agen with names like "impasse 21 novembre" or "rue 15 janvier"".

"More and more people are becoming aware they"ve named themselves after a paragraph "“ it could have been a subordinate clause but may yet turn out to be a sentence. This was a relief for those who were still trying to figure out just which 157 principals were keen to go private, opt out of their pension and risk all on a share option".

"Have a read of the Foster Review's Paragraph 157. It suggested that successful principals might want to boost and champion FE's reputation. What will this Group be doing for the "157 Poorest Performing Colleges Group"?"

Vijay Pattni.

What do you think about the college privatisation proposals?

Email the Editor: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Related FE News articles:

Privatisation A "Defence Mechanism" "“ 24/01/07

UCU Slams 157's Privatisation "“ 23/01/07

"We Must Embrace Brave New World" "“ 19/01/07


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 13 hours 14 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 19 hours 35 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