FE News Archive

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

The aim is high and the goals are many but can newly appointed Education Secretary Ruth Kelly deliver on her promises? Even before the Government's White Paper on Education Reform was addressed on the floor of Parliament, many within the education sector were already shaking their heads. The 14-19 Education Reform White Paper has provoked a mixed reaction from many key education stakeholders. Speaking on behalf of the Association of Colleges, Chief Executive John Brennan spoke of the "wasted opportunity" of the White Paper. "The Government has once again underlined its commitment to academic above vocational education," said Brennan.

The University and College Lecturers" Union, NATFHE chose to put its distaste for the government paper much more bluntly. "The Government's refusal to implement the Tomlinson proposals is cowardly," said Paul Mackney, the Union's General Secretary. Mackney went on to call the "vocational strands" that the Government proposes a situation that is "likely to consign a whole layer of children to what many will see as low status learning."


Controversy surrounds Ms. Kelly's decision not to implement many of the suggestions made by former Chief Inspector of Schools Mike Tomlinson in his report to the government in October. Instead, Ms. Kelly opted for reform within the current structure and set higher goals for schools and students. The aim says Kelly is, "to transform secondary and post-secondary education so that all young people achieve and continue in learning until at least the age of 18." More than £1million was spent on producing the Tomlinson report, a report that in light of yesterday's White Paper, Tomlinson has called "a bureaucratic waste of time".

Changes To Vocational Sector

The major changes to the system will be within the vocational sector. These plans include 200 vocationally led schools that will be established by 2008, along with 12 skills academies. The White Paper also suggests specialised diplomas available in 14 subject areas, reflecting key sectors of the economy, to boost vocational qualifications. These can be taken by pupils at aged 14. All students will need to achieve at least a grade C in Maths and English to pass their diploma. The first four subject areas will be available from 2008, the remainder by 2015.

Ken Boston, the Qualification and Curriculum Authority's Chief Executive called the White Paper "an important step towards radical change", an opinion echoed by the LSC. The further education funding quanqo stressed that its role in implementing the White Paper will be to ensure 100% support and access to learning opportunities for 100% of the country's young people. "The focus of the White Paper is on the needs of the learner and on providing stretch and encouragement for all young people," commented Caroline Neville, National Director of Learning. Commenting on the proposed specialised diplomas, Neville emphasised that the role of the LSC was to ensure that they are "of equal status and rigour as GSCEs and A Levels."

GCSEs and A-Levels Are Here To Stay

Ms. Kelly would also like to increase the difficultly in GCSE and A-levels. In particular, she hopes to see a rise in the math and English of students between the age of 14 and 19. In order to do this she will introduce a new diploma to recognize those who achieve five GCSEs, grades A* to C or equivalent, including math and English. In addition, more challenging questions and a 4,000-word dissertation will be introduced for the brightest students. Sixth-formers will also be able to study university modules. The number of assessed A-levels will decrease from 4 to 6 but the overall content will not change.

"I"m delighted that A-Levels and GCSEs are here to stay," said Sir Digby Jones, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry. "If something's important but isn"t working as well as it should, the first priority should be to improve it rather than just scrap it," furthered Jones. Also offering the government its full backing is the Institute of Directors. "The Government is right to reject the Tomlinson proposals for a diploma to replace existing qualifications. Rather than initiating an upheaval in the qualification system, we need better standards and results in schools," said Miles Templeman, Director General of the IoD.

Brooke Van Dam and Le"Nise Brothers

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

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.


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