The Foundation's job is to get behind professionals in the FE and training system and support you in providing an excellent service to learners and employers.

It is a privilege to serve a sector as diverse, dynamic and vitally important as ours, and I am very grateful for the strong support and encouragement I have received in my first 3 months as Chief Executive at the Foundation. It is clear we are meeting a real need and that the FE and training system is ready to work together in partnership on self-improvement.

We have three top priorities, set by our Board in consultation with providers: improving English and Maths, supporting excellence in leadership, management and governance, and developing a vocational education and training system where employers and providers work in partnership.

The last three months have seen several major milestones reached in our own organisational development: the first meeting of our Expert Panels, the launch of our new website, and the incorporation of the redeveloped FE Advice and Online Learning sites under the Foundation umbrella. A revamped Excellence Gateway will follow in July, due to popular demand, featuring exhibition sites in key areas such as English, Maths and teaching learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

More importantly, our programme activity is starting to be felt across England: more than two thousand teachers and trainers signed up to our GCSE Maths Enhancement scheme; our English Enhancement Programme is to be tested nationally following positive evaluations of the initial three pilots, which will result in an additional three hundred specialists English teachers trained up by the end of June; and the tender to develop a national Two Way Street framework is due out this month.

But one particular milestone deserves a special mention. When we were set up in Autumn 2013, a task near the top of the in-tray was reviewing the 2007 Professional Standards, and setting out clear expectations of effective teaching and training. This week, the Foundation is proud to publish the much-anticipated 2014 Professional Standards, an aspirational document enabling teachers and trainers to take responsibility for their own professional learning, and a major milestone in the drive towards greater professionalism across the sector. Almost 1,000 sector professionals and partner organisations were involved in developing these new standards, which will be used by Ofsted as part of their ITE inspections.

We would very much value your feedback on the new Standards, and hope you will assist the Foundation in ensuring they are embraced throughout the sector by sharing them with your colleagues and networks and discussing ways in which you can adapt them within your own context.

There are many challenges ahead for our sector – building capacity to teach English and Maths for all to Level 2 (including a big increase in GCSE), diversification of funding streams, adapting to new learning technologies and encouraging employers to invest with us when buying skills development (at the moment, only 16% of employer spend on training is won by our sector as commonly defined).

But I find deep commitment and professional excellence everywhere I go across our sector. These new stretching, sector-generated Standards will bolster that strength in experienced practitioners and help us to build it in new entrants. They also mean we can all be confident in our common understanding of what constitutes effective professional practice.

And that, in turn, wins the confidence of our ultimate beneficiaries: learners and employers. I commend these Standards to you.

David Russell is chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation

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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.

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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:

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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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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.

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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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