Paul Eeles, Chief Executive of the Skills and Education Group

In her first speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May struck a positive chord with educators.

Mrs May vowed to create a “country that works for everyone” and pledged to fight injustice, inequality and poverty. Her words signalled the welcome start of a new approach that would enable everyone to “go as far as your talents can take you”. Her government, she said, would not “entrench the advantages of the privileged few".

Those of us who work in the secondary and further education sectors know that, for far too long and despite the best intentions of governments, thousands of children and young people have been held back from achieving their potential by education policies that privilege the traditional academic route.  As recently as 2015, 46.2% of 16 year olds did not achieve 5 A*-C grades at GCSE, including English and maths.  That’s over 250,000 16 year olds.  If the Prime Minister’s vision for the future is to be realised, there is much still to do.

The Skills and Education Group recently sponsored a report examining many of these issues. "Spotlight On…Young people with below average academic attainment and the skills sector", published by the Skills Commission, examined existing education policies and made a number of recommendations about how high quality opportunities for all young people could be better achieved.

It found that transition from pre to post-16 education for young people not achieving five good GCSE grades is at risk.  The report recommends broader performance measures for schools or the inclusion of an arts or technical subject in the Ebacc suite of GCSEs. This would enable a broad curriculum platform to be offered to support the transition of all students – not just those following the traditional academic pathway – at 16. 

Lord Sainsbury’s transition year, where students not ready for progression to a technical education route get extra support, is a very welcome proposal, particularly for the opportunities it offers students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to get on, and achieve well on a good technical or vocational course.

The foundations for successful transition to achievement in technical education, however, could be laid earlier. Offering creative and technical programmes as part of a broad curriculum offer to young people pre-16 could contribute to supporting students’ success, both pre and post-16.

There have been some other positive moves recently. The bringing together of responsibility for all sectors of education, from early years to higher level learning, into the Department of Education offers exciting new opportunities for smooth transition and joined up thinking on these important issues.

At the Skills and Education Group, pre to post-16 transition is one of our key strategic themes.  Working across the programmes and qualifications offered by ASDAN and ABC Awards and learning from our member colleges in the East Midlands, we are committed to playing our part in supporting opportunity and achievement for those young people who the Skills Commission’s spotlight report describes as having ‘below average academic attainment’.

We believe all young people should have a range of opportunities, through the curriculum and assessment process, that will enable them to demonstrate their knowledge, as well as their wider skills, abilities and aptitudes.  We need smart ways of developing and assessing young peoples’ knowledge and skills, demonstrating their educational achievement and their capacity to perform in jobs, and giving them the confidence to take their place as full and active members of the diverse communities in which they are growing up.

There is growing consensus that our education system must evolve to meet the complex challenges facing young people in the 21st century. Our success as a country depends on it and neither we as educationalists, nor the policy makers who shape our education system, can afford to ignore the talents of any of our young people.  At the Skills and Education Group we look forward to playing our part. 

Paul Eeles, Chief Executive of the Skills and Education Group

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

#SkillsWorldLive: Will this summer’s exam results be a week of glory?

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Sharon Walpole added a new event 11 minutes ago

CareermapLive: An Introduction to WorldSkills UK...

During this live webinar, you'll have the opportunity to learn about our skills competition development programme which provides colleges,...

  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 03:30 PM
  • Online Event, UK

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.

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