It’s hard to go a week without hearing about the challenges facing the education sector. And with the constant structural changes and new policies, it is easy to understand why.

On top of that, maximising productivity continues to be a challenge for all organisations – including colleges and training providers. Their whole purpose is to help people develop their skills so they can have fulfilling careers. But the FE sector is also a major industry in its own right, and it too needs to think about how to motivate staff, boost productivity and help business growth.

As organisations working in the education sector, we often spend so much time thinking about how to help other people develop their skills. It’s easy to forget about our own skills development.  So the City & Guilds Group was delighted to recognise recipients from the FE and education sector in the first Princess Royal Training Awards; which recognise businesses who had not only invested in high-quality training programmes, but seen business benefits as a result.

In total, 110 organisations applied. Each applicant was then assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Awards Commission, which comprised of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute, and ten leading figures from the business and skills development community.

In total, 33 organisations – ranging from EE, to Wakefield Council, to Dale Power Solutions – were commended for their commitment to staff development, and for successfully demonstrating a link between their training programmes and business performance. Last Thursday, they received their award from by HRH The Princess Royal in a prestigious ceremony at St James’s Palace.

All of the Award recipients demonstrated how taking a tailored approach to learning and development is beneficial to not only individuals, but to the wider community as well.

From the FE and education sector, National Star College, Queensmill School and the University of York received awards for adapting their training successfully to meet their business needs.

National Star College is an independent specialist college offering residential and day courses for people with complex physical and learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. Over the past couple of years it had experienced considerable growth so to support this, the college implemented a flexible and personalised learning and development programme. The result? More engaged staff and more staff progressing through to the next stage in their career.

Queensmill School is an autistic specific school for children and young people – faced a different challenge. The school had expanded and there was a need for highly competent staff to deliver potential life changing opportunities for students. To do this, the team took a strategic and inclusive approach. It focused on improving its knowledge of autism by setting up a Research and Development Board, which helped to ensure the school stayed up-to-date with the latest research and practices.

And the University of York invested in training because the student population increased considerably between 2008 and 2016. Such growth required not only structural change, but effective leadership and management across the institution. 

Keeping our own skills up-to-date is key if we want to strengthen the sector, better-support our learners, and deal with both the changes that have happened, and the changes that are yet to come.

To read about all of the inaugural recipients and to register your interest for the Princess Royal Training Awards 2017, visit

Chris Jones, Chief Executive, City & Guilds Group

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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.

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