Stewart Segal is a Non-Executive Director of Youth Employment UK and TDLC a training provider.

The Prime Minister’s speech on 19th February 2018 was a positive step towards the development of an effective education and training system.  She set out the main aim of changing “outdated attitudes” and “false boundaries” in the system. 

Although the words suggest a genuine desire to move things forward many of the phrases infer that the culture of University first has not really moved on.  If you look behind the words I think you can see that the people in power still hold some of those “outdated attitudes”.  It is not surprising that changing those attitudes is so difficult and why parents still have some of those views. 

The statement says that they are searching for “equality of access to an academic university education which is not dependent on your background, and it means a much greater focus on the technical alternatives too.” 

On the face of it a genuine enough statement but perhaps they could have said that they wanted equal access to university and other options. and what are “technical alternatives? 

Does that include a young disadvantaged person doing a Level 2 Business Admin Apprenticeship?  The statement could have read, we want equality of access to all education and training options for everyone. 

Perhaps this is the paranoia of someone who has heard it all before from people who really do not understand the real inequalities in the system.

What they say they want is to “create a system which is truly joined up.” However, the statement continually gives the impression that there is an academic route that gets you to university and a “technical” route that apparently gets you everywhere else. That is neither a realistic nor desirable model. 

We want people to be able to move between and across different routes and treating University as a “separate route" will not work.

The statement says “There are now record numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, and the government is determined to build on this progress.”  It also says that they want “people from all backgrounds share the benefit of university study”.  

Again, the statements on the face of it sounds OK but it also makes it sound like the getting to University is the main goal.  They could have said, there are record numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds taking technical and professional routes to work and going to university. 

I am being a bit unfair here because it is great that more people from disadvantaged backgrounds are taking that option but I think you can see how the attitudes of parents are reinforced.

In my defence the same applies to this statement “For those young people who do not go on to academic study, the routes into further technical and vocational training today are hard to navigate, the standards across the sector are too varied and the funding available to support them is patchy.” 

Most people would say this is a positive statement but it does sound like not going to university is a bit of a failure.  Why didn’t it say for those people who are not able to take a high quality professional or technical we want to improve the navigation, the standards and the funding. 

It sounds like the academic study routes are the first goal and there are lots of things wrong with the “technical and vocational” routes.  By the way isn’t going to university to become a doctor a “vocational route”.  Perhaps the year-long review will consider the very confusing and misleading terminology PMs, Ministers and civil servants use.

This is reinforced by this very strange statement.  “Where a boy from a working-class home can become a High Court judge, thanks to a great state education. And where a girl from a private school can start a software business, thanks to a first-class technical education.”  What does that mean?

I assume they mean by a “great state education” they mean that’s going straight from school to university.  Surely, they want people to be able to become a judge through different routes such as a legal apprenticeship.  Maybe even staring at a level 2 Business Administration Apprenticeship in a legal office.  

The review is called Post 18 but of course even that establishes a barrier for those who want to do an apprenticeship at 16 but you have to start somewhere. 

It is a great opportunity to have an open and transparent debate about the attitudes that preserve the “outdated attitudes” and to break down the “false boundaries” but only if they listen to the sector and more importantly the young people and older learners that the system is meant to support. 

Stewart Segal, Non-Executive Director of Youth Employment UK and TDLC

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

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 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