The Foster Review

Our aims are centred around the mandate that the paragraph [157 of the Foster Review] has given us, and that is about providing leadership within the sector; improving the reputation of the sector, and really, to build esteem for the sector. We"re doing this through a number of projects, including working with the Centre for Excellence in Leadership [CEL], developing and taking forward self-regulation, and some specific projects around a socio-economic model for colleges. These are our key agendas.

On the socio-economic model: We"re being partially funded by the Learning and Skills Council, for a project at Warwickshire College that has just started. A company in the U.S visits the community colleges of America and Canada once every two years and carries out a survey to measure what contributions the colleges make to their communities. They look at everything from what the qualifications mean to the students in terms of earning power, but they also look at lessening the burden on the health services, and crime reduction figures. There is a mass of data that is analysed and in the end a figure is produced that represents the value for money against the tax investment made in the college.

What we"re very keen to do is to be able to tell Bill Rammell for example, that "here is a college that is using taxpayer's money very effectively". The knock-on effect is that he will then be able to make a good case to the Treasury for extra money in further education.

We"re trying to get a model for the UK system.

We feel that it is a much more holistic and valuable measure of a college's contribution as opposed to something like the "Framework for Excellence". It is on trial at Warwickshire College, and will be rolled out to the sector in May.

We"re also currently working on a project to ensure that clause 19 of the Further Education and Training Bill gets through Parliament; the clause that deals with Foundation Degree awarding powers for the sector. We see this as an important signature qualification for colleges. We think it is far more appropriate for Foundation Degrees to rest in colleges than in universities. In my view, we will do a better and more cost-effective job.

The 5 Dec 2006 - Leitch Review of Skills

One of the things that we have taken away from it is the ability of colleges to develop their own qualifications and work more closely with the Sector Skills Councils. One of the tangible benefits will be that when a college like Warwickshire works very closely with an employer, we can actually put together qualifications that are really meaningful to the employer, and not just a convenience for funding.

I think it is up to groups like the 157 to ensure that what emerges from the FE bill is workable; it must be fit for purpose. There is a balance needed "“ you can listen to the voice of the employer but equally you must pay attention to the needs of the individual student. And importantly, make sure that work in the community for other groups is not totally ignored. One of the ways around this is to work in partnership with other groups "“ it does not matter who delivers in an area, as long as there is coverage. Some colleges might focus on skills; others might want more of a community link.

In my view the focus on skills is helpful. In the past, when people have asked what further education is for, because we do so much, it is very difficult for people to focus. I think if people associated us with employability skills and helping economic development, then that is very important.

Colleges should be right at the forefront of economic development.

On the AoC

The 157 Group is needed to ensure that the larger colleges" voices are heard. AoC has a difficult job because it represents all colleges of all shapes and sizes. We have the luxury of being able to focus our attentions on the larger further education colleges.

I think that one of the big issues in terms of reputation is that very often the AoC comes across as being quite negative; negative to change. The 157 Group always tries to have this attitude that "the cup is half full". What we"ve tried to do is to work very closely with ministers in private to make sure that we can overtly support what emerges as policy. When policy is being formulated we want to be in there and be constructive. And when that policy emerges, we shall support it very enthusiastically.

We want to portray a confident sector; a confident sector that is trusted and able.

My view at the moment is that FE stands at the edge of a hugely exciting period. We can either seize the moment or become a sector that is full of confusion. I think that if we seize the moment now, we have a very supportive group of ministers; we"ve got the Foster Review, we"ve got Leitch, and we have our own education Act going through Parliament "“ everything is going for us. We must not be afraid of the brave new world of competition. We have to form partnerships, embrace the private sector, and go forward confidently.

We must not be afraid to make our voice known.

Ioan Morgan, Chair, the 157 Group

Interviewed by Vijay Pattni.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Saj Mohammad MSET had a status update on Twitter 16 minutes ago

@WhatTheTrigMath @ColeFey Congratulations Fey! ???
View Original Tweet

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 11 hours 23 minutes ago

Rethinking Employability – Preparing young...

An interactive and engaging seminar hosted by The Edge Foundation & Envision, chaired by broadcaster and journalist Steph McGovern

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 11 hours 25 minutes ago

Landmark skills training report calls for wide-ranging reboot of UK system: @BritishChambers and @Indeed's major ne…
View Original Tweet

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.


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