David Hughes is the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges

Colleges are transformational – they help people make the most of their talents and ambitions and drive social mobility; they help businesses improve productivity and drive economic growth; they are rooted in and committed to their communities and drive tolerance and well-being. They are an essential part of England’s education system.

Despite these enormous contributions, public investment in colleges has been hit harder than any other part of the education system in the last decade. Between 2009 and 2015 colleges dealt with a 27% real terms cut in funding. The impact of this has been a drastic drop in learning opportunities for adults, fewer hours of teaching and support for young people, teacher pay in colleges lagging behind schools and college financial viability under great stress. As always, colleges have faced up to these challenges and continued to provide high-quality education and training to 2.2 million people. The sad fact is that there are many more people who would benefit from what colleges offer, but the funding falls short.

After a decade of cuts it is clear that there are severe skills challenges which require greater investment. The decision to leave the European Union (EU) casts a sharper light on these challenges – social mobility, productivity, skills shortages, regional economic growth all require more college investment.

For a long time, the UK economy has relied on large numbers of skilled and semi-skilled people from the EU and beyond. There are already signs that migration is falling, skills shortages are increasing and productivity is still stagnant. The UK needs to remain outward-looking and will inevitably continue to have significant levels of immigration and emigration but a sensible long term objective is for the UK to be self-sufficient in skills.

In order to achieve this, the Government will need to spend more on 16 to 18-year-olds to give them the start in life they deserve and to match the academic and technical training of our OECD competitors. The Department for Education also needs to build a system for adults that encourages lifelong learning and tackles basic skills. DfE should also ensure money is used efficiently, to tackle the waste that arises in small sixth forms and to review its approach to GCSE resits. The strong emphasis on skills in the Industrial Strategy now needs investment so that colleges can deliver and there needs to be some refinements of policy towards apprenticeships and higher education.

On 22 November, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will be announcing his Autumn Budget. The Association of Colleges has provided 15 recommendations which will support the national goals of sustaining inclusive economic growth and developing a fair and effective education system.

Colleges are ready and willing to step up to meet the challenges our country faces; our proposals will help them do that for the benefit of young people and adults, employers and communities.AOC Logo Strap

David Hughes is the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

NCH London added a new event 2 hours

New College of the Humanities is pleased to announce that...

New College of the Humanities is pleased to announce that we will be taking part in National Apprenticeship Week 2021 #NAW2021 On the 9th February...

  • Tuesday, 09 February 2021 09:00 AM
  • London - Online
Vanessa Skinner has published a new article: Supporting Student Wellbeing During a Pandemic 8 hours 42 minutes ago

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