In the world of Further Education, there remain many issues to be resolved. Each political party has their own particular stance, based on either ideological foundations or more local and parochial bases, and each of these parties seeks to convince the public that their own opinion is the only viable alternative for Britain; indeed, they often alternate from a defence of their own policies to an attack on those of the other parties, claiming that the implementation of this policy or that initiative would herald the deterioration of the service involved.

In conversation with Quentin Deacon, the spokesperson for the Green Party on Education, the emphasis is refreshingly constructive, without recourse to the negative arguments that have been so efficient in the general malaise afflicting public participation in and faith in the body politic. Mr. Deacon had no reservations in expressing himself in favour of a policy, even when it happened to be in accord with those of another party. For instance, as with the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party are opposed to both tuition and top "“ up fees, with a return to the maintenance grant. He also expressed the Green Party's satisfaction with the work done by the Adult Learning Inspectorate and the Learning and Skills Council, emphasizing the need for stability and continuity in the sector for any long term progress to be made.

Learning For Life

The Green Party, Mr. Deacon stated, is committed to learning being a lifelong initiative and something that is "a right and not a privilege". To this end, they would introduce the "citizen's income", a mechanism whereby each citizen would receive a weekly stipend from the government. This would enable adult learners to return to education even were they to find it impossible to do so by their own means, thus removing some of the "self-funding" issues currently raised.

The Green Party is also, as is widely known, committed to the development of research into renewable energy sources and the conversion of Britain's energy supply to sustainable and "green" alternatives. Mr. Deacon expressed the belief that this would require a move in research emphasis from a theoretical base to a much more vocational approach to problems, which would be reflected in the make-up of both the colleges and the courses offered. He also commented that there would be the opportunity for many of those currently working within the contemporaneous energy community to transfer with many of their existing skills and much of their pre-extant training to the new, greener energy community, with provision expected for those skills that would require some extra training.

Open University and the FE Funding Gap

Mr. Deacon then raised a subject which had not been mentioned in other interviews with the various parties conducted on behalf of FE News, namely, the subject of those studying under the Open University scheme. He cited a rise in costs as a cause for concern, inspired as it is by the relative rise in expense in the running of the Open University system. He stated that the Green Party wished to see the burden upon those students at the Open University countered by better support, and that there should be greater parity between students in this medium and others.

With regards to the funding crisis within the FE sector, highlighted by the Association of Colleges and their campaign over the past few weeks to raise public and political awareness, Mr. Deacon agreed that there is a problem to be resolved. He recognizes that the Further Education sector has become more and more important, and has been shortchanged compared to the funding awarded to universities. He also recognizes that it will be necessary to address the discrepancies in pay levels between the FE and HE sectors, and the Green Party would support greater funding for the FE sector.

The Future Is Green?

Mr. Deacon also expressed his concern for the future of the education sector with regards to the particular issue of overseas students" admission to the British educational sector. It must be stressed that this does not represent a narrow nationalist view; this concern can be just as aptly applied to the domestic environment. He is concerned with the increasingly "free market" approach to admissions policies, and believes that this is entirely at odds with the fundamental message of the Green Party's position regarding Further Education, and indeed education in general; education is a right, not a privilege.

Jethro Marsh

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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 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.

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