I am fortunate to work with a large number of businesses in a number of sectors in my role as a Non-Executive Director. During the past two weeks, I have had the benefit of undertaking over 30 Business Surgeries for business owners – again in many sectors, including all areas of the education sector. I no longer am at the sharp end of Education but that has enabled me to stand back, observe and be more objective about the situation the sector finds itself in. 

I wrote last week about planning and being positive, nothing has changed my views. I am confident that all Private Training Providers, Colleges and Third Sector Providers will get through this period of uncertainty. Through Government intervention, the financial burdens will not be felt in the main now, (accepting you have to fund furloughed employees until the Government’s systems become operational) but 2 – 3 months AFTER the support ends. 

The winners in business will be those that are able to reinvent themselves, relaunch themselves and reengage their staff quickly!

I do not share the hysteria of some in the sector, indeed I’m strongly of the view this hysteria is a cause of the ESFA taking the stance they have with Private Training Providers. Financial Support is there for people to access and some simple cash flow modelling will show that in the short and medium term, decisive action will make it manageable. 

The air is cleaner, the skies are quiet, our Co2 emissions have dramatically reduced (so it’s not all down to the Cows!)

So, for the future, there are 1.5 million employees across the UK working flexibly, including at home. That number has probably increased to over 10 million in the past two weeks. The resilience of business and their suppliers to work together to deliver flexible working is to be commended. Business owners delivering laptops to staff, Desk tops being moved from desks to dining room tables, spare bedrooms converted into make do offices shows our ‘can do’ attitude as a nation. 

We will never ‘get back to normal’, whatever that may be:

  • We won’t need large offices
  • There will be no need to be travelling large distances – I have found Zoom and Microsoft Teams because I have had too
  • Why do we need to drive to the office and waste time and money doing so?
  • We need to work smart not hard
  • But as businesses we do need to secure our data, systems and overall security
  • New ways of supporting the well-being of our staff will be needed so they are not forgotten and lonely nor overlooked for promotion 

Indeed, as business owners, the decisions will be taken out of our hands. Even if ½ of those now working from home decide they want to continue to do it – that’s over 4m new home workers in the next 12 months. 

If we don’t respond, our staff will vote with their feet because there will be other businesses that will. We will lose our competitive edge and or best talent. 

So, Home and Flexible working is for me about ‘retaining talent’, build the cost into the employment costs of your staff and examine the benefits, both cost and efficiency it will give you. 

There has never been a better time to look at your business strategy over the forthcoming weeks. There is only so much lawn you can mow, or Peloton rides you can do. Home and Flexible working is not an option, it’s now if you do it, it’s how you implement it. 

Without the option open to your staff many will be looking for alternative employment because they have time to think over the weeks and months ahead too.

Many within Promote-Ed have been working at home for years, even decades, and it is a smart way of working that lends itself to a flexible approach to work/life balance, but with this comes the need to understand how to ‘work’ at home, and not be at home ‘working’ all the time. We would welcome discussing initiatives with you. 

Peter Marples, Co-Founder, Promote-Ed

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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.

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