(L-R) Sai Loo and Rania Hafez

Covid-19 has impacted our lives over the past one and a half years, even for those fortunate enough not to be furloughed or made redundant.

For these privileged people, their private and living spaces have become more public amid working, learning and teaching habitus for those working in education sectors.

As co-convenors of the London LSRN network[1], we host workshops and conference-style sessions for all those working or with an interest in the Further Education and Skills (FE) Sector.

The sessions act as a forum for knowledge exchange, research discussion and dissemination. They also provide an opportunity to network, collaborate, discuss, etc., and be with like-minded people.

Past speakers have included Michael Young, Karen Evans, Ian McNay, Jill Jameson, Patrick Ainley, Chris Winch, and action researchers / practitioners at various stages of their research careers.

Since the global pandemic however, the London LSRN ‘space’ has altered in several ways. We are still very welcoming and open, but we have had to adapt to the new situation in ways that we believe have allowed us to broaden our appeal and extend the welcome beyond old boundaries.

Although we have been unable to host our meetings in venues like the beautiful Greenwich Maritime Campus of the University of Greenwich, we have made the most of new technologies such as Teams and zoom to host online sessions open to a wider audience.

Moving online meant that we’re no longer bound by geographical constraints. We have been delighted to welcome to our sessions colleagues from all over the UK, with an added bonus is participants can join us in the comfort of their homes, saving travelling time and expense!

This has allowed us to offer more varied sessions including a workshop on moving from face-to-face teaching to online delivery, a seminar on vocational / occupational pedagogy for FE teachers, and three workshops on practitioner inquiry.

However, despite the apparent accessibility of our sessions, we notice a reduction of participants from the FE sector, especially those involved in teaching. Sadly, this is not new and was noticeable even before the pandemic.

There is enormous pressure on FE teachers and tutors to focus on their day-to-day teaching and admin chores, with rarely any time allowed for scholarship and research. This is a situation, we at London LSRN are keen to address, with the aim of supporting FE teachers, tutors and managers to create and sustain a climate of practitioner inquiry, within what we know is an ever-tighter funding regime.

This has prompted us, as co-convenors, to reconsider our activity. We have decided to address the ongoing lack of time and space by:

  1. Creating an accessible webpage to increase our internet presence and provide an interactive forum for our members where they can actively share their blogs, reflections and news.
  2. Offering additional online workshops for this coming academic year
  3. Advocating for the benefits of participating in research directly to FE management

Managers are increasingly aware that their FE institutions do more than just teaching. They need to be part of a wider community and offer better value to their disadvantaged learners amid these challenging times.

As part of any learning organisation, managers constantly seek to develop their learners and staff, who require continuous professional development.

One crucial aspect of any CPD programme is PI, and the benefits may be to:

  1. Inform your institutional pedagogic policies
  2. Provide a coherent purpose for your institution
  3. Enhance your institution’s profile
  4. Facilitate the symbiotic relationship between teaching and researching
  5. Access funding
  6. Collaborate with external stakeholders
  7. Contribute to a discipline
  8. Address (problem seek) and problem solve a specific issue
  9. Improve pedagogic activities
  10. Professionalise the teaching profession
  11. Strengthen practitioner’s reasoning abilities
  12. Add to the knowledge base
  13. Enrich the confidence of the practitioner (as a lecturer and researcher)
  14. Support curriculum development
  15. Emphasise ‘truth’ in understanding our educational environment and the nature of the inquiry/area it represents to our senses.

Through our active advocacy, we aim to de-mystify research, and highlight the benefits of a learning and practitioner inquiring organisation for their ultimate stakeholders: learners and their teaching staff via continuous professional development activities. 

Please look out for the series of workshops we are organising over the coming academic year. These workshops (free like all the other activities) will provide support and encouragement for those wishing to start or are already pursuing research in one capacity or another.

Sai Loo, with experiences in research and teaching on related doctoral courses at UCL Institute of Education, and Jo Fletcher-Saxon, with her wealth of experiences in FE as manager and lecturer, will be facilitating these sessions.

We will also provide digital opportunities for people to disseminate their project findings, discuss specific thematic topics, and invite speakers to deliver their expert know-how in this revised format.

By Rania Hafez and Sai Loo

If you are interested in any of the above and want to contribute, participate, etc., please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the future London LSRN activities. The London LSRN network is unfunded (along with the rest of LSRN) and manned by volunteers passionate about the FE sector and who has experience in the sector and HE.

[1] The Learning and Skills Network is an open network enabling people interested in research and using evidence in the FE, AE and Skills sectors to share ideas and work together. It was created bottom-up in 1997 and had no formal structure or funding. The community is bound together by common purposes and values.

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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 Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 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, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

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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