With all that has been going on lately in Westminster, you would be forgiven if this story had passed you by. However due to the enormity of its potential impact - particularly in the current climate of Brexit uncertainty - NEC did not want it to go by without comment.

Leaked government proposals - expected to report next month - suggest plans that could bar thousands of disadvantaged young people from going to university. One initiative would prevent students who had not achieved three Ds at A level from getting a student loan. Thereby effectively writing off their chances of entering higher-education and any ambitions of progression.

As an organisation built upon the ethos of second-chance learning and educational opportunities for all, this prospect deeply disturbs us. We have helped thousands of students of all ages and backgrounds who feel their time at school or college does not reflect their potential for future learning nor ability to achieve their goals.

Many of our students study with NEC in order to go on to higher-education; As Steven Cummins' story shows so well - people develop intellectually at different stages in their lives. We need to make sure that second-chance learners are given every support when they attempt to re-enter education at any level.

We are not alone in this opinion; in the two Guardian newspaper articles published on this subject (Student loan ban: some universities could lose a third of their intake; 15/01/19, University chiefs angry over ‘elitist’ student loan plans; 08/01/19 - Anna Fazackerley) a host of educational leaders (Inc. UCAS, in an article published today) and universities damn the proposals and correctly point out the wider negative impact it will have on funding, job losses and skill shortages; but what caught our attention in particular was Steven Cummins’ (professor of population health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) candid reflections on his own experience. The following is from Student loan ban: some universities could lose a third of their intake by Anna Fazackerley published in the Guardian newspaper 15/01/19:

‘Cummins, who has advised the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency, got two Es and a U at grammar school in Southend, Essex. He says he wasn’t mature enough to work hard.
He retook his A-levels at college in the evenings, doing an office job in the day, and pushed his grades up to CEE. Happily, it was enough to get on to what he describes as a “transformational” geography degree at his local HE college, now the University of Gloucestershire.
“I finally found something I enjoyed and was good at,” he says. “Starting again in a completely different environment meant no one had any preconceptions and that was hugely liberating.”
Cummins was the first in his family to go to university. His dad was a builder and his mum was a clerk. He says the advantages it has given him have been huge.

“There are always people who, for whatever reason, don’t achieve their potential at the age of 18,” he says. “I think that writing them off at that age and not giving them the opportunity to experience the transformative power of higher education is a huge mistake.”

“A student’s performance in school is often not an indicator of their performance at university, especially when they are studying a subject they really enjoy, taught in a way they haven’t experienced before,” he says. “We work very closely with industry so it feels relevant, and we work hard at building their self-confidence.”’

In the first month of the centenary of the 1919 Report, this is our second response to what we believe is a systematic deconstruction of adult education and the educational opportunities for some of the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society.

Since our formation in 1963, as well as providing an access route for distance learners wanting to either return to or continue their education, NEC has worked in close partnership with a wide range of organisations to promote and provide educational opportunities for all. Our ethos has been clear since the beginning: Ensure learning is accessible to everyone, and enable individuals to fulfil their potential and achieve their ambitions.

We hope the shared opposition will be enough to make sure these proposals are stopped dead in their tracks. If not we are prepared, and will continue to campaign, as we have done so for over 55 years.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

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