Aveek Bhattacharya, Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation

The Government’s new Skills and Post-16 Education Bill offers a “once in a generation” opportunity to restore the UK’s neglected adult education system and provide learners with a second chance after the pandemic, the Social Market Foundation (@SMFthinktank) has said

Welcoming pledges in the Queen’s Speech to “enable flexible access to high-quality education and training throughout people’s lives”, the SMF, a cross-party think-tank, called on the Treasury to back up the promises with a multi-year funding settlement for the provision of adult education.  

The SMF said making skills and adult education a post-pandemic national priority was a welcome sign that politicians recognise the importance of Further Education and vocational training, which have been neglected and underfunded for too long.  

Previous SMF research "(Adult) education, education, education" has shown that funding for adult education (excluding apprenticeships) has nearly halved since 2009/10 whilst participation rates have suffered fallen by 49% since 2004. It is estimated that £1.3bn is required to reverse funding cuts since 2009/10. 

The 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review must back up the Government’s skills promises with significant funding increases and a long-term financial settlement, the SMF said.   

The new legislation will introduce a Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) as part of a Lifelong Skills Guarantee, providing learners with flexible funding for the equivalent of four years of post-18 education.  

The SMF said the new entitlement should be an effective measure to boost participation in adult education but must be introduced as part of a simplified post-18 education funding landscape.

The SMF has previously called for funding to be consolidated into Singapore-style individual learner accounts which ‘follow the learner’. 

The Government has indicated the LLE will be introduced by 2025 at the latest. The SMF said that every effort should be made to deliver the new system as quickly as possible. 

The SMF also warned that the measures would have to be carefully designed to avoid “turf wars” between universities and colleges. Greater investment in and support for tertiary education should encourage collaboration between Further and Higher Education providers.  

However, the Government’s emphasis on expanding, higher technical qualifications like Higher National Certificates could lead to conflict between colleges and universities seeking to provide these courses, as previous SMF research "Study buddies?" has shown.  

“For too long, governments have neglected the provision of adult education, skills and training. In the face of the biggest economic crisis since WWII, it is a welcome step to see this Government proposing legislation to ensure every adult can get the skills they need to get on and thrive in work. 

“Boosting skills and training can help Britain address its productivity and wage growth slump. Much depends on the detail of the Bill, but it has the potential to make a real difference by improving flexibility and affordability for learners, and securing more stable, long-term funding for colleges.” 

Aveek Bhattacharya, Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 49 minutes ago

The Importance and Process of Quality Assurance...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 50 minutes ago

Walking the Line Between Academic Integrity and...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 6 hours 53 minutes ago

Student Perspectives on the Impact of Race in...

Student Perspectives on the Impact of Race in Educational Surveillance and Proctoring Technologies

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.

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