Sector News

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

A former student of @S_ERC about to embark on a second career, is urging others to apply for a part time course, online at, and take the first step in transforming their future by returning to education.

Bangor woman Shirley McCracken (53), worked for 24 years at both the Belfast Waterfront Hall and the Ulster Hall in conference and events, before deciding on a career change. After researching her options, last year she enrolled at SERC to pursue a new role as a classroom assistant.

Shirley said, “I enjoyed working in the business tourism sector, but I felt I was ready for a change and a new challenge. My family commitments were changing, and I wanted to do something new. I had worked part-time since having my family and now that my children were more independent, I knew the time was right for me to make the change.

“I have always loved that period when my own children were little and at school - that time with children is very precious. So based on my own personal experience, I thought the role of classroom assistant would be a good change of direction for me. I secured a placement at Ballyholme Primary School and enrolled on the Level 3 Certificate for Classroom Assistants in SERC’s Bangor Campus and it turned out to be the best decision. As and adult returner, the whole experience was fantastic. It was great meeting new people and the interaction in the class supported everyone’s learning. My tutor was extremely knowledgeable, supportive and helpful and I often wondered how I would have managed without her input. My placement proved invaluable in providing that essential hands-on experience along with guidance and support in the school setting."

She added, “During the course I also developed a particular interest in special educational needs and in the second term, I enrolled on the OCN Level 3 Award in Working with Children and Young People with Special Needs, also at SERC. The course provided me with further insight and learning in this area and complemented what was being covered on the Classroom Assistants course."

Shirley concluded, “I would highly recommend coming to SERC for anyone wishing to gain these qualifications. I thoroughly enjoyed both courses. I am excited to be taking up a post as classroom assistant in September. And as for anyone thinking of returning to education to try something new, I would say, go for it. It is a new challenge but hopefully, like me, you will find it invigorating.”

Ken Webb, Principal and Chief Executive at SERC said,

“There has never been a more important time for people to think about enrolling on a part-time course. This could be the first step for someone retraining to change career or get on the job ladder; upskilling to boost their promotion prospects; getting back into education or simply taking on a leisure course to learn a new skill or develop a hobby. Whether you are currently working, furloughed, unemployed, retired or have been raising your family, if you are thinking of returning to education there is something for everyone here at SERC."

He added, “We offer a range of options to make sure your part-time study is flexible and cost effective. Our students tell us that their courses are both time and money well spent, so we encourage you take that first step and see how a course at SERC can help you transform your future.”

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Sharon Walpole added a new event yesterday

CareermapLive: An Introduction to WorldSkills UK...

During this live webinar, you'll have the opportunity to learn about our skills competition development programme which provides colleges,...

  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 03:30 PM
  • Online Event, UK

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.


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.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page