From education to employment

FE roundtable agrees sector is set for growth

The recent Comprehensive Spending and Browne reviews present “significant opportunities” for colleges, according to a roundtable of leading FE figures.

Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, and 157 Group chief executive Lynne Sedgmore joined a panel of four other education leaders to discuss how the reviews will force colleges to rethink their financial models.

“The FE sector is bound to see uplift in applicants seeking low-cost, local alternatives,” said Chris Hearn, head of education at Barclays Corporate, who also joined the panel.

“The quality of the offering is gaining wider recognition and many more over-16s are fundamentally re-thinking their education plans as they leave school and become attracted to the vocational qualifications offered through the FE route.”

The FE roundtable members agreed that the sector is open to more innovative and collaborative measures, such as university partnerships to offer more HE qualifications.

The three other panel members were Geoff Russell, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, Sally Dicketts, principal of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, and former chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council Sir David Melville.

Susannah Fairbairn

Related Articles