From education to employment

Read Dr. John Brennan’s Memories of 2005 and his Hopes for 2006 Exclusively at

2005 has been a year to remember for Further Education. The sector has been more prominent and successful, and on occasion more turbulent and criticised, than ever before. We at FE NewsFE News are delighted that Dr. John Brennan, Chief Executive of the AoC, was willing to offer our readers an insight into both his recollections of the year of 2005, and his hopes for 2006.


Question: “What was the most significant development for FE in your opinion in 2005?”

Dr. Brennan: “The publication of the Foster Report was certainly a significant event for the sector; the report will have long term “big picture” implications for everyone involved in further education.”

Question: “What was the area of FE that you feel has been neglected this year?”

Dr. Brennan: “Member colleges have been particularly vociferous about funding allocations to adult education and AoC will continue to voice these concerns.”

Question: “What has been your proudest moment of the year?”

Dr. Brennan: “The AoC Annual Conference 2005 was a landmark education event and a superb showcase for the sector.”

Question: “What was the funniest memory from FE ““ work or otherwise – from this year?”

Dr. Brennan: “Tony Benn’s witty and passionate defence of adult education at AoC’s spring parliamentary event was a definite highlight. Stella Rimington’s comments on ID cards were also appreciated ““ particularly by our friends in the media!”


Question: “If you had to choose three things for FE’s Santa to bring for 2006, what would they be?”

Dr. Brennan: “A new Government policy for adult learning which recognises the importance of giving everybody the right opportunities to realise their own development. A White Paper committed to taking forward all of the Foster proposals. Recognition and celebration by Government of the fantastic contribution that colleges make to the nation.”

Question: “What is the agency / organisation other than your own that you expect to be most heavily involved in furthering FE in 2006?”

Dr. Brennan: “Throughout 2006 AoC will be working with the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to realise the potential of further education.”

Question: “What changes do you fear will affect FE negatively in the coming year?”

Dr. Brennan: “The destabilising effect of new school sixth forms upon quality of provision and upon the excellent collaborative partnerships already developed between colleges and schools is a concern.”

Question: “Which of next year’s conferences do you think will be the most exciting / interesting and why?”

Dr. Brennan: “The premier showcase for further education ““ the Association of Colleges” annual conference.”

All of us at FE News would like to thank Dr. Brennan for his time and contribution.

Jethro Marsh

Tell us what you hope or fear for 2006 right here in the FE Blog!

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