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The latest Exclusive Featured articles written by our FE expert writers

FE Provider Destroyed by Lack of Audit

May 22, 2017 / Featured Article

FE is audited to death We get regular Ofsted audits and breathe a sigh of relief when we know our curriculum and teaching is good or outstanding. We undergo rigorous finance...

Julie Kapsalis, Vice-Principal, Chichester College

National economic development appointmen…

May 18, 2017 / Featured Article

The Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK’s independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners, has added one of the country’s leading enterprise and social inclusion champions to its...

Jane Hyde-Walsh, Founder and Director of the Staffroom

Delivering the new Trailblazer Standards

May 16, 2017 / Featured Article

From May 1st the new Trailblazer standards can be delivered to any new apprentices funded through the government’s apprenticeship reforms. The change marks a radical transformation in the further education sector...

Stick or Twist - FE takes a gamble

May 15, 2017 / Featured Article

News this week that the area review transition fund has still yet to unfold and reveal its hand has left us guessing. Many providers keen to take advantage of the...

Stefan Drew

Are Bots Better Than Trainers?

May 12, 2017 / Featured Article

This is a  topic that’s bound to cause controversy, but one that’s surely worth considering if the responses I had from my last article are valid. And, if bots are better...

Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

What could brave and honest educators do…

May 11, 2017 / Featured Article

If you’ve been working in education for a while, you’ve almost certainly come across some mental health challenges. No, I don’t mean your own! Although the pressure educators face is...

Marc Doyle, Principal, Humber UTC

Educating students to be work ready

May 10, 2017 / Featured Article

As Principal of a UTC (University Technical College), I was eager to read the All Parliamentary Group for Education’s report on how well schools are preparing young people for the...

Mike Thompson, Director, Early Careers, Barclays, Institute for Apprenticeships panel chair for legal, finance and accounting.

The Apprenticeship Levy is an investment…

May 09, 2017 / Featured Article

Last month the government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy, which all employers operating in the UK will have to pay, charged at a rate of 0.5 per cent of companies’ annual...

 Roger Dawe CB OBE, Chairman of the Career Colleges Trust

Colleges, Employers and Careers – the im…

May 09, 2017 / Featured Article

I have just started a new life as Chair of the Career Colleges Trust.   I was happy to take on this role because, throughout my involvement in further education over the...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Director, Kaplan Financial

Market disruption – an opportunity to sp…

May 08, 2017 / Featured Article

Apprenticeships for all Last week Tanni Grey-Thompson addressed the Work in Progress conference for ‘welfare to work’ providers. In her powerful address she challenged us as providers to do more to help...

Alice Barnard, Chief Executive of Edge

EBacc belongs in the past, not post-Brex…

May 08, 2017 / Featured Article

As any charity Chief Exec will tell you, a large part of the job is looking ahead and planning. Budgets, investments, campaigns, events, staffing – there is a calendar, a...

LEADING THINKING

May 05, 2017 / Featured Article

Effective leaders, either individually or collectively, can see beyond the particular, discerning patterns in the chaos around us. Great leaders can transcend the moment they’re in and see new ways...

Tony Allen, CEO, AAS Ltd

It’s the process, stupid!

May 04, 2017 / Featured Article

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t know what is going on at the moment. Almost every conversation I have these days is met with a wringing of...

A culture for supporting apprentices

May 04, 2017 / Featured Article

Alone in a room with a computer, Harriet (not her real name), is sat in front of a computer panicking. She has no idea what to do or what’s expected...

Stefan Drew

50% of Providers Ignore Course Enquiries

May 03, 2017 / Featured Article

Each year FE spends huge sums on marketing.  A lot of that money is wasted! How do I know? Looks at these facts. Over Easter we conducted a survey of colleges. We...

David Kitchen, Managing Director, The Leadership Team

Consolidation of Training Providers

May 02, 2017 / Featured Article

The impact of the (unnecessary) RoATP process and the resultant pausing of the ITT tender raised a “common sense prevails” cheer from the ‘establishment’ of colleges and large contract holders...

Teaching practical functional English an…

May 02, 2017 / Featured Article

Everyone agrees that young people entering the world of work must be literate and numerate. But the arguments continue about the best approach to deliver English and maths to our...

Paul Irving is Managing Director of Skillswork

Don’t allow this to be known as the miss…

Apr 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Like many of you who will have read Mark Dawe’s comments on the non-levy apprenticeship allocations. I have worked in the skills sector for over 20 years and I don’t...

Mount Everest

Epping Forest College are Ascending New …

Apr 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Music plays from a piano in the reception of Epping Forest College as learners enter the building to begin their day. The principal welcomes them as she does each morning...

Nick Isles, CEO, Corporate Agenda Advice Consultancy

The Levy is here but will it deliver?

Apr 25, 2017 / Featured Article

The moment we have been waiting for has arrived and the levy is now a fact not merely a policy idea. As a hypothecated tax (sort of) the levy must...

Liz Sewell FIEP, Director, Belina Consulting

How can women make work “work” for them?

Apr 21, 2017 / Featured Article

The job, as a concept is vanishing. Long gone are the days of a ‘job for life’. The economic forecast indicates that wages are unlikely to increase over the next...

Louise Doyle, Director, MESMA and Senior Associate at Strategic Development Network

TEACHING APPRENTICESHIPS? A QUESTION OF …

Apr 19, 2017 / Featured Article

LOUISE DOYLE, a further education consultant and director of quality assurance experts MESMA, argues that apprenticeships should be considered as a relevant and plausible path to a career in teaching despite...

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director, NOCN

Three skills-based solutions to boost UK…

Apr 18, 2017 / Featured Article

How to address the UK's 'Productivity Challenge' amongst G7 nations. It is well documented that the UK suffers from a serious and long-standing productivity gap. The Office of National Statistics (ONS)...

Jenny Catlin, Head of Projects, Capita Apprenticeships

The 20%: Off-the-job learning is vexing …

Apr 12, 2017 / Featured Article

After what has felt like the longest lead-in time ever, the apprenticeship levy has finally landed, with businesses able to access their Digital Apprenticeship Account and start spending their levy...

Deborah McVey, Managing Director, Deborah McVey Ltd

Lesson observation records: A plea to bo…

Apr 11, 2017 / Featured Article

When it comes to observation records, I have issues with checklists, matrices, tables, scorecards, boxes to tick and all things criteria. I know this will be controversial and I suspect...

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

MPs’ sobering review of the apprenticesh…

Apr 10, 2017 / Featured Article

As the levy collection begins, a cross-party committee of MPs have just done a great job in reviewing the government’s apprenticeship reforms and ministers would be wise to implement the...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship partnership director, Kaplan

Aggregated L&D budgets and a new App…

Apr 10, 2017 / Featured Article

One thing that we are finding a lot when we speak to larger employers is that most do not have one single companywide L & D budget. That might have...

Grimsby Institute

Democratising self improvement - How one…

Apr 07, 2017 / Featured Article

Further education is still out of reach for too many in the UK. While we know how many applicants for higher or further education are rejected, there’s a great swathe...

Why Edge are backing apprenticeships: Me…

Apr 06, 2017 / Featured Article

Edge is a huge advocate of apprenticeships. We believe they can offer exciting learning and career opportunities for young people. When we came to recruit for a new Digital Marketing...

Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director, NOCN

10 TOP TIPS EMPLOYERS SHOULD DO TO ‘MAKE…

Apr 04, 2017 / Featured Article

NOCN has put together ‘10 top tips’ that all levy paying employers should do to ‘make apprenticeships matter’.   For employers to be able to justify the investment in time, resource and...

Edd Brown, Operations Director for Quality Improvement, FE Associates

Staff Development: The easiest budget to…

Apr 03, 2017 / Featured Article

In a climate where funding is tighter, external pressures are driving more efficiencies, cost savings are to be expected. In this environment, there are usually areas of budget that are...

Judith Doyle, Principal and CEO of Gateshead College

FE colleges must contribute to regional …

Mar 31, 2017 / Featured Article

Further Education colleges must take a more proactive role in helping shape the skills agenda and economic policy at regional and national levels. FE has a key role to play; for...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship partnership director, Kaplan

Apprenticeships through the hour glass a…

Mar 31, 2017 / Featured Article

Quality over quantity Listening carefully to government spokespersons, during National Apprenticeship Week and since; it seems to me that they are not really pushing for 3m starts anymore. It is...

The recommendations from the Select comm…

Mar 30, 2017 / Featured Article

An influential committee of MP's, formed by the Education and Business Committees, published it’s 54-page Apprenticeships report today (click here to view the full report).  The Sub-Committee’s inquiry has examined...

If Brexit means Brexit, what does it mea…

Mar 30, 2017 / Featured Article

Today marks a significant moment in UK history with Theresa May formally firing the starting gun for the process of the UK leaving the EU by triggering Article 50. If there...

Norman Crowther, Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

The language of FE or what does it all r…

Mar 30, 2017 / Featured Article

One of the many headed problems that the hydra of FE has is to do with the language that it uses and is used about it. There are plenty of...

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal, The Manchester College

Team UK Selection - The Manchester Colle…

Mar 29, 2017 / Featured Article

As The Manchester College prepares to be one of the host colleges for the 2017 WorldSkills UK Selection for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, its Principal, Lisa O’Loughlin, talks about hosting...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

Barclays for Jargon Free Jobs

Mar 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Earlier this month Business in the Community (BITC) and the City & Guilds Group found that confusing job descriptions are a major barrier for young job seekers, preventing them from...

Steve Hill, External Engagement Director, The Open University

Degree apprenticeships are not just a lo…

Mar 27, 2017 / Featured Article

The development of degree apprenticeships is at a momentous turning point. With the introduction of the apprenticeship levy just days away on 6th April, every organisation in the UK with an...

Dr Paul Phillips is principal and chief executive of Weston College, Weston-super-Mare

Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denm…

Mar 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Are you suffering apprenticeship meltdown? The world of apprenticeships is one that is getting bigger and more mysterious by the minute.  If we look back to its origins, we find the...

Prof Sa’ad Sam Medhat, CEO STEM Foundation, and Institute of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange

Invigorating the Industrial Strategy wit…

Mar 22, 2017 / Featured Article

The UK is a success. That is the initial government line of the Industrial Strategy. And for a handful of specific sectors, such as Pharma, Video Games, Aerospace and Automotive...

Kerry Boffey, Director, Adult Learning Improvement Network

Study Programmes

Mar 21, 2017 / Featured Article

Maximising Study Programmes to developing learners’ employability skills, calculation and communication competencies to equip them with the abilities to succeed in the workplace and in life. Lord Sainsbury’s Independent Review on...

Rakesh Shaunak, Head of Further Education, MHA MacIntyre Hudson.

Brexit: A silver lining for FE?

Mar 20, 2017 / Featured Article

Months have passed since the dramatic vote for Brexit and now further education colleges are starting to assess the long term effects of this decision on the sector. The good...

Doug Heckman, Head of Further Education for Labour Market Insight specialists, Emsi.

Identifying the Potential for Creating N…

Mar 17, 2017 / Featured Article

In our previous piece, we demonstrated the research we have undertaken to identify all occupations in the labour market that have “apprenticeship potential”, and then went on to show how...

 Alice Barnard, CEO, Edge

Nashville's Career Academies - Music Cit…

Mar 16, 2017 / Featured Article

Music City’s Greatest Export? – Nashville’s Career Academies You may be forgiven for thinking that the best thing to come out of the wonderful city of Nashville is the country music...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partnership Director, Kaplan

The final pieces of the new apprenticesh…

Mar 15, 2017 / Featured Article

The new register of levy-providers and a bottomless funding pot This week has seen the publication of the much anticipated list of ‘the training providers that can support levy paying employers’;...

Karol Thornton and Kay Sidebottom, Tutor Voices

PREVENT as an opportunity to ‘Educate ou…

Mar 15, 2017 / Featured Article

“I now know how important it is in teaching to allow spaces for disagreement, exploration and uncertainty.” Project Participant Earlier in 2016, as Brexit debates sank to new depths of intolerance...

Who looks after the apprentices?

Mar 14, 2017 / Featured Article

Who’s educating the workers about apprentices? What do the staff your apprentices work with think of apprenticeships? Odds are that it doesn’t quite match what you want them to think. One of the...

Merger: Does Bigger Mean Better?

Mar 11, 2017 / Featured Article

''Tis the season for merger! Following Area Reviews a lot of mergers have taken place or are going through the process. We could soon see a sector of just 250 colleges...

Broadening Apprenticeship Provision Beyo…

Mar 09, 2017 / Featured Article

When the Government set a target of creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, one thing was immediately clear: they were never going to hit that target without apprenticeships being created...

Suzie Webb, Director of Education and Development, AAT

Apprentice Assessment Organisations – a …

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

Born out of the Trailblazer apprenticeships initiative, Apprentice Assessment Organisations (AAOs) will deliver the required end-point assessments (EPAs) for apprenticeships, to allow apprentices to demonstrate their competence. My own organisation...

Samantha Rutter, Chief Operating Officer, Open Study College

International Women’s Day, Inspirational…

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

What makes an inspirational business woman? With it being International Women’s Day today, we wanted to share with you the thoughts of one of FE’s very own inspirational woman, Open...

Jenny Catlin, Head of Projects and Product Management, Capita Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week: three thin…

Mar 08, 2017 / Featured Article

This National Apprenticeship Week marks only one month until the new Apprenticeship Levy is introduced. With such a short time to go, many businesses are wondering what their next steps...

Skills in Brexit Britain: a lot done, a …

Mar 07, 2017 / Featured Article

In 1947, Hugh Dalton resigned as Chancellor when details of his Budget were leaked before his speech in Parliament. No such concerns in 2017 with Philip Hammond touring the TV...

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

Able to Enable – Opening up apprenticesh…

Mar 06, 2017 / Featured Article

One of the biggest challenges currently facing the apprenticeship system is how to widen access and use them to provide pathways to skills and employment for all parts of society...

Government’s Industrial Strategy – seemi…

Mar 03, 2017 / Featured Article

The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee Industrial Strategy First Review has been released today. The Prime Minister's talk of a proper industrial strategy, with more active...

Jack Parsons

My Manifesto for education: Scrap the cu…

Mar 01, 2017 / Featured Article

The Department for Education is the most important Department. Without the ability to read, write and perform at least simple maths, the country would fail and I’m worried that our...

Jim Wade, Principal, JCB Academy

Why we need to bring the work place clos…

Feb 28, 2017 / Featured Article

Today the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that promotes University Technical Colleges (UTCs) has released a report looking at how education fails many students in the real world when...

Richard Marsh, Apprenticeship Partner Director, Kaplan UK

Success for all

Feb 27, 2017 / Featured Article

What does the decline in Apprenticeship success rates actually mean? Preparing to speak at the Ofqual conference this week and reviewing with the recent release of Apprenticeship success rate data has...

Sandy Lindsay MBE, Chair of the IoD and North West Business Leadership Team Skills Groups

Mind the [Skills] Gap

Feb 24, 2017 / Featured Article

Sandy Lindsay MBE, Chair of the IoD and North West Business Leadership Team Skills Groups, discusses efforts to close the skills gap in the North West of England, and how...

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