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Back to the future of FE

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Tes columnist and Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes dusted off his time machine this week to travel back through the history of FE funding. His “historical flirtation” saw him tease out three conclusions:

* Memories are very short. Optimism in the late 1990s led to greater focus and investment in colleges in the 2000s, much of which has been undone in the austerity years since 2008.

* There is always a frustrating delay between political realisation of the need to invest in colleges and the money starting to flow. A major 1998 Green Paper’s promise of a greater post-16 ...

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