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‘The reputation of FE has never been more important’

FE needs to work on its public image, according to the Association of Colleges, because too many still look upon it as ‘a second choice’. So, with the sector now enjoying some political limelight, experts warn colleges have to take care to avoid any PR disasters. Jonathan Owen and George Ryan investigate

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A student being stabbed to death on college premises, a disastrous Ofsted inspection or a principal being investigated on suspicion of fraud are just some of the worst-case scenarios that can ruin a college’s reputation.

The damage done by PR disasters at individual institutions affects the perception of further education in general, according to communications experts. And, amid concerns that the sector’s reputation is not strong enough at a national level, the Association of Colleges (AoC) is now establishing a working group to improve the way FE promotes itself.

Aaron Hussey, the ...

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