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Systemic success starts by remedying root causes

As the National FE Survey asks those in the know to help shape the sector’s success, Tony Davis argues that targeting the origins of issues is vital for progress

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We are all too familiar with the phrase “systemic failure” – an organisation, system or even government that crumbles from the inside when neither its modus operandi nor its core principles are fit for purpose.

In 2016, Ofsted’s then-chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, made this very claim of the further education sector, recommending to the government that all 16- to 19-year-olds should be taught in schools, adding: “The further education sector is in a mess”.

Thankfully, the irony did not escape us all. The irony being that, as inspectors, we never give strengths for systems and ...

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