FE White Paper now expected in early January 2021

The long-awaited FE White Paper had originally been expected in the autumn but will now be published next year
21st December 2020, 7:24pm
Tes Reporter

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FE White Paper now expected in early January 2021

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/general/fe-white-paper-now-expected-early-january-2021
Skills Minister Gillian Keegan Said She Expected The Fe White Paper To Be Published Early Next Year

The long-awaited government further education White Paper could be published as soon as early January, Tes understands.

According to sources close to government, the Department for Education is planning to publish its plans for the sector at the beginning of next month - significantly later than originally expected, but sooner than comments by apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan suggested last week.

The White Paper had been widely expected this autumn. Speaking in March, shortly after her appointment, Ms Keegan told Tes it would be published "later this year", and education secretary Gavin Williamson repeatedly referred to it as due to be published in autumn 2020.

Expectations from the FE White Paper

In his landmark speech on FE in July, Mr Williamson said the paper would build a "world-class, German-style" further education system in England and "level up skills and opportunities". 


News: White Paper 'should create three groups of colleges'

More: What do we need from the FE White Paper?

Need to know: Why the White Paper has to focus on the structure of FE


But with much of the government's attention focused on addressing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and continued delays, last week, Ms Keegan said the White Paper would now be published next year, but would not be drawn on when exactly colleges and the wider further education sector should expect it. She said it would be in "the earlier part of next year, definitely".

We now know that that is likely to be early next month.

Labour's shadow minister for apprenticeships and lifelong learning, Toby Perkins, told Tes tonight that his focus was not on the exact publication date of the paper but on its content. 

He said: "The government has done very many things at the last minute and it is much more important that the content is great than that the government meets its self-imposed deadlines.

"The question will be what the consultation period is - that is more important. People need to have time to take into account the many different things they need to respond to."

 

 

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