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FE news at a glance

Survey finds lack of good leadership across sector

People working in the further education and skills sector do not feel positive about standards of leadership, management and governance, according to new research. Less than half (44 per cent) of those who filled out the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) 2014 Perceptions Survey thought that the standard of leadership and management within the sector was very good or good, and only a third were positive about the standard of governance. Some 255 organisations in England responded to the poll in November, including 92 FE colleges. The results, published this week, show that almost 60 per cent of respondents thought professional standards within the sector were very good or good, but only a third responded positively on the standard of workforce development. Just over half thought that vocational education and training standards were very good or good. ETF chief executive David Russell said he was "encouraged" by the high rate of satisfaction with his organisation. Ninety per cent of respondents who had previously engaged with the ETF said they would do so again, and three-quarters said that they were likely or very likely to use its services.

Nottinghamshire college opens centres in India

An FE college group has launched two new ventures in India to support the country's ambitious skills agenda. West Nottinghamshire College Group - whose principal Dame Asha Khemka is the founding chair of the Association of Colleges India - has opened an English language centre and a vocational skills centre in the subcontinent through subsidiary companies. The Indian government wants to upskill 500 million people by 2022 to meet huge economic growth targets. Indian-born Dame Asha has helped to forge strategic alliances between the UK and India and has accompanied prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg on trade missions to the country.

FE leader among UK's most influential people

Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group of colleges, has been named as one of the UK's most influential people in the 2015 Debrett's 500 list. Dr Sedgmore is one of only 20 people from education on the list, and is the first person working in FE to be recognised. Under her leadership, the 157 Group of large and influential FE colleges has become a major player in the sector. Dr Sedgmore, who has worked in FE for more than 35 years, said: "It is a great honour to be included in such a prestigious list and I am particularly delighted with the recognition for further education, which is all too often overlooked."

Applications flood in for post-16 English scheme

More than 1,100 people have enrolled on a programme to enable teachers and trainers to deliver post-16 GCSE English. The initiative, launched last September with funding from the Education and Training Foundation, follows on from the organisation's successful maths enhancement scheme, which trained more than 2,000 extra maths specialists to teach the subject at GCSE. The government wants all students who have not achieved at least a C grade in English and maths by the age of 16 to keep studying for the qualifications. Revised GCSEs in both subjects will be launched in September.

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