In this week's Tes Further: an interview with Sir Frank McLoughlin on FE's new leadership programme

21st April 2017 at 17:43
Also: David Lammy MP on why adult education is vital to solving the national skills shortage

In this week’s Tes Further, Sir Frank McLoughlin, former principal of City and Islington College, talks about his role as overseer of FE’s new leadership programme at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, one of the world's leading business schools (article free for subscribers). The new FE strategic leadership programme, launched today and delivered by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), is expected to attract 100 leaders of colleges and training providers by March 2018.

Sir Frank says that the creation of a specific leadership programme for FE is not before time. “We haven’t had a principals’ programme for at least eight years,” he says. “The last cohort enrolled on to a principals’ programme 10 years ago.” And although leadership is a "huge challenge", Sir Frank says being principal of a college was a job he loved.

“People say it’s scary at the top, it’s lonely at the top," he says. "I’m not sure about that. If, like me, you’re committed to our sector, to be at the helm of an organisation and lead its success is just fantastic."

Careers advice

The National Careers Service (NCS)  – which was formed in 2012 to provide young people with the support, information and guidance that they need to gain employment –  has failed to have any positive impact on getting its users into employment, according to a new government report.

FE reporter Julia Belgutay writes that the report “could not identify a positive impact of the NCS on employment or benefit-dependency outcomes”, despite the organisation receiving £380 million in government funding since it was launched.

Belgutay also writes that the fact the National Careers Service might have no measurable positive impact on young adults’ employment opportunities highlights how desperately careers services across the UK need reform. “One can only hope that the long-awaited careers strategy, expected later this year, truly tackles this issue,” she says.

Adult education

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham and former higher education and skills minister, writes that adult education is vital to solving the national skills shortage. His mother, who arrived in the UK from Guyana, attended evening courses at a local college so that she could secure a job at Haringey Council and earn a salary to support her family.

“It is with first-hand knowledge of how important adult education is that I mourn the loss of night schools across our communities," Lammy writes.

“We need a proper, cross-departmental strategy for adult education in Whitehall and we need proper provision of night schools, part-time courses and lifelong learning in our communities."

'Common ground'

Anne Dawe, principal of Wigan and Leigh College, writes how a partnership of 10 providers in Manchester is powering ahead on skills provision. While across the country colleges and training providers are competing to deliver apprenticeships, in Greater Manchester providers are doing something quite different (article free for subscribers).

In 2016 the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship Company (GMAC) was formed – a partnership between nine Greater Manchester Colleges and training provider The Skills Company.

“From day one, this project was about working together,” Dawe writes. “That is not to say the partners don’t compete, because we do exist in a competitive market, but the project provides a structure within which to find common ground and focus our collaboration accordingly.”

Sarah Simons

Meanwhile Tes columnist Sarah Simons writes that her time teaching adults with learning difficulties and disabilities has been the most joyful and challenging experience of her career (article free for subscribers).

“The groups make me better at my job,” Simons writes. “They believe in my improbable feats of teaching. They believe we can all fly.”

FErret

This week, FErret is squeaking abut the General Election, and pondering whether it could spell bad news for the FE reforms (article free for subscribers). The machinery of government tends to slow to the pace of a sloth once the pre-election period of purdah kicks in, FErret writes.

So what of the Technical and Further Education Bill – or the more contentious Higher Education and Research Bill? FErret guesses he'll have to watch this space.

All this and much, much more in this week’s Tes Further.

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