In this week’s TES Further, Nicole Butler, a senior business solutions manager at City and Guilds, offers her top tips on how FE colleges can embrace commercialism (article free for subscribers). She says that, because of the area reviews, colleges will have to move away from being state-funded institutions to being not-for-profit businesses that must meet the demands of customers if they are to survive. It is up to providers to buy into2 the transformation that the reviews will bring, Nicola writes. The alternative is that in 18 months’ time, they may no longer exist.
'Sending students down the garden path'
Andy Forbes, principal of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, says that it is high time schools stopped sending students down the wrong educational route (article free for subscribers). He writes that he wishes someone could give these students better advice early on in their education, and blames schools for pressurising learners to make the wrong educational decisions.
Across the page, Tricia Odell, a programme manager for the Society for Education and Training, writes that despite qualified teacher learning and skills (QTLS) no longer being compusory, they are still setting the standard (article free for subscribers). QTLS are still a strong way for teachers to show that their work is grounded in professional standards, she writes, as well as demonstrating their commitment to ongoing professional development.
Exclusive: Providers 'beaten up' by Ofsted
TES reporter Julia Belgutay has revealed that training providers feel they are being unfairly penalised by Ofsted because inspectors are focusing too narrowly on English and maths. The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has claimed that providers dealing with traineeships have been particularly harshly treated, with many considering reducing their involvement in the programme as a result.
New AoC chief
Stephen Exley, in his editorial, writes that bold leadership is essential in the ever-changing FE landscape (article free for subscribers). The sector needs individuals who can be relied upon in a crisis – like the new man at the helm of the Association of Colleges (AoC), David Hughes.
In his first profile interview since it was announced that he would be taking over from current chief executive Martin Doel in September, David insists he is confident about FE’s future – despite ‘huge challenges” facing the sector. “I think there will be colleges in 20, 30 and 40 years,” he says. “They will look a bit different, but the sector is not at risk.”
John van de Laarschot, the future principal of the newly formed Nottingham College, was once in an episode of the reality TV show Wife Swap, FErret can confirm (article free for subscribers). On the show, Mr van de Laarschot didn’t get on particularly well with his new "wife" after she organised a barbecue for underprivileged youths at his mansion in Cornwall (he apparently screamed “Get out of my house!” at them). So here’s to hoping things turn out more favourably for him in his first foray into the world of FE.
A hymn for failure
This week Kate Bottley, TES Further’s resident reverend, admits that she has never really failed at exams. But when Ofsted came a-knocking at her local school during Sats week, she realised how challenging they were, and it made her think about those in FE who have failed theirs. Many FE learners wrongly deem themselves to be failures, she writes. “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking it is stupid.” (Article free for subscribers.)
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