Justine Greening has said that she is “really excited" about the role that further education has to play, and called on the sector to position itself as a “centre of excellence”.
Speaking today at the fifth anniversary conference of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), the education secretary also said there was a “huge amount of value that can be unlocked in our FE system”.
She told the conference in London: “I am really excited about the role that FE could play, actually. I think for a long time we have really focused on driving improvements in the academic routes.
“But I think it is now time that we bring that same focus on the more technical education routes, which, let’s face it, most young people follow.”
“Brexit Britain” cannot “afford to have any young person not reach their potential”, she said, adding: “We need to focus much, much more on this and it’s something we intend to do.”
'Centre of excellence'
Ms Greening said it was important to look at how further education sits alongside the work of apprenticeships and traineeships so “that the two together are stronger, as opposed to being separate”.
She also stressed the importance of English and maths. “I don’t think that any young person should be leaving our education system without something to show for their name, particularly in relation to maths and English," she said.
“I think FE particularly now needs to position itself, and we need to help, as a centre of excellence.”
Since 2011, the EEF has delivered projects in close to one-third of all UK schools, reaching some 860,000 pupils.
Earlier this year, the EEF announced it was to expand into post-16 education, launching a £5 million fund to support learners without good GCSE passes.
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