Save bouquets for our sector

It is no wonder we in FE feel aggrieved when we see headlines like "Learning at work earns bouquet", and the story then goes on to describe how 33 per cent of work-based providers are inadequate, while under the headline "A national disgrace" the spotlight falls on the 11 per cent of failing colleges (FE Focus, November 26).

If 33 per cent of FE was poor would we too get the bouquets? I think not, nor should we, but we need to recognise that teaching the range of reluctant or previously let-down learners means taking risks. In my own college, more than 90 per cent of our full-time learners have numeracy skills at level 1 and below. We have provision from pre-entry to undergraduate, teach on more than 60 sites and make a difference to around 13,000 people.

The country needs FE. Let us work together for continuous, sustained improvement and stop this constant stream of FE bashing.

Fran Murphy

Head of learning support

Wirral Metropolitan college

Birkenhead, Merseyside

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