'The end of the FE sector- and I can't wait'

Six months ago I would have been talking with some anxiety about the transition from the FEFC and Tec funding regime to the Learning and Skills Council.

But right now the LSC can't happen quickly enough for me. The FEFC planning and funding regimes are in absolute disarray. We don't have a funding tariff agreed for next year, so we don't know the value of the student work that we're planning in terms of funding.

Effectively, you could say that the end of March 2001 marks the end of the FE sector, but we are still big enough to make our voice well heard.

Identification of the FE sector means that to some extent we've been potected, but also we've been limited. That fence around the sector has perhaps put certain impositions on us that haven't been around some of the other organisations that will now be part of lifelong learning.

So there are perhaps new freedoms as well as the restrictions of not having the automatic voice that comes with having earmarked funding directed towards colleges.

I believe very firmly that colleges' futures are very rosy, very secure.

We're part of an expanding area of work - lifelong learning.

I'd much rather be in an unprotected sector that is growing, than in a protected sector that is shrinking.


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