News at a glance
Ministers won't ensure face-to-face careers advice
The government has rejected calls from MPs to ensure face-to-face careers guidance for every student. In a response to the Commons Education Select Committee's recommendations, ministers also rejected plans to ensure impartiality by requiring schools to publish details of the organisations that were allowed access to their students. Colleges have long complained that many schools prevent them from giving students information, but the government said it did not want to impose additional bureaucracy and that existing guidelines were sufficient to ensure impartiality. "Overall, we want to see pupils succeeding in education and schools supporting their transition into further education, training or employment that is right for them. This clear focus on outcomes, rather than the number of interactions a young person has with a careers adviser, is the right approach to getting the best for pupils," the response said.
College picks up Queen's Award for Enterprise
Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College has won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in international trade for its work with overseas students. Despite visa restrictions for FE students, which have caused overall recruitment numbers to fall in the past two years, this year enrolments from abroad are expected to increase at the college once again. It is the second time the college has won the award, having also been recognised in 2008. Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group, of which the college is a member, said: "The college can be justifiably proud of this accolade, which demonstrates not only what can be achieved by meaningful partnership working between colleges and industry, but also how critical FE colleges are to our economic success and international reputation."
Apprentice 'shocked' by election to NUS executive
The National Union of Students has elected an apprentice to its national executive committee for the first time. Jeni-Marie Pittuck, president of the students' union at City College Norwich and a former customer services apprentice at the college, said she was "delighted and shocked" at her election, which came as the NUS elected its first national president without a degree, Toni Pearce. Ms Pittuck campaigned on her record as students' union president: support for free meals in colleges, the introduction of the living wage for City College Norwich staff and her work on a white paper on the future of education with FE minister Matthew Hancock and 31 colleges in the eastern region. "Whatever course you are doing, whether it's a vocational qualification, an apprenticeship or A levels, all students have it within them to make a difference," she said.
A first for FE as college crowdsources its strategy
Lambeth College has crowdsourced its strategy for the next five years, in what the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) called a first for FE. Supported by LSIS, it asked hundreds of students, staff, employers and local residents: "Over the next five years, what do you think Lambeth College can do to help people into work?" The college used a web app where contributors could send their ideas, gathering 500 suggestions from 200 people. It has distilled the suggestions into a series of headline topics, such as employer engagement, course design and staff development, and specific proposals, such as focusing on the whole London economy rather than just the local borough and designing courses to be more closely related to job requirements.