Nowhere to hide in colleges

13th November 1998 at 00:00
I am dismayed that a senior member of the teaching profession in the secondary sector can display such ignorance about what goes on in the further education sector (TES, Letters, October 30). Richard T Ford claims of his school that "no student is able to hide in the way that they can in the larger more anonymous world of the college".

Where is this large anonymous world where students are not able to develop interpersonal skills? I have had 12 years experience in each sector and would not generalise about either. I can only speak from my own experience and say that the pastoral care systems I have encountered in FE are more comprehensive and wide-ranging than those in schools.

At Warwickshire College there is a cross-college pastoral system for students on all programmes in a common slot on the timetable. For A-level students this involves a weekly meeting with a personal tutor and regular progress checks comparing current performance with agreed targets. There is regular contact with parents and a number of reports sent home and parents' evenings during the course. In addition the college has a fully staffed student services unit through which students can access careers advice, HE advice, a counsellor, a nurse and a range of other support services. We provide an extensive post-A level results service which is used by non-college students from across the region in addition to our own students. The college is staffed throughout the summer holiday period which is not always the case with schools.

The results obtained are comparable with the local schools and we achieve considerable success with students who have been rejected by schools. And no, we do not recruit just to increase numbers. We offer an extensive pre-course interview and guidance service and have a wide range of courses for students for whom the A-level programme is considered not appropriate.

M W Colley Programme area manager Warwickshire College Leamington Spa Warwickshire FE Letters, page30

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today