Many years ago, I was encouraged to consider a career in further education because, while I wanted to teach, I didn't want to put up with the kind of classroom disruption I had seen my own teachers suffer when I was at school.
Having recently retired as a part-time lecturer, I can look back on a happy college career and feel very pleased that I took that advice and chose to remain in an adult-only environment.
College is indeed special because of its adult environment, as your Leader (FE Focus, July 13) pointed out. Not, sadly, for much longer with the prospect of an increased leaving age meaning reluctant young people clogging up the system, learning very little and disrupting the education of others in the meantime.
FE is a distinct experience that adds to the development of young people in personality as well as in knowledge and skills. It is not there to buy ministers an extra two years to finish off the job that should have been completed by schools.
I am getting on a bit, I admit, but are my views so unfashionable?