In this week’s TES Further, Gary Warke, chief executive of Hull College Group, writes that it's great to see 14-year-olds thriving in full-time FE courses (article free for subscribers). While colleges have been permitted to recruit 14- to 16-year-olds since 2013, recruitment has been lower than expected. Warke explains why Hull has become the biggest recruiter of 14-16s in the college sector, and how other institutions can emulate its success.
SEND them to college?
Meanwhile, Fiona Voysey, assistant principal at National Star College, argues that families need the full facts to help them decide where to send children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). She argues that the best providers are those that combine the work of different professionals – such as teachers with speech and language specialists – because collaboration accelerates learning, and offers better value for money.
TES reporter Julia Belgutay has discovered that around half of all sixth-form colleges in England are considering converting to academy status. More than 40 out of the 93 sixth-form colleges in England have made their interest known to government officials – but it has emerged that a VAT-related loophole could cost colleges millions and deter some from making the transition.
Stars of FE
A week on from the glittering TES FE Awards, FE editor Stephen Exley stresses the importance of celebrating the achievements and successes of the sector – especially at a time of great change and uncertainty. On that note, FE reporter Will Martin has written a round-up of the evening (article free for subscribers), along with quotes and pictures from the night, and a full list of winners.
FErret, meanwhile, shares this week’s FE gossip (article free for subscribers). Reflecting on the Department for Education’s new guidance stressing that schools looking to open sixth-form provision must prove it will cater for 200 students or more, FErret reveals just how many existing sixth-forms fail to meet that standard. Clue: it's rather a lot…
GCSE top tips
Also in the magazine, Mark Chutter, curriculum leader for English and the humanities at Sussex Downs College, offers his top tips (article free for subscribers) for GCSE English resits as record numbers of college students prepare to retake the examinations up and down the country. He says it’s crucial that colleges keep students motivated, and that teachers cater to a number of different learning needs.
Columnist Rev Kate Bottley writes about the different aspirations of those students who want to spread their wings by going to university, and those who would rather stay closer to home. She says her job as an FE teacher is not to push students (article free for subscribers) to venture to a place they might find frightening. We need young people to be pioneers and adventurers, she argues, but we also need some to be settlers and builders.
All this and much, much more in this week's TES Further.