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Why we must think local

I congratulate The TES for its welcome decision to provide an online summary of the National Learning and Skills Symposium, and thank Sue Jones for her distillation of events.

The resulting document raises a number of important issues. I was keen to see, first, Nick Pearce indicate that after the Foster Review there will be rather less central planning and rather more space for professionals; second, Sir Andrew Foster talked of the importance of local input.

Such ideas about the roles of professionals and the importance of local links with employers were behind my article "Never mix business with education" (FE Focus, October 7).

Although business and education are clearly distinct,I also stressed that education and training professionals need to work with employers, particularly at the local level.

I hope that symposium contributors are right in their prognostications, and look forward to further publications from The TES.

Graham Fowler. Melbourne Derbyshire (The online summary is at

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