No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

New directions for FE


A new strategy has been published by the DfES that aims to raise quality, meet employers’ needs and improve choice in further education and training.

Education and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris has also announced one-off funding of £43 million to support the strategy this year, including an average of around £50,000 per college for new equipment and improved classrooms.

The key elements of strategy, now out for discussion with the learning and skills sector, are:
- a fundamental review of post-16 provision in every local area to be carried out by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), paving the way for the creation of new institutions, wider choice for learners and better training for local businesses;
- an extension of proven teaching methods and an overhaul of weak curriculum areas;
- professional development and training available for the first time for support staff with non-teaching roles;
- new targets for each college and training provider setting minimum levels of performance. Every college and provider will know what it has to achieve, with new rewards for proven excellence and firm intervention to address failure.

Estelle Morris said: "We have four goals to transform the learning and skills sector. First, I want to see an end to the drift and lack of mission in further education and training. Post-16 learning must be responsive to local employers and communities. Every provider must be clear about their own mission and focus on their strengths.

"If teaching and learning is of excellent quality, needed by the local community and not duplicating other provision, then it is viable. The learning and skills sector must apply that test to all that it does. The LSC will introduce new area reviews which will lead to changes in who provides what to put learners’ and employers’ needs first.

"Second, we want to put teaching and learning at the heart of what we do. Our new post-16 standards unit will ensure that proven teaching methods are adopted and weak curriculum areas revised.

"Third, we will introduce a major programme of training and professional development for teachers, support staff and workplace supervisors. We are extending the Learning and Skills Standards Fund to pay for qualifications and professional development for college staff who don’t have frontline teaching roles, for example, technicians and learning resource staff who are crucial to the effective performance of colleges.

"Finally, there has been a history of weak accountability in the learning and skills sector. Too many colleges were allowed to coast for too long. So we have asked the LSC to agree two parallel targets for each college and provider – one based on minimum levels of performance expected and the other measuring learner success rates. Colleges and other providers who deliver will have increased freedoms to innovate and expand. Where there is failure there will be firm intervention to ensure change.


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!