Further Education: New challenges, New Opportunities

“60% of senior leaders at FE colleges believe the number of colleges will reduce following government’s area reviews”

23 March 2016

The further education (FE) sector is facing a period of great change. The Government sees the post-16 education sector as critical to its strategy to improve the UK’s productivity which currently lags behind that of the major G7 advanced economies.

The Government has already embarked on its programme of area reviews which assess the economic and educational needs of an area and examine the current structure of 16+ education being delivered by colleges, sixth-forms and other training providers. The apprenticeship system continues to be a major focus of the reform and the Government is aiming to increase the number of new starts to three million by 2020.

So how are senior leaders within the colleges preparing for this new landscape?

To capture the mood of the sector during this period of flux and uncertainty, we recently surveyed 240 senior leaders from the FE sector from principals and vice principals through to governors to uncover how they are facing these changes and to understand their key priorities over the coming 18 months.

Our report found that the very top priorities were focused on apprenticeships, employer engagement and area reviews across the board, we also uncovered some significant disconnects between identified challenges and priorities which could spell trouble ahead for some.

We hope that you enjoy reading the research and look forward to working with many of you over the coming months and years as we navigate the changes, challenges and opportunities together and steer the FE sector forward to a brighter future of success and stability.

To continue reading download the Further Education: New Challenges, New Opportunities report.

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