Association of Colleges

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 2 days ago

New blog articles detected

  • Where will apprenticeship reforms take us in next three years?

    It’s easy to get caught up in the apprenticeship changes and forget to ask where it’s all heading. Even more challenging to spend time thinking about where we want them to take us and how we can influence the direction, but that’s what I aim to do here. The new levy, new system and the funding represent fundamental changes to what many of us have known for a long time. I remain positive about the ...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 2 weeks ago

New blog articles detected

  • Spring Budget gives rare prominence to technical education

    We have a Conservative Government elected on a 2015 manifesto promise to eliminate the budget deficit so it is no surprise that the spending measures in today's Budget are fully funded from more taxation or saving elsewhere.  After two downgrades to the official economic forecast in 2016 statements, the Office of Budget Responsibility report an upgrade this time. As predicted, the Chancellor plans...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 3 weeks ago

New blog articles detected

  • Clearing the path for careers advice

    Too often, many young people leave school unaware of all the choices there are when selecting the right route for their chosen career.  Apprenticeships, technical education and training, A Levels, university…the options available can be confusing and daunting for a 16-year-old ready to take the next steps towards their future job. The underlying problem is that there is inadequate careers advice a...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 1 month ago

New blog articles detected

  • The importance of the right investment

    Yesterday, the National Audit Office released an interesting report on school buildings.  In it are a number of choice facts and figures which could be difficult reading for some in the Department for Education (DfE). For example, there’s a question of whether DfE is spending money in the right places. The free school capital programme (£1 billion in 2015-16 rising to a peak of £1.4 billion in 201...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 1 month ago

New blog articles detected

  • Holding out for a HeRo!

    Looking back on a yet another year of change in the further education (FE) sector, did anyone find time to reflect on the events?  Or take a few minutes to scan the still stormy skyline to see what might be coming our way next?  HR professionals in FE spent so much of their time ‘doing the doing’ of change - even renaming it ‘transformational’ just to give it a fresher feel - that we may have miss...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 1 month ago

New blog articles detected

  • Support for mental health needed

    We are heading to a crisis point in mental health. The Government has a moral, legal and economic obligation to make sure there is proper mental health support provided to everyone across the country. Mental health support is critical for colleges. An important starting point to address the crisis is the work that all colleges do to support the wellbeing of students. This is a key part of the prev...

  • Fair funding for colleges

    Colleges change lives. Colleges underpin labour markets and support business success. Colleges are at the heart of tolerant and inclusive communities. They do all of this through educating and training around 3 million people every year; people who are vital to  the workforce of today and the future, people who are vital to a functioning society. And yet college funding has been cut harder than an...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 1 month ago

New blog articles detected

  • London's further education diversity gap

    I’m relatively new to working in London, having only started in April 2015. I didn’t have much time to settle in before the Government announced its area review programme just a couple of months later. By November I found myself attending an event at City Hall to launch the London area review, where chairs of governors and principals of all 53 London colleges were gathered. Here I was in the UK’s ...

  • Fair funding for colleges

    It will be Budget time in Westminster in just under seven weeks, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has already signalled that it will be a dull one.  This is because he wants to focus on the Autumn Budget and because he’s part of a Government whose work is currently dominated by Brexit, Trump and other external issues. This, plus a desire to keep a lid on public spending, means ...

  • Looking for answers: Investigating behaviour and motivation in FE

    Across the further education (FE) profession as a whole, the problem of dealing with student behaviour and motivation is one of the most common concerns voiced by teachers. Of course, a teacher’s experience and confidence might be seen as key factors in their ability to manage behaviour successfully, as might a supportive management team and an effective behaviour policy. But is this always the ca...

  • Reflections of the year

    It’s not easy to describe 2016: surprising, unpredictable, bewildering, exciting, crazy… Whatever the best word for it is, it’s been quite a year. Politically, it’s been a year of the unexpected. The EU referendum result led to a virtually new Cabinet and certainly a change of policy direction.  The education talk at the start of the year was that all schools would be turned into academies.  Under...

  • Serious financial issues in schools

    Today's National Audit Office report confirms that there are serious financial issues in schools. This is a risk to the entire education system because decisions taken by schools to bring budgets back into balance may affect student achievement. Colleges are already concerned that they have to pick up the pieces in terms of English and maths because two-thirds of the 16-year-olds they recruit need...

  • Inspection system needs to work in current education landscape

    When he launched this year’s Ofsted Annual Report, Sir Michael Wilshaw said ‘many FE colleges are facing a period of continuing turmoil’. In recent years colleges have coped with a maelstrom of Government changes, policy changes, funding cuts and the area review. With all this going on, it’s not surprising that colleges are having a tough time. But they are resilient, continuing to serve the needs...

  • Race equality in FE has got stuck

    If anyone hasn’t yet seen David Harewood’s recent BBC documentary, “Will Britain Ever Have a Black Prime Minister?”) I urge you to do so. It’s engaging and unaggressive style gave it all the more impact as it laid out the multiple barriers facing black and minority ethnic (BAME) young people.  From nursery through to employment, the hurdles to success are shockingly high and – perhaps even more sh...

  • Autumn statement: little change, longer term action needed

    The biggest news for colleges in the Autumn Statement from Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, is that departmental spending plans announced last year remain in place. Treasury statements in 2015 introduced the apprenticeship levy, protected billions of pounds spent on sixth form and adult education (in cash terms) and set the scene for a major programme of skills devolution. Th...

  • Association of Colleges Conference Celebrates Student Social Action

    It was a happy coincidence that the annual conference of the Association of Colleges (AoC) came the week before #iwillWeek, which celebrates social action by young people.  This is because it gave us the opportunity to highlight, and give well deserved publicity to, the volunteering undertaken by our students. The theme of my speech to the conference was ‘colleges work for everyone’.  One aspect o...

  • Confident, optimistic and ambitious

    The Association of Colleges' (AoC 's) Annual Conference is a staple in the further education (FE) calendar.  After attending it for many years as a delegate, this is my first one as Chief Executive of AoC. Over the 20 years that the conference has been running there have been times to celebrate and times to worry.  This year, I want the feeling to be one of confidence and optimism. There are plent...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 5 months ago

New blog articles detected

  • Preparing students for life in modern Britain

    Police are reporting a substantial increase in hate crime following the recent referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. Education providers are not immune - unions and staff in colleges are also reporting a spike in the number of racist and xenophobic incidents. And they recognise that these incidents are likely to represent the tip of an iceberg, with many being unreported. How ar...

  • Devolution and localism: what will happen to colleges?

    Devolution and localism present both opportunities and risks for colleges. A report released today - The Long-term Implications of Devolution and Localism for FE in England – highlights the benefits colleges could gain if they are able to reinforce their position as key local organisations. Professor Ewart Keep, Director of SKOPE and author of the report, suggests that colleges have the opportunit...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 6 months ago

New blog articles detected

  • New term, new opportunities

    The start of the academic year is always an exciting and vibrant one in further education, but this year it feels even more laced with the potential for change. The Brexit vote and the resultant political changes have created real uncertainty about so many things. That uncertainty throws up all sorts of opportunities as well as threats for colleges, of course, which is why it is such a good time f...

  • Organisational Transformation

    The “transformation” of colleges is much talked about, and clearly necessary in the context of ever greater social need, an increasingly competitive marketplace, mergers, federations etc. but who is going to actually do it and how? Talking to the principals of colleges that are outstanding and especially those who have been brought to outstanding from inadequate or requires improvement, a number o...

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 6 months ago

Association of Colleges

Category: Content
Type: Blog Article

Generated 7 months ago

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