Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good luck to NATECLA in calling for a national ESOL strategy

Congratulations to NATECLA which is calling for a national strategy for ESOL – and to the TES for reporting the story today. When I chaired the board at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, then the largest provider of ESOL … Continue reading

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Why is BIS so doctrinaire about qualifications in apprenticeships?

It would be daft to turn the Richard Review into a holy text which we can never deviate from.  It wasn’t written that way, it won’t bear that weight, and I’m sure Doug Richard himself would say he meant it … Continue reading

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Roll up!  Roll up!  Get your free apprentice ‘ere

We do need to be careful about this.  You can well understand why Robert Halfon was so keen to tweet the good news earlier that he’s got a better deal to encourage small firms to employ apprentices: Employers: <50 employees? … Continue reading

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That was a short honeymoon!

Just three weeks ago FE Week reported that the sector had given a “Warm welcome for new minister for apprenticeships and skills”.  Now Robert Halfon is being called “silly” and “naïve” on Twitter for his view that “apprenticeships should be … Continue reading

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We should stop talking about the Government “funding” apprenticeships

The Government does not “fund” apprenticeships and we should stop using the word. I dislike it for two reasons.  First, it implies that the Government is paying the lion’s share – it’s not, and it’s not going to.  Governments always put … Continue reading

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Providers must learn new skills

It was the sound of pennies dropping.  Three colleges, one private training provider and their specialist delivery partner, two industry bodies, and the Skills Funding Agency, all sat round a table last week working through the implications of the new … Continue reading

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Comment on Guardian FE discussion on “Should college governors be paid?”

I have recently stepped-down as a governor of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College after 14 years, and was for five years Chairman of the Board.  When colleagues asked me to take on the role I hesitated, not at all … Continue reading

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An FE Guild – or a Guild for Learners?

Peter Davies, who is project managing the work to create the proposed FE Guild, sent an intriguing tweet yesterday: “Real divergence of opinion with pm group – strong view that for Guild to have real impact must focus on T&L&A. … Continue reading

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Why do colleges not use more careers information when they recruit students?

With the possible exception of the Secretary of State and his immediate advisers, there can surely be no one in the country who thinks we’ve got careers provision right – nor anyone who expects the problem to be sorted soon.  … Continue reading

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Which alumni matter more: famous names – or accessible faces?

Is there any point in telling our current students that Fred Perry is one of our alumni?  He’s long gone, so they won’t get to meet him.  He went to a grammar school which preceded the college, which is very … Continue reading

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