What will become of Further Education? FE in crisis

UCUThere have been further concerns this week regards the financial sustainability and future over our FE provision, with a recent report by the NAO (National Audit Office) showing that just over a half of colleges are in deficit. The head of NAO Amyas Morse stated that, “The further education college sector is experiencing rapidly declining financial health, and lacks a clear process to inform decisions about local provision.” Last month economist and author of the Wolf Review, Professor Baroness Alison Wolf stated that the further education sector, that provides the majority of the UK’s post-secondary training, faces possible collapse.

These concerns were further echoed by Association of Colleges (AoC) Chief Executive Martin Doel, who in response to NAO report stated that “Colleges have been battered by a swathe of funding cuts over recent years and it is no surprise that their financial health has suffered as a result.” The importance of FE cannot be underestimated, around 4 million people learn within the sector each year and there are over 1,100 education and training providers including 240 FE colleges in England. Continue reading