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Sector News, 14 - 18 April 2008

Why we need a general diploma accessible to all.  Education Guardian, 15 April 

Comment. Opinion given that the new diplomas will increase divisions between academic and vocational education.  The authors argue that an overarching diploma, accessible to all students, is required.  Such a diploma should be binding on all institutions, including private ones.

See also Fast forward to the past The Guardian, 11 April 2008

Institutions urged to target adult workforce. THE, 17 April

Universities are being urged to do more to attract (working) adults in order to boost the nation’s higher level skills.  Ideas being considered by the Government include:

  • expanding the university of accreditation of employer training to higher levels,
  • setting targets for more students to take intensive two year degrees,
  • empowering sector skills bodies to increase the number of employer co-funded higher education courses.

Link to government consultation and summary:

Adult learning in free fall. TES, 18 April, FE Focus

Learning and Skills Council figures for last October show a fall of 151,000 in adult numbers compared with previous years figures.  Numbers fell by 17.5 per cent in what is known as “adult safeguarded learning” in spite of a constant level of funding.   Over the last three years adult safeguarded provision has fallen by 41 per cent.   Bill Rammell, the Further and Higher Education Minister, stated “ In terms of overall adult participation figures, whilst these show a downward trend, this is to be expected, as we have prioritised funding away from short courses [...] towards courses for those most in need”.

Excellence Gateway.  Advertisement, TES, 18 April

Government advertises its Excellence Gateway, a website designed to facilitate information sharing amongst people working in FE and the skills sector.

Link to Gateway: