David Russell, CEO of the Education and Training Foundation

The much-anticipated Further Education (FE) #WhitePaper has launched. As a Sector we can now start the important work of thinking about, discussing and utilising the #SkillsforJobs publication to further improve FE.

The Government had promised the paper would be ‘revolutionary’. What is encouraging for the FE and Training sector is that it is evolutionary and not revolutionary - constant revolution has held our sector back for decades. Instead of revolution, the White Paper offers sensible suggestions with credible timescales that build on where the sector currently finds itself.

The supportive and developmental tone used in the Skills for Jobs publication is encouraging especially to the sector’s powerhouse – our teachers and trainers. The main theme picked up throughout the Paper is the creation of an FE system that meets the country’s skills needs. Supporting themes consist of FE Colleges being central to the Government’s vision and, what I believe is the most significant, a new understanding and recognition of how essential the FE workforce is in making the sector a success.

Skills for Jobs consists of five chapters, one of which is dedicated to Outstanding Teaching. This chapter delves appropriately into three key challenges of workforce recruitment, training and development in FE. However, it does miss the fourth key challenge of reward, with no updates on teacher pay investment. There are positive ideas and commitments in the Outstanding Teaching chapter, as well as in the other chapters, that build on the work of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in the following areas.


The White paper puts forward a national recruitment campaign for FE teachers with an advice service that builds on the FE Advice website and helpline the ETF has run since 2013.

There are ideas to ensure those who enter FE teaching get first-rate initial teacher training and induction to the profession. The ETF’s innovative recruitment programmes create a career pathway into and through FE teaching. These include Talent to Teach in FE, prominently referenced in the White Paper, which encourages graduates into FE teaching.

The Society for Education and Training, the membership arm of the ETF, supports the career pathway work through our membership, Professional Standards, and the professional statuses we confer – Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS).

Chapter 5 also offers a commitment to grow another well-established ETF teacher recruitment programme, Taking Teaching Further, which has brought hundreds of experienced professionals from industry into hard to fill vacancies in the sector, and helped them successfully make the transition to new careers in teaching.

For further information about FE teacher recruitment, sign up to the ETF’s free, online National Technical Teacher Recruitment Conference on Friday 12 February 2021.

Training and Development

Throughout Skills for Jobs there is a commitment to support more Professional Development in the sector, with an even more welcome commitment to support high quality CPD – music to the ears of the ETF. We set the standard for effective CPD in FE and design, commission and deliver a wide range of it for our colleagues in colleges, Independent Training Providers (ITPs), Adult Community Education (ACE) providers and beyond.

A new Apprenticeships Workforce Development (AWD) programme was announced in the White Paper which the ETF launched on Friday 22 January. The fully-funded online offer provides trainers and leaders with the teaching skills, subject knowledge and confidence needed to deliver successful apprenticeships for the benefit of learners. 

The Government state in the publication they will continue to invest and build on the ETF’s leadership and governance development offer to “establish strong expectations that college leaders and corporation board members undergo suitable training, and that those with high potential are supported to progress through an end-to-end development programme for further education leadership and governance”.

Through Skills for Jobs’ section on ‘English, maths, and digital skills for everyone’ the White Paper discusses the Centres for Excellence in Maths programme, managed by the ETF, which is a national improvement project aimed at delivering a step change in maths teaching up to Level 2 in post-16 settings that supports learners aged 16-18, no matter which pathway they are on.  

The publication states the government will improve digital skills and make essential digital skills (EDS) provision more accessible and flexible. This links to the ETF’s Enhance Digital Teaching Platform which provides a fully subsidised training offer to support teachers and trainers in using educational technology (EdTech). The Platform also provides modules that support teachers and leaders delivering the new EDS qualifications.

The ETF is continuing to provide support to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) practitioners. This aligns to the Government’s belief “that everyone who lives in England should have the opportunity to learn to speak English so that they can participate in our labour market and civil society.”

Skills for Jobs ensures those with special educational needs will continue to gain direct work-related skills alongside maths and English to increase their employability. The ETF’s Centres for Excellence in SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) provides expert support for leaders, managers and practitioners to ensure that learners with SEND are progressing into and being present within communities who recognise and embrace their potential.

The FE White Paper is very positive for FE and everyone who works in the sector. The areas highlighted above are the most exciting and progressive areas to be found in the White Paper, but more broadly it shows the evolutionary tactics and approach the Government wants to take, to ensure the sector supports people of all ages in getting the skills needed to benefit society and our economy.

David Russell, CEO of the Education and Training Foundation

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Peter has published a new article: EDHEC and EURECOM Sign Strategic Alliance 37 minutes ago
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 19 hours 42 minutes ago

Women Empowerment: How Far Have We Come in Recent Years?: Here in the UK, the past year has been difficult for ever… https://t.co/TTsstqnyOy
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page