Further Education has a penchant for jargon and an aptitude for not turning the frown upside down. We at FE News are committed to changing the public perception of FE, and in the first part of this new weekly submission, correspondent Paul Anderson takes a personal look at the week just gone in FE.

Twinkle Toes

Yesterday for the first time in a long time I danced with a woman. Not that I am much of a dancer. Give me a darkened room and I more likely to step on a toe than miss it. But I am just about old enough to realise that even if you can"t do something, pretending will often get you quite a long way.

The woman I was dancing with was a beautiful enigma. To her, I fear I was simply a variation on a theme. But I am nothing if not persistent, and when the evening ended, I found myself still in her company, travelling down one of those vast escalators in an underground station. As the gargantuan escalator spilled us out onto a horrendously overcrowded platform, I knew that there were only minutes to act, to make a romantic or heroic gesture that would tell her how I felt.

Now was the moment to unburden my heart, to discard all fear, to step forward into the unknown. So I screwed up my courage and asked, "What are your hobbies then?" "Hobbies?" she said. "Don't you hate that word? Hobbies are what you have when you"re seven." "Ok". I said, reeling at the clever reply. "But what about your interests?" I continued. "Pretty much the same ones I had when I was seven", she said. "Singing, playing the guitar, tap-dancing."

The Morning After

When I woke up the next morning I felt as though a troupe of tap-dancers had spent the night practising in my head. I had to admit that she was right - hobbies isn't a word you"d want to use on a date. But whatever you call it, that part of your life is incredibly important. My question may have been a lame one, but it limped in a fair direction: knowing someone's hobbies is a central part of knowing who someone is, and how easily you might be able to get on with them.

If "hobbies" is a word that suffers under the weight of its own associations, here's another: leisure. People were saying twenty years ago that the next big task for the West was to learn how to use its leisure properly. But if the recent pre-budget report is anything to go by, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has yet to face up to that civilisational challenge. For understandable reasons, he is more concerned about productivity, in particular China's productivity.

Increased productivity, of course, should in theory afford us increased leisure and more time for our hobbies, tap-dancing or otherwise. But it never quite seems to work out that way - perhaps because we haven"t yet learnt how to use or value our leisure. To my mind, that's where further education comes into its own. Ask the Chancellor, and he"ll tell you that education is there to make us productive and employable. If you ask me, it ought to have an equally important role in supporting and developing our quality of life.

Paul Anderson

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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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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.

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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.

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