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So what is Further Education? And why is it so hard to define?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 January 2018

Martin Doel.
According to a recently released CBI Report – In Perfect Harmony: Improving Skills Delivery in England – the English skills system has undergone 28 major reform programmes in the past 30 years. The result, the report argues, is alienated firms, confused training providers and a failure to deliver on skills needs. Somewhat ironically, as is often the case with such reports, the CBI then go onto propose further reform of a current programme – the apprenticeship levy, less than 9 months after its inception in April last year.
(more…)

Priorities for a new government: advice from our academics part 2

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 May 2017


The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. We are publishing their replies during the run-up to the election.
Primary Education
The new government should take a new approach to primary education that sees this stage as a unique time in children’s lives. This will require them to look again at the purposes of primary education.
The current statutory assessment system is not fit for assessing children’s learning and needs radical change. The government should:

  • Move to national sampling.
  • Abolish the current SPAG test and phonics screening test and replace with more appropriate measures.

When it comes to the National Curriculum, the government should: (more…)

Summit to think about: what will Chinese visitors learn from our emerging apprenticeship system? And what can they teach us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital1 February 2017

Martin Doel
In December, Education Secretary Justine Greening led a small delegation to the latest UK China Education Summit in Shanghai, part of the wider UK China ‘People to People Dialogue’.
When arriving in China you anticipate striking differences in our two education systems, given our very different histories and political cultures. This is no doubt the case in many areas of education policy and practice, but in technical and professional education, through the four summits I have taken part in, I’ve become increasingly struck by the extent of shared concerns and similarities of approach between China and the UK.
When the Summits began, in 2012, university and school education were the predominant themes, but on this occasion the greatest attention in the formal ministerial summit was given to technical and professional education. In both nations it seems that the critical role of this sector in increasing prosperity, productivity and social equity is being (more…)