Tuesday, 09 February 2016 15:44

emfec16 - 1/3rd of colleges gone by end of Area Review 'rugby scrum'

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Nick Dakin Shadow Schools Minister – ‘Squaring the funding circle’ Nick Dakin Shadow Schools Minister – ‘Squaring the funding circle’

IOC Chair Carl Lomas was at the emfec 2016 Feb 08 conference to hear the headline ‘1/3rd of colleges gone by end of area review rugby scrum.

College principals, governors, teaching practitioners and students for a full house of 240 folk talking Further Education (FE) shop that focused on 'a third of colleges gone by the end of area reviews' and how important the student voice was. Paul Eeles talked 'rugby match on a muddy field', could college mergers include private training providers ? It was howling wind outside and howling inside for a frank and energetic exchange across area review, LEP and devolution.

Stewart Segal AELP, 'Our sector needs to be driven by learners and employers'. Stuart Cutforth Chesterfield College, ‘Area reviews. This is real, radical restructuring.’  Baroness Sharp, ‘Why have we cut cultural learning for adults?’ Gill Clipson AOC. ‘Our advice on area reviews is engage.’ Buxton & Leek College got a mention under the umbrella of the University of Derby.

An energetic exchange. Corridors of trade show from award body to AELP, lashings of tea and coffee, two workshop sessions, three headline panel events and a finish on the Skills Education Group formation news from Paul Eeles ABC awards and Maggie Walker ASDAN.



Linda Houtby, emfec chair opened,

As colleges & training providers we face challenge, budget cuts, area reviews and devolution. Today we need to look at a collaborative approach.


Nick Lindford took the role of conference chair for the day, ‘Will it be LEP or combined authority?' Focused words on devolution and area reviews that cross LEP boundaries.

Nick Dakin MP Shadow schools minister. A former teacher and college principle on his CV.

FE does a great job, but it does not mean it can’t do better.


‘Learner voice must be heard, it always gets forgotten.’ ‘Squaring the funding circle, grappling with devolution alongside area reviews. Area reviews are part of the landscape but it makes no sense to leave out technical colleges & other practitioners.’‘Those colleges who do not engage may navigate their own way but must look at all provision in the area.’ – ‘Failure in careers advice is one of the biggest features of the sector.’ ‘I think the government is in denial on careers advice.’  - ‘Lifelong learning is important. Levy for apprenticeships is a creative step forward. Division between vocational and academic is an argument that does not take us forward. ‘It’s important to get apprenticeships right.’ Apprenticeships provide high quality jobs. HE & FE together, BIS and education in govt, there will always be boundaries. Structural change in govt is a distraction from the key issues of learning. There is a logic to the LEP commissioning education locally.’ (Straw poll vote in the room was fifty fifty for and against.)


Shakira Martin, VP NUS ‘Learner voice’, spoke with bundles of passion on how important the student voice was, learner voice must be heard in the area reviews. Learners today expect their tutors to hold a dual role, excellent teachers and subject engaged.  Access to learning, affordable public transport is a big need. Gang culture is an issue around the commute off-campus, it’s a big issue.

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 February 2016 18:06