The Future of Further Education

  • #UKEdChat session 536
  • A DfE (England) whitepaper plans to shake up further education
  • Further education remains stubbornly unchanged after many initiatives over the years.
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It is fair to say that there have been a number of false dawns to change further education over the past few decades. Yet, the structure of further education seems similar to when I was in attendance back in the stone age. A two-track academic vs vocational system persists and lessons from other countries such as Germany and Finland, much-heralded just a few years ago, has not been learnt. But is this about to change?

The Department for Education in England has just announced its whitepaper for its Skills for Jobs initiative, which seems to be another attempt to boost the status of job-related training and education, a section which is traditionally chronically short of funding.

In this #UKEdChat discussion, which took place on Thursday 21st January 2021 at 8pm(UK) we discussed what is further education for, how further education is valued and how that value can be increased, and what will further education look like in the decades to come.


  1. What is the purpose of further education for (a) society and (b) the learner themselves?
  2. What does our further education system do well?
  3. What are the biggest issues with further education currently, and what is needed to solve these?
  4. It the two tracks of academic/vocational a strength or a weakness of further education?
  5. What can primary and secondary schools do help colleagues in further education?
  6. Are you in favour of giving employers a central role in designing almost all technical courses proposed in the DfE’s whitepaper? Why?
  7. What can be learnt about further education from other countries?
  8. What do you think further education will actually look like in the decades to come, and what do you hope it does?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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