Welcome from Martin Reid: Leaving a legacy
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The FE sector has adapted remarkably well to the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, but the legacy of Covid-19 will be felt for some time to come.
The past few months have been challenging for everyone working in the post-14 further education sector, but I’ve been hugely impressed with how providers have reacted. Last issue we focused on how organisations handled the switch to remote working but many providers were also busy in their local communities, helping out the NHS and providing support to the most vulnerable in society. You can read just some of these examples on page 37.
While Covid-19 has caused some very immediate headaches for all FE providers, it is also likely to have longer-term effects on the sector, and the diff erent elements within it. Funding is an obvious area of concern, as is the need to ensure social distancing wherever possible. But there is also hope that this could lead to new models of delivery making use of virtual learning, and that a focus on both youth unemployment and adult education could bring about positive change for the sector. You can fi nd out more in our cover feature on page 16.
Adult education, in particular, is likely to play an even more important role in the coming years, and our interview with HOLEX’s Sue Pember on page 14 explains how the sector can help the country recover from the fallout of the pandemic. She also talks about her own career, and how moving between FE colleges and government has helped her in her current position. The third sector is another part of the FE landscape that will play its part in the years to come, and our in-depth feature on page 19 explores the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Make sure you don’t miss our practitioner-led pieces either, featuring articles from Lynne Taylerson (page 28), Jim Crompton (page 30) and Lou Mycroft (page 34). You’ll also find within this edition a bound-in supplement focusing on technical teaching, as T Levels start to become reality. The ETF’s own T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer is also now open for bookings, and you can find out more about this on page 15 of the supplement.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the past few months. It’s been great to see an increase in the use of our member benefits such as the expanded webinar programme, which I hope has been beneficial in the current climate.
Finally, an important date for all SET members is our annual conference, which is taking place on Wednesday 4 November. This will be entirely online, but still with opportunities for networking, sharing ideas and valuable updates on the key themes aff ecting our sector, and sessions will be available afterwards for those who aren’t able to attend on that date. For more information and to book your ticket, please visit the SET Conference pages.
Martin Reid, Director of SET
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