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Reputation Management in Further Education
27 Sep 2007

Since the 2006 FE White Paper - building on the Foster Review, and the FE and Training Bill - the Leitch Review has picked up the baton and endorsed the development towards a demand-led FE sector. Learner choice and access to high quality learning options, employer engagement and achieving excellence are the core aims set out by the National Improvement Strategy. The sector is set to drive it's own improvement and with the recently announced success rate of 77% of participants being awarded qualifications from FE Colleges, the sector has indeed exceeded government targets already. Taking responsibility for FE's reputation and driving excellence in the sector are key issues to meet learner's needs and employer demands. Sharing best practice, creating a culture of aspiration and effectively sharing resources are major tools to realise this aim. Increasing reputation means to provide flexible learning options, to consider funding through demand led mechanisms and to develop mechanisms of self regulation. This conference offered an assessment of proposed reforms and current initiatives and link the discussion to questions about how to realise them locally, regionally and nationally. Bringing together senior representatives from further education, regional stakeholders and FE experts and organisations, the conference discussed how to establish a demand-led FE system, looked at qualification and curriculum reforms, investigated new funding models and assessed how to raise quality and diversity within the sector.