Further Education: Cinderella or the Fairy Godmother?

Ellen Buttler, our Director of ITT, explains why she considers teaching in Further Education to be a real privilege.

Further Education (FE) provides young people with an opportunity to train for a specific vocation in industry and/or to study at University. It is also known as the ‘Second Chance Sector’, a sector which transforms lives. As such I consider teaching in FE is a real privilege.

It is important to recognise that many young people and adults face barriers to learning; SEND, social, emotional and/or cultural, and for some, these barriers negatively affect the individuals ability to educationally achieve. FE provides a second chance, a further opportunity to gain qualifications for employment or progression to Higher Education. For individuals affected by barriers to learning, FE affords a prospect of increased social mobility and advancement. For local communities and businesses FE supports the fostering of social cohesion and economic growth.

Interestingly, FE is also known as the ‘Cinderella Sector’, a phase first coined by Kenneth Baker in his role as Secretary of State for Education in the 1980’s – and the reason? Because there is a perception that FE is a sector which is undervalued and under-funded. Yes the latter is absolutely true but undervalued by whom? For those who have benefited from FE (including me), a more appropriate metaphor springs to mind ‘The Fairy Godmother’. FE often supports those who may have been disadvantaged, forgotten and lost, to transform, break free and fly high. I can speak from experience, as a student and subsequently a teacher in FE, this sector provided me with a chance to go to the ball and I have been dancing ever since!

About the Blogger

Ellen Buttler is Director of Initial Teacher Training Programmes at CLL Warwick.

For more information about Initial Teacher Training courses at CLL Warwick, please visit these links:
Certificate in Education and Training
Diploma in Education and Training
Postgraduate Diploma in Education (FE and Skills Sector)

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