#GE2017 election manifestos – FE & 16-18 year olds – Prof Martin Doel comments


Senior academics and leading experts in their field gave their perspectives on the main education issues in the General Election campaign and challenges for the next Government.

Comment from Professor Martin Doel, FETL Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills at UCL IOE and former Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges: 

“The evidence base has been accepted in each of the three manifestos and doesn’t seem to be disputed. The importance of technical education moving into Brexit and this underinvestment is accepted in all three. A remarkable consensus that the system is at a tipping point, but its a vital system to invest in in the next five years.”

On 16-18 year olds and school funding, Professor Doel said:

“The number of 16-18 year olds will increase in the next four years. Those 16-18 year olds will emerge into a stage of education which is relatively underfunded within schools unless, as per the Conservative manifesto, there is a full scale review of 16-18 funding. The consequences for the financial health of schools will be substantial if they increase the numbers of 17-18 year olds which are currently being cross-subsidised from the income of 11-16 year olds. There will be a consequential issue for schools more broadly of 16-18 education in the next four years if nothing is done.”

On teaching apprenticeships, Professor Doel said:

“There is an interesting disconnecting government policy, an emphasis on apprenticeships but there’s no particular reference made to teaching apprenticeships. The apprenticeship levy paid for by most schools and most academy chains can be translated into teaching programmes for apprenticeship delivery standard.

The Conservative manifesto refers to exploring teaching apprenticeships sponsored by major companies especially in STEM subjects which relates to technical education and teaching colleges rather than in schools and there’s a disconnection on teaching education in technical education.

There is going to be a particular problem running into Brexit in terms of the people you want to teach these skills will be in high demand because of the immigration controls. You can’t have them teaching and working in the industries from which they come.”

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