Professor Alison Wolf has continued her critique of government policy around the funding of FE with a new monograph 'An Adult Approach to Further Education'. You can see a short talk on this from her here and also download or buy the monograph.
The summary of the publication says:
'In the UK, further education is a bastion of Soviet central planning that has wholly avoided the market-based reforms that have been adopted in other parts of the state sector. In terms of total spending, further education is important, but hitherto - perhaps because of its complexity - there has been little serious policy analysis of the sector.
Professor Alison Wolf is one of the country's leading education academics. In this study, she explains the disastrous results of current policy and discusses, lucidly but rigorously, how reform of the sector should take place.
The author proposes a new model for funding that is 'student centred', and which can lead to further and adult education once again making a major contribution to the building of a skilled workforce and educated citizenry. In developing her conclusions, the author draws on theory and evidence - including experience of reform in higher education.'
The short film concentrates on her argument for new learning accounts for individuals and this is an issue that is a key part of the Conservatives current consultation document on the future funding of Further Education which proposes a new Further Education Funding Council and a more market approach to meeting demand for provision. The consultation document can be found on the Conservatives Policy pages. The closing date is this Friday.
As we move towards an election the challenge to the complexity of central planning structures and agencies is becoming stronger and from more sources. How much is a issue around reducing public expenditure and how much a sense that policy and funding in post 16 has gone in the wrong direction? The months of genuflection towards Leitch in 2006-07 now seem long gone.