Further education


Further education in the United Kingdom and
Ireland, similar to continuing education in the United States, is a term used to refer
to post-compulsory education, that is distinct from the higher education offered in universities. It may be at any level above compulsory secondary
education, from basic skills training to higher vocational qualifications such as PGCE, NVQ,
City and Guilds, BTEC, HNC, HND or Foundation Degree. A distinction is usually made between FE and
higher education HE, an education at a higher level than secondary school, usually provided
in distinct institutions such as universities. FE in the United Kingdom is usually a means
to attain an intermediate or follow up qualification necessary to attend university, or begin a
specific career path, e.g. Quantity Surveyor, Town Planner or Veterinary Surgeon, for anyone
over 16, primarily available at Colleges of Further Education, work-based learning, or
adult and community learning institutions. Further education by country
Australia In Australia, technical and further education
or TAFE institutions provide a wide range of predominantly vocational tertiary education
courses, mostly qualifying courses under the National Training System/Australian Qualifications
Framework/Australian Quality Training Framework. Fields covered include hospitality, tourism,
construction, engineering, secretarial skills, visual arts, information technology and community
work. Individual TAFE institutions are known as
either colleges or institutes, depending on the state or territory. TAFE colleges are owned, operated and financed
by the various state and territory governments. This is in contrast to the higher education
sector, whose funding is predominantly the domain of the Commonwealth government and
whose universities are predominantly owned by the state governments. United Kingdom
England From 2001 to 2010 FE in England was managed
by the Learning and Skills Council, the then largest government agency funding education
provision. The LSC had a budget of some £13 billion
and is organised on a regional basis through around 47 local councils. The LSC had a particular mission to improve
and expand further education provision, driven by the UK government’s desire to increase
standards in post-16 student retention and achievement, particularly in skills-based
vocational provision in FE colleges. Recent government-driven LSC and Department
for Children, Schools and Families policies, such as Success for All and the Skills Strategy,
articulate this vision. Colleges in England that are regarded as part
of the FE sector include: General FE and tertiary colleges
Sixth form colleges Specialist colleges
Adult education institutes In addition, FE courses may be offered in
the school sector, both in sixth form schools, or, more commonly, sixth forms within secondary
schools. The Learning and Skills Improvement Service
is the sector owned body supporting the development of excellent and sustainable FE provision
across the learning and skills sector. Its aim is to accelerate the drive for excellence
and, working in partnership with all parts of the sector, builds on the sector’s own
capacity to design, commission and deliver improvement and strategic change. For technology support and advice, JISC provides
a network of regional support centres, free at the point of use to anyone working in colleges
in the UK. From September 2007, teachers working in FE
in England are required to gain professional status, known as Qualified Teacher Learning
and Skills. The first stage of QTLS is an initial ‘passport
to teaching’ module. The second stage is full teacher training,
which would typically take up to five years to complete. The qualification covers both taught and practical
skills, and also requires teachers to undertake 30 hours of continuous professional development
per year. Good quality support for employers is indicated
by the award of the Training Quality Standard, an initiative to improve the quality of provision
for vocational education, while all colleges and FE providers are subject to regular inspections
by Ofsted. Lifelong Learning UK is the independent sector
skills council responsible for the qualifications and standards for teachers working in FE. The trade unions for FE staff are the University
and College Union and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Teachers working in the sixth form colleges,
sixth form schools and sixth forms of secondary schools are eligible to join the teaching
unions which recruit in the secondary school sector
In England, further education is often seen as forming one part of a wider learning and
skills sector, alongside workplace education, prison education, and other types of non-school,
non-university education and training. Since June 2009, the sector is overseen by
the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, although some parts fall within
the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Northern Ireland
Further education in Northern Ireland is provided through six multi-campus colleges [1]. Northern Ireland’s Department for Employment
and Learning has the responsibility for providing FE in the province. Belfast Metropolitan College
North West Regional College Northern Regional College
South Eastern Regional College South West College
Southern Regional College Most secondary schools also provide a Sixth
Form scheme whereby a student can choose to attend said school for 2 additional years
to complete their AS and A-levels. Scotland Scotland’s further education colleges provide
education for those young people who follow a vocational route after the end of compulsory
education at age 16. They offer a wide range of vocational qualifications
to young people and older adults, including SVQs, Higher National Certificates and Higher
National Diplomas. Frequently, the first two years of higher
education, usually in the form of an HND can be taken in an FE college, followed by attendance
at university. Wales Further education in Wales is provided through:
Sixth form colleges FE colleges
High school sixth form within secondary schools Further education in Wales comes under the
remit of the Welsh Assembly Government and was formerly funded by ELWa before its merger
with the Assembly. Ireland Ireland has further education colleges. See also
AoC NILTA Bullying in further education
Education by country Jisc
National Union of Students of the United Kingdom Technical and Further Education
Workers Educational Association References External links
Learning and Skills Network website Learning and Skills Council website
Quality Improvement Agency website Tertiary Colleges website
Students website

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