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18th September 2015

The Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL) has awarded Policy Connect a significant grant to enable the launch of a new inquiry into how innovation is led in further education and skills across the UK.

 

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Policy Connect is a not-for-profit organisation which has been researching and influencing policy for over 20 years. The Education and Skills team at Policy Connect has a track record of producing high quality reports and engaging Parliamentarians, most notably through its management of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment and its research commissions.

With this grant, FETL has given Policy Connect the opportunity to contribute to the body of knowledge for the further education and skills sector to help it overcome the significant challenges it faces. The research will aim to show how innovation can play its part to prepare and shape the sector for the future. It will look at examples of innovation in business structures, delivery models, and employer engagement, and ask how these innovations are led and how the ingenuity, resourcefulness and full potential of the sector can be tapped into.

Thanks to the partnership with FETL, Policy Connect is preparing to launch a nationwide series of seminars to engage people within the sector and discuss these topics. This will eventually result in an inquiry report being launched to government in 2016.

Commenting on the partnership, Policy Connect Chair, Barry Sheerman MP said:

“I look forward to seeing how leaders at every level across the sector are innovating to ensure our skills system is working for learners and employers. The FE & skills sector has always been responsive and it is important that examples of this are championed, particularly with the challenges facing the sector at present. Where we find policy barriers to improving practice through innovation we will be vociferous in highlighting them.”

 

The Further Education Trust for Leadership is an independent think tank and charity which is working to strengthen the leadership of thinking in further education and skills. The FETL Grant Programme is aimed at organisations operating in the field of UK Further Education and Skills and provides funding for new research into the leadership of thinking in the sector. Amongst other organisations that have previously received FETL grants are the AELP, EMFEC, Coleg Gwent, the University of Hull and Working Well.

Interim FETL Chief Executive, Ayub Khan, said:

“For too long further education and skills has been under-researched, under-conceptualised, under-theorised and under-understood. The sector is currently facing unprecedented pressure from diminishing resources and rising expectations, and this is one reason why FETL is keen to support Policy Connect’s research into innovation. The sector is likely to undergo considerable change over the coming Parliament, particularly as the process of post-16 area reviews conclude, and it is important that we look to positive examples of change and how these have been led.”

 

To find out more about this new inquiry, please visit www.policyconnect.org.uk or contact Simon.kelleher@policyconnect.org.uk / 0207 202 8575.