Further education specialists gathered for a roundtable discussion on the current key issues in the sector, hosted by leading education law firm Stone King. Representatives from the Sixth Form Colleges Association, the Department for Education, multi-academy trusts and colleges delved into pertinent topics including sixth form college governance and structures, insolvency and the risk of closure, T Levels and curriculum, funding and student pastoral provision and care at the latest in a series of sector forums, held at the law firm’s London offices in Charterhouse Street.
Chaired by Roger Inman, head of Stone King’s Education Sector team, and Bill Watkin the CEO of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, the forum opened with a discussion on funding and the willingness of government to increase 16-19 funding for the first time in a decade. This included discussion of the new T Levels and how these align with other qualifications at this level, as well as their future delivery.
Other themes touched on included the impact on students of changes in further education provision, pastoral care and the importance of measuring performance. The forum also discussed the imminent effect of increased demand for post-16 provision as a student population bulge which hit primary schools almost a decade ago will now be joining post 16 education.
Roger Inman said: “These Forums are always a very useful opportunity for leading educational practitioners to have a private and frank discussion on the lay of the land in the sector. We covered a lot of interesting ground on the challenges the sector faces both now and in the years ahead, and what the solutions could be.”
Stone King’s biannual Mat 2020 Forums bring together key stakeholders to discuss and share ideas and insights into current and future issues affecting education. The firm is a national leader in the education sector with an 80 strong education lawyer team.