By Rebecca Garrod-Waters, CEO Ufi VocTech Trust
In a week that has seen an increasing need for urgency in the use of technology to support vocational education and training to be front and centre of plans for the future, it was both encouraging and disheartening to hear Kate Green set out her priorities for education, arguing that Labour must “develop and re-energise the role of schools, colleges, and universities as hubs of their community”.
Participating at an event at Labour’s online conference, Connected, the Shadow Education Secretary discussed education both during and beyond Covid as part of a hosted panel set out the headlines of comprehensive plans for changes within the education system in England and Wales.
And while Green noted the further education/higher education divide is ‘unhelpful’, still, frustratingly, we are not seeing solutions that use technology to close the gap.
Whilst we are hearing much about the solutions Higher Education is putting in place, there is little talked about the work in the Further Education sector – and the vital role that good technology should play in supporting those most at risk.
At a time when we should be looking at all possible ways in which to deliver all forms of education, it was disappointing to find so little focus on the use of technology to do so, especially as we increasingly see evidence of its worth in doing so. Ufi has supported hundreds or organisations looking to develop ideas for VocTech with many, many successful outcomes as a result.
On post-18 education, Green said that she wants a “holistic approach”. I hope, as Labour flesh out its plans for its future proposals, VocTech is not overlooked for its potential to support this aspiration.