UserID:  CVFileName:  SiteType:  HostID: 

What is Further Education?

What is FE

The further education (FE) and skills sector is huge and educates over three million students each year. It includes:

  • FE colleges: provide academic, professional and vocational courses – everything from A-levels to hairdressing – to students from all sorts of backgrounds and ages
  • sixth form colleges: offer mainly academic courses to 16-19 year-olds
  • adult and community education: provides a wide range of programmes of learning to adult learners
  • work-based learning: offered by a range of training organisations, often in partnership with FE colleges. Courses are vocational and include apprenticeships
  • offender learning: takes place in prisons and youth offender institutions. Many courses prepare offenders for the transition to life and work in the community
  • higher education institutions: many universities are involved in further education, for example in sponsoring University Technical Colleges
  • voluntary organisations and charities: many provide academic and specialist courses, plus employability skills

With so many training providers, there’s a huge range of teaching and training opportunities in FE!

The sector’s students are equally varied; 18% are from ethnic minorities and over 130,000 are aged over 60. Some have learning difficulties or disabilities, some want to gain vocational skills and just under half of them move on to higher education.