The History of England

from Celts through 20th century


Category: Education

The following stage in the British educational system is further education. The term ‘further education’ can be used in a general sense to cover all post-school education, and it usually refers to post-school, non-university education.

Much of the further education is broadly vocational in purpose. Young people have several options at 16. They can stay on at school, either until the age of 18 to seek to obtain the necessary qualifications for entry to higher education or certain careers or professions. A second option is to leave school but to continue full-time education in a further education college, seeking either general qualifications, or more vocationally oriented ones. Further education extends from lowerlevel technical and commercial courses, through specialized courses of various kinds to advanced courses, preparing a variety of professions for industry, commerce and administration.

There is a wide range of further education institutions: the polytechnics and other colleges and schools having various titles — colleges of further education, colleges of technology, colleges of commerce (shorthand, typing, book-keeping), colleges of art, agricultural colleges, drama schools, art schools, ballet schools, schools of librarianship, etc. A large proportion of further education establishments (out of about 760) are independent or private, i. e. fee-charging.

Institutions of further education have links with local industry and commerce on which they strongly depend. Further education service is coordinated in different areas by Regional Advisory Councils, set up by the local education authorities in each region. The members of these Councils represent the LEAs, colleges, universities, industry and commerce.

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