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An opportunity not to be missed! Let us address BLM & COVID-19 in FES sector now!

When we lookback at the events of 2020 – 2021 from the future, there will be two powerful legacies that will stand out in history.

1. The tragic death of George Floyd and the wave and outpouring of grief, lack of justice and inequality across the globe, expressed via the Black Lives Matter movement.

2. The global of COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaken the foundation of society in every corner of the World, resulting in deaths, poverty and huge strains on the economy and society.

As we have been told “Further Education is the Future”, if this is the case, we must take the opportunity to lead, change, adapt and find new ways of working in the Further Education & skills sector.

I feel the world has moved on considerably from British Values” and it even feels somewhat archaic. Achieving net zero carbon, sustainability and tackling inequality and COVID-19 should be the basis of how we work and support our learners.

We need to embed this into every course, apprenticeship, and study programme. As a starting point, there are some small awards available from awarding bodies that could be added to study programmes for equality, diversity & inclusion, disease prevention & infection control and mental health & wellbeing. This would prepare, both young people and adults for the new reality of work and life in 2021+

As we know, difficult times require different ways of working. I am an advocate of being brave and tackling these issues head on, so that we and all our learners, have the survival skills, knowledge that they will need to navigate “our brave new world!”

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