Conservatoire says yes, yes, yes to pop

A new course is preparing students for the realities of life in the music industry

Students in colleges have no one to complain to – so is it time for a watchdog?

All is not well in the world of further education. Dissatisfied learners who exhaust a college's internal complaints system have little option but to turn to the Learning and Skills Council, which is due to disappear by 2010, or their MP – who will probably refer their enquiry to the local LSC.

'Soldiers will emerge from service with a disposition for learning'

A message from Martin Doel at the Association of Colleges

Brandon Robshaw: A high price to pay for failing a form-filling test

People often say, "It's not the money, it's the principle", without really meaning it. In fact, they generally mean the opposite. But the further education college where I teach has recently put me in the unusual position of being able to make this claim with absolute sincerity.

Thanks to the web, a new generation of adults is getting a second shot at education

This month, the University of London's external programme celebrates its 150th anniversary – just as the distance-learning industry faces a turning point.

Pay talks open as low morale bites

College staff are so fed up with their pay they are going on strike on Monday

'Further education is critical for developing local workforces'

A message from Martin Doelat the Association of Colleges

Treat your mind to a weekend trip

Pick mushrooms, paint pubs, taste wines or learn eco-DIY – all in a country setting

Education Diary: Save Adult Education campaign

What is going on in adult education? As we reported in this supplement earlier in May, the Government's promotion of "informal adult learning" is placing traditional, non-vocational evening classes under threat. But reading the letter from skills minister David Lammy, you wouldn't know it.

Letters: Cuts hit all learners

Congratulations to Neil Merrick for high-lighting the extremely disturbing shallowness of the Government's approach to lifelong learning ("Adult education fights for its life", EDUCATION & CAREERS, 1 May). There are, however, broader contexts than just cost-cutting which need stressing.

'This new power to validate their own degrees will give colleges more flexibility'

A message from Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges

Adult education fights for its life

Tutors and students are worried that a government consultation may be a fig-leaf for cuts, says Neil Merrick

Mixed feelings over LSC's demise

In two years, the Learning and Skills Council will go. Some colleges are missing it already

The FE sector is creating landmarks for learning

Although it has been open for 18 months, some students still receive a shock when they step inside the Lifestyle Academy at Newcastle College. In addition to a lecture theatre, other teaching areas and a resource centre, the three-storey building includes two restaurants, a gym, hair salon and spa – all open to the public.

Sue Dutton: 'We believe the Government should do more to help students with transport'

It's hard to get an education if your college or school is miles away and you can't afford to take a bus, pay the train fare or fill up your car. While councils have a statutory duty to provide home-to-college (or school) transport for 16- to 18-year-olds, in some areas the provision is patchy. In funding transport, some local authorities simply assume that the closest place of study is the right one, regardless of the course; student choice comes second to budgets. Research shows that young people are often frustrated by the limitations of public transport and there is a high demand to learn to drive, particularly in rural areas – more than 170,000 teenagers pass their driving test aged 17.

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