John Brennan: Why is the Connexions service not working?

The transition to adulthood is difficult for many young people, which is why the Government established the Connexions service to provide tailored advice to all 13- to 19-year-olds. Through a website and local advisers, it promises universal help for young people to find the right courses, plan for careers, use money wisely and deal with teenage relationship and family troubles. In theory, it was a good idea because traditional careers advice for all would be supplemented by extra support for those young people who were at risk of dropping out of education. But in practice it doesn't seem to be working.

Who will guard the guards?

After the Deepcut tragedy, the Army is opening its doors to outside inspectors

John Brennan: Mind the gap (between schools and colleges)

Labour ministers worry about what pollsters call "the perception gap".

Learning pays

Get cash to study? Pilot schemes indicate that EMAs could make a big difference to teenagers, says Elaine Williams

Scratching a living

DJing seems so left-field it's surprising there are so many college courses available in it. Marcus Freed cues up a few of the success stories

Picking up the pieces

Staff morale can be badly affected at colleges criticised by Ofsted inspectors. Neil Merrick hears how some institutions are questioning the inspection process

The poor relations

Improved funding has made a difference to colleges. But only more money will quell growing levels of staff discontent, says Beryl Pratley

Kick-start for training

Apprenticeships have been in decline for some time. But a new government push is aiming to raise their profile and popularity, says Steve McCormack

Leading article: College SOS

The funding crisis in further-education colleges was highlighted last week when more than 200 principals, lecturers and students held a rally at the House of Commons.

Seat of learning

Do you have a great novel in you? Want to know more about real ale? One picturesque adult-education retreat has it all

Study breaks with a view

Fancy taking a course at a historic house in a beautiful setting? Gareth Rubin shows you how

Leading article: Apprentices need reform

The education establishment seems to think that it is a good thing for children as young as 14 to be able to take up to two days off school each week to learn a trade under the Government's radical shake-up of apprenticeships.

Careers for women on tap

It may be a wrench for men, but they're having to get used to more and more female plumbers. Fran Abrams finds out why - and how - women can train

Brains, not brawn

His critics were afraid that John Brennan would be too unassuming to run the Association of Colleges. Not so, says Simon Midgley
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