Abi: access student

My life had come crashing down. I’d lost a lot of my confidence. I had heard about this course. I signed up and it changed my life.

Claire: teacher educator

'I think it's important for my students to become critical and to look at the world around them.'


Overview of the project


Transformational Further Education: Empowering People & Communities.

This research aims to understand and provide evidence of how the further education (FE) sector is vital in transforming lives and communities in 21st century Britain. To provide a frame of reference, which is underpinned and driven by excellence in the sector, the study will provide learners and teachers with the opportunity to tell their stories, linking the distinctness of FE to the impact it has on individuals, society and the economy, and strongly drawing out the role of the teacher in making a difference to quality teaching and learning.

vickyThe two researchers undertaking this project, Vicky Duckworth and Rob Smith aim to inform and facilitate UCU’sfunding-interview empowering and inclusive vision of FE and will be a rich source of evidence to draw upon in campaigning work in order to influence policy makers and shape policy.

Watch our introductory video below.


Lucy: SEN Manager and teacher

Lucy is a manager for SEN provision in a college near Manchester.   The college runs courses for students with a diverse range of special educational needs. These courses provide progression for learners into mainstream and vocational courses. An important aspect of these courses is the employment placement component where learners get hands on experience…

Claire: Psychology teacher

Claire is a Psychology teacher in a further education college. Claire sees transformative learning as an integral aspect of her pedagogical approach. She is interested in researching the potential gains to be had from researching the conditions that give rise to transformative educational experiences.               In the longer term,…

Kate: Dance teacher

Kate teaches Dance in an FE college.   Here, she recounts her journey as a learner coming from a difficult background and overcoming significant personal barriers before rediscovering a positive learning identity.          This inspirational story illustrates how further education can be a key ingredient in mending damaged lives and restoring hope,…