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.


Jennifer Addo: Transformative Teaching and Learning scholar

Jennifer works at South and City College Birmingham where she is a middle manager. She is also undertaking research and studying for a doctorate. In this video Jenn tells the story of how she first entered further education and why. She outlines the power of theory and how it is important for positioning oneself in…

Resources of Hope

Dear students, teachers, educationalists, researchers and the local and wider community,   We hope you are keeping well and safe in what is a unprecedented time. We are aware that many will be self-isolating and with the current lock-down, home will be your haven. In these times when a lot of teaching is shifting online,…

Reimagining further education 2019

We have created an audio collage of different voices of students and teachers from across the country. They give a sense of the difficult issues currently faced by colleges as well as of the inspiring narratives that continue to inspire. This audio collage was first aired as part of the Reimagining Further Education Conference at…

Eugene: from student to teacher

Extracts from an interview from the “FE in England: Transforming Lives and Communities Project” – carried out by Vicky Duckworth & Rob Smith and commissioned by UCU. Eugene talks about his journey: from leaving school with no GCSEs, through further education at college and ultimately ending with a Masters qualification. He now works in HE.…