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UCU condemns plans by TES to drop further education coverage

11 August 2021

UCU has called on TES to rethink the plan to cut coverage of further education, describing it as a disaster for the sector

In a letter to TES, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

I write on behalf of the University and College Union to register our dismay at the decision made recently to stop all coverage of the further education sector in TES. 

TES has, for many years, provided a crucial service to the hundreds of colleges, thousands of staff, and millions of students in further education and ensured that the sector was given the coverage and publicity it both needs and deserves. 

With the benefits and importance of further education being finally recognised by government and others, now is the time to be championing the sector, not abandoning when adult education will be vital in our recovery from the pandemic. 

The closure of this part of your publication will be a disaster for the sector and we urge you reconsider the decision. As you will have seen from the responses on social media and the letters you have already received, there is almost universal condemnation of the plan and we cannot see any justifiable reason. 

You are also turning your back on a sizable market with this decision, over 200,000 staff in further education alone, and your established voice that could the champion of a growing and increasingly vibrant sector. 

Further education needs champions if is the sector is to continue to do the vital and transformative work that we all know it is capable of. By removing further education from your publication, you have cut off an important voice for staff, students and employers across the country. 

On behalf of a sector that has for too long been at an unfair disadvantage, I implore you to reconsider this negative and destructive decision. 

I would like to put on record thanks from the University and College Union to Julia Belgutay for her work in promoting our sector over the years, her excellent journalism and professionalism. She will be a huge loss to TES and I wish her all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely, 

Jo Grady
General Secretary, University and College Union 

Cced to: Gillian Keegan MP, Robert Halfon MP and Baron Jo Johnson

Last updated: 11 August 2021