An independent voice for the sector: the Further Education 'Elders'

A FETL provocation by Dame Ruth Silver

The Elders is an international organisation of public figures first brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to work
together ‘for peace and human rights’.

It is easy to scoff at such interventions and to question the motives and good faith of those involved, and I offer no opinion on the success or otherwise of this organisation, or on the qualifications of its respective members. I am more concerned with the guiding idea, that there is a need for an independent, worldly wise stewarding body/oversight organisation made up of senior figures that represent the collective memory, knowledge and experience of a sector or tradition, and its applicability to further education and skills. It is to this notion that this ‘provocation’ is directed.

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