This article examines the circumstances affecting creative teaching and learning within the specific context of English further education (FE) - a sector which has proved to be particularly fertile ground for performativity. Beginning with an analysis of notions of creativity in education and a description of the peculiar history and policy context of FE, the article problematises the relationship between representations of creativity and the current situation of teachers and learners. Drawing on a range of empirical studies and policy analyses, it is argued that FE is increasingly positioned at the 'lower end' of a largely class-based division of post-compulsory education in England. In such a division, the authors argue, meaningful creativity is difficult to achieve. Within the performative context of FE, attempts to interpret official discourse on creativity may only serve to reproduce and exacerbate existing inequalities in education.