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AoC responds to launch of an ONS consultation into the status of colleges

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges

Responding to the launch of an ONS consultation into the status of colleges, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:

“It’s important to understand the decision to hold a consultation – and the review itself – is taken by the ONS and DfE and politicians are not driving it. How the government responds to any changes, if indeed there are any, is largely up to them.

“Many other institutions deemed by ONS to be public sector operate under a variety of different rules already. Colleges in Scotland and Northern Ireland are now public sector and we have been learning from their experiences since that happened.

“Nonetheless, this is a significant review, and we will be active in the discussions to inform any decisions by ONS, and help them navigate the framework of laws, policies and rules which govern the relationship between DfE and colleges. Our initial sense is that DfE is taking a very open-minded approach to see what positives this might bring as well as trying to avoid any potential negatives, should ONS decide to make a change in status.”

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