From education to employment

Haysom and Rammell Hail New and Radical Approach

In response to the Government’s recent Further Education White paper promoting excellence in the sector, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has launched a consultation on a new Performance Assessment Framework for the FE System.

The new Framework will be developed between September and December 2006 before being published, with guidance in June 2007. It will then be implemented in full across FE and sixth form colleges and work based learning providers by August 2007, providing easily understood measures of performance used to promote excellence and the reputation of the FE sector.

A Guide to Excellence

The Framework will measure performance against a scorecard of seven key indicators including responsiveness to the needs of learners and employers, effectiveness, financial health and control. There will also be an overall performance rating based on these key indicators, which will then be published for all to see. Furthermore, a set of standards will define levels of excellence and minimum levels of performance.

The Chief Executive of the LSC, Mark Haysom, said: “This is a new and radical approach to assessing performance and recognising excellence in the FE sector. It forms a vital part of the work that we are doing to respond to the Governments FE White Paper and improve the reputation of provision”.

Getting Results

With the implementation of the Framework, the overall performance ratings given to colleges and providers should ensure that excellence is clearly recognised and that they will obtain justified reputations for being a well-managed public service. This would give employers and members of the public the opportunity to make more informed choices about the best college or provider for their needs.

The Framework should also allow value for money and for the return on public funds to be assessed, whilst also minimising bureaucracy and the burden of assessment by different bodies. Sir George Sweeney, Principal of Knowsley Community College said: “I am a firm believe that the FE sector should strive towards achieving a framework of self regulation. I see the introduction of the Framework for Excellence as the next big step to achieving that goal.”

Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell MP, has publicly supported the Framework, saying: “The Framework for Excellence is a new approach to performance management. Both learners and employers will be able to identify the very best provision for their needs. It will also give colleges and others the information they need to help them improve their standards, specialise and focus on business needs and skills for employability. We want excellence for all and look forward to working with colleges to achieve it.

“Our FE system is a great national resource from which learners and employers deserve the best,” continued Bill. “The sweeping reforms in our recent White Paper will strengthen it to make it fully responsive to the needs of our economy and local communities. The Framework for Excellence, as a key measure underpinning the National Improvement Strategy, will help change the FE landscape.”

Joel Goldman

Find out about all of FE’s monkey business in From the FE Trenches!

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