From education to employment

LSC Proceed Apace with “Reduction in Bureaucracy Across the Whole System”

Government policy on Further Education, as outlined by the most recent White Paper housing the above quote, at least has the right intention.

Perhaps some of its employees need to address some fundamental skills inherent to FE, such as communication between departments. Because the recent appointment of nine Regional Chairs to the Learning and Skills Council would at first glance suggest that the mantra of reducing bureaucracy has been somewhat overlooked.

Regional Appointments

According to the LSC, the appointment of these Regional Chairs who will lead the Regional Boards “will allow the LSC to drive forward its work in the regions and develop further relationships with key partners.” Still, read on further and the parity between the ethos of the White Paper and the appointment of the Regional Chairs seems to make sense and match up.

Ambitiously, the White Paper sets out important targets for FE to aim, including, “new, national sector-based networks of vocational providers led by NSA’s [that] will be increasingly important in driving improvement. These networks will be characterised by their strong links with employers, raising standards, reputation and motivation.”

Singing from the same song-sheet, Chris Banks, chairman of the LSC, asserts that the boards “will be responsible for promoting the LSC regionally to external organisations as well as building and maintaining connections with stakeholders and partners, encouraging them to work positively with the LSC.” Further still, the White Paper sets out, “alongside this stronger sense of purpose,” to “make a decisive shift towards a system that is driven by the needs of service users.” Thankfully, somebody from the Department of Education and Skills (DfES) realised where FE was going wrong for the last twenty years, focusing on the needs of, well, someone else, of course.

Possibly predictably, the LSC follow suit. “The new Regional Chairs will help ensure that the work we do is meeting the needs of learners and employers effectively,” explains Chris. “The Regional Chairs have been appointed to ensure that national and regional priorities are delivered in a way that best meets local needs.”

The New Regional Chairs

The nine Regional Chairs are: North East, James Ramsbotham, Chair of LSC Co Durham and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Esh Group (construction); North West, Roger Hoyle, Chair of LSC Merseyside and former Chief Executive of the Liverpool Health Authority; West Midlands, Mike Beasley, Chair of LSC Birmingham and Solihull and former MD and PLC Board member of Jaguar Cars; Yorkshire and Humber, Clive Leach, Chair of LSC West Yorkshire and former Group Chief Executive and Chairman of Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television plc.

Continuing: East Midlands, John Kirkland, Chair of LSC Derbyshire and Chairman of Bowmer and Kirkland Group (construction); East of England, Jim McGivern, Chair of LSC Bedfordshire and Luton and 35 years of Senior Management in the Hospitalities industry; South East, Norman Boyland, Chair of LSC Sussex and Director and former Vice President of Operations and SmithKline Beecham; South West, John Savage, Chair of LSC West of England and Executive Chairman of Business West (Chamber of Commerce); and for London, Rod Kenyon, Chair of LSC London West and Director of the British Gas Engineering Academy.

Implementing White Paper strategies for progress is what makes a great government. Although this does mark a cut in the total number of jobs in the LSC, using those headlines to justify further red tape and administration will undoubtedly undermine the fine work already accomplished by those in FE. The so called “cloak and dagger” deceptiveness intended to confound will not prove a lasting policy the public will adhere to.

Vijay Pattni

For all the latest FE News, bookmark FE News!

Related Articles