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QIA says wide range of programmes has made impact on the industry.

The Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) has published its first annual review since it came into being in April 2006, claiming to have saved £23 million on the cost of programmes which have come under their control.

In its first year, over 140,000 individuals took part in the agency’s Skills for Life Improvement Programme with 155,000 participating in QIA’s 14-19 programmes. The new Improvement Adviser Service, created initially to help struggling providers to improve, enabled 89 per cent of those that used the service to improve inspection grades. This service is now being extended to providers already performing well that are looking to improve still further.

QIA Chief Executive Andrew Thomson said: “I am delighted that in our first year we have been able to make such a big impact in such a short time. Not only have we led the development of the first ever national improvement strategy but we have also delivered a wide range of programmes all of which have been well received and contributed to improved performance across the further education system.

“We have done so while delivering significant efficiency savings amounting to nearly £23 million and while developing new programmes that will support providers in the further education system for years to come.”

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The review sets out the QIA’s priorities for the coming year which include supporting colleges and providers in a demand-led system, supporting self-regulation, refreshing the National Improvement Strategy and supporting 14-19 reforms and Leitch implementations

Andrew Thomson continued: “Our work in our first year has shown clearly that colleges and providers that adopt a “whole organisation” approach to quality improvement will realise the biggest benefits for those they serve. Over the next year, we will be encouraging all colleges and providers to deal with quality improvement holistically and to join up the various programmes they use so as to maximise the opportunities they offer.”

Minister of State, Bill Rammell, MP said: “I am pleased that QIA has had such a successful year and has done so much to raise the profile of quality and improvement. The services which QIA offer add real value to colleges and providers as they strive to raise standards and performance. QIA’s record shows the considerable contribution it has made in supporting and developing our further education system.”

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