From education to employment

Tories will slash FE red tape

The amount of information colleges are forced to collect will be slashed under Conservative plans to abolish excessive red tape in further education.

Currently, up to 200 pieces of data must be collected for each course undertaken by each student, say the Conservatives, meaning a typical college employs 45 staff to work exclusively on collecting and entering data.

Speaking at the Association of College’s annual conference in Birmingham last week, David Willetts, the Shadow Universities and Skills Secretary, outlined his commitment to increase efficiency in the sector.

“There has been so much turbulence in skills policy in recent years that I am reluctant to propose yet more change. But as I have said before, by the time of the next election the skills landscape will be something between a bombsite and a building site,” said Mr Willetts.

“I do not relish the prospect of further change, but we think it is going to be necessary. The new arrangements are neither responsive nor sustainable enough. We need to move away from the current approach of more target-setting in Whitehall, more quangos and more red tape that saps frontline provision. Instead, we want to deliver a new compact between the centre and training providers of all types … Our ultimate goal is one funding body, one audit regime and one improvement body.”

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