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Welsh colleges to seek partnerships

Colleges in Wales will be encouraged to collaborate and form partnerships to develop more learning opportunities in FE, following recommendations from a recent report.

The report reviewed current and future FE governance structures in the country.

During a Welsh Assembly debate, Education Minister Leighton Andrews accepted the report’s key recommendations of the report.

The purpose of the review was to ‘future proof’ governance structures so as to move with the emerging new structures of post-16 education and training in Wales, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and partnership.

It was also designed to tackle curriculum choices, unproductive competition between providers and surplus places in schools. In addition to this, the report expects more colleges to merge.

John Graystone, chief executive of the ColegauCymru/CollegesWales association, said: “Colleges have been anticipating the Minister’s response to the report on education structures and have been pressing ahead with plans for achieving more efficiencies whilst maintaining high quality delivery.

“I am pleased that the report recognises that FE colleges are keen to collaborate with others for the benefit of learners and that it notes the determination within the FE sector to develop more opportunities for learning through the medium of Welsh.”

He added: “Colleges have been working with an increasingly wide range of partners over recent years to raise quality through making savings through sharing services with others in order to protect and improve front line education services.”

As well as making recommendations based on its findings, the report commended FE colleges for their achievements, which went beyond the Welsh government’s quality targets.
Mr Graystone: “I am delighted that both independent reports have recognised Wales’ colleges as high quality institutions that work hard to deliver value for money for the benefit of individual learners and economy as a whole.

“Colleges recognise the need to work collaboratively with others to achieve greater efficiency, to maintain high quality and to offer choice to learners. That is the agenda we are pursuing and we are committed to continuing the pursuit of that goal.”

Mark Astley

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