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New 'freedoms and flexibilities' for FE sector
Start Quote "We want to free the system so it is more responsive, so that colleges and providers can make the offer that’s most appropriate to their communities" End Quote
Bobbie McClelland, Deputy Director for Post-19 Landscape, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

 

Empowering students is at the heart of the changes in the Education Act, introduced at the end of this week, Bobbie McClelland told an audience at Shared Services for Further Education – Strategies for Results.
“Our vision is of a much simpler FE system by 2015,” the Deputy Director for Post-19 Landscape, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said, in a keynote address on sharing services and focusing resources.
“We’re looking for a market-responsive system. A new government and sector relationship; freed-up colleges and providers, and most importantly, well-served learners and employers,”
Ms McClelland said the changes will give ‘significant freedoms and flexibilities to governing boards to think about how they can operate in different ways through different delivery models, including opportunities for shared services across federations and things like that.’
Public funding for adult learning is being changed, to target ‘those individuals that we can impact on most.’
“We want the sector to be demand-led,” she explained.
“We want learners and employers to make effective choices and for funding to follow their choices. We want to free the system so it is more responsive, so that colleges and providers can make the offer that’s most appropriate to their communities, whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
Ms McClelland also spoke of ‘bureaucracy-busting initiatives’, a simplified FE and skills system and a City Skills Fund.
“FE and skills is important in growing the economy and growing the people of our economy,” she added.
“The sector provides a huge range of services; it’s one of the most diverse sectors... supporting all types of people and businesses.”
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