Failing colleges face intervention under skills plan

Apr 3, 2013 by

Underperforming further education colleges in England are to face a tougher regime, as the government launches its skills strategy.

There will be an “administered college” status which will place restrictions on spending and staff.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock promised “swift and effective action” where colleges were inadequate.

There will also be £77m extra capital funding, plus a further £137m from colleges, to benefit 47 colleges.

Inspectors have found two out of three colleges are outstanding or good – but there are also 4% which are identified as being inadequate.

Construction projects

The Rigour and Responsiveness in Skills strategy sets out plans for a more rapid intervention.

A further education commissioner will advise ministers on how to improve colleges which are inadequate.

This might include the “administered college” status, where the college will have to surrender control of spending and assets.

Struggling colleges could also have their governing bodies replaced or be completely dissolved.

“Where colleges are failing learners we will be knocking on their doors and take swift and effective action.

“It is a dereliction of duty to let failing colleges teach young people. We will not fail in our duty to act,” said Mr Hancock.

“All providers should meet tough standards of rigour and responsiveness. Through these reforms we will be able to intervene without hesitation where they fall short.”

There is also a combined investment of £214m in 47 colleges, funding projects including a construction training centre and “automotive technology hub”.


“This new investment in college capital is a very welcome acknowledgement of their contribution to economic recovery,” said Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges.

“New buildings and facilities improve the student experience and help attract further investment from business

“All colleges strive to improve and we will continue to discuss with government how best to intervene on the rare occasions when they fail.”

Neil Carberry, the CBI’s director for employment and skills policy, said: “The UK needs a skills system that will properly equip our workforce to compete globally and support long-term growth.

“The government’s skills strategy identifies that this requires a demand-led system, with businesses squarely in the driving seat.

“The challenge now is to successfully hand over control to employers to refocus training on industry needs and getting people into jobs and good careers – this will require a shake-up of the funding system.”

via BBC News – Failing colleges face intervention under skills plan.

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