The Policy Consortium is a group of experienced senior professionals, all with extensive track records in further education (FE) and skills. We work together as independent consultants to provide high-quality support for providers of education and training, sector organisations, government agencies and other clients with an interest in these areas.
New in February 2013 is The Policy Consortium’s response to the Consultation to establish a Guild for the Learning and Skills Sector, carried out by the Guild Development Project Team on behalf of the Association of Colleges, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
For a copy of our completed consultation response form click here.
For a copy of our earlier initial response to the FE Guild Consultation Project being undertaken by the AoC and partner organisations, click here.
Before the end of 2012 we also submitted a formal response to the consultation issued by BIS on Chartered Status for the Further Education Sector: Proposals to Create a Chartered Status Scheme for Further Education Institutions.
For a copy of this consultation response, please click here.
Our new think-piece for December 2012 is Chief Inspector’s annual report graded ‘unsatisfactory’ by Ian Nash, which takes Ofsted’s Chief Inspector to task for distorting the evidence arising from the latest round of inspections of FE colleges.
Reading the headline messages in Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw’s annual report, it is easy to be misled into thinking there are no outstanding colleges in England.
‘For the second year running, Ofsted did not judge a single college to be outstanding for teaching and learning,’ the media release accompanying the Ofsted report suggests. Such statements disregard the fact that under light-touch arrangements only 56 out of 341 colleges were inspected and that visits were skewed towards poorer performers.
For the full think-piece click here.
November’s think-piece is The FE Guild: a sea-change or just another pendulum swing? by Ian Nash, which queries the rush to have the new guild operational by 1st August 2013.
The accelerated move to create the guild as a single body to set professional standards and codes of behaviour highlights the difficult choices facing FE leaders in a new round of austerity cuts. The question is whether the sector will be left to its own devices and given time to make it work or whether rushed policy reform will lead to accusations of austerity measures implemented too far too fast.
For the full think-piece click here.
November 2012′s Viewpoint from Mick Fletcher – You can’t fight snobbery with snobbery – takes to task some of the proponents of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) for their downplaying of the vital role of FE.
For the full Viewpoint click here.
The Independent newspaper for Thursday 18th October 2012 carries a feature by Ian Nash on the implications for childcare training of recently announced government plans. To read Ian’s article click here.
The Policy Consortium welcomes another new member – Liz Walker. For Liz’s details click here.
The Policy Consortium has made a submission to the Commission for Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning, jointly with the Centre for Post-14 Research and Innovation, Institute of Education (IoE), University of London. Click here for a copy of the submission.
July’s think-piece is Lessons from Finland by Andrew Morris, which summarises a recent talk at the House of Commons by Dr Pasi Sahlberg of the Finnish Ministry of Education.
“Back in 1970 Finland was not a high-performing country; it ranked well below the OECD average and even further below the UK. But in that same year a huge problem of inequity was identified and understood as the underlying cause of multiple social problems. Reducing it became a political priority.”
”Over the following forty years Finland’s educational performance has risen steadily, exceeding the OECD average during the 1990s and rising subsequently to the top. Over the same period the OECD average itself has gradually risen while the performance of England (and other countries) has actually fallen. The cause is clearly attributed by Sahlberg to Finland’s pursuit of different policies, not simply to better implementation of similar policies. The key policy driver was an attack on inequity itself…”
The Policy Consortium welcomes a new member – Michael Frearson. For Michael’s details click here.
On our What The Papers Should Have Said page, Ian Nash notes further egregious examples of misreporting of inspection evidence, here .
What do you think?
The Policy Consortium’s earlier thinkpieces are also still available:
• Ian Nash on the Lingfield report on professionalism in FE, here .
• Sally Faraday and Carole Overton consider Vocational teaching and training – is there a better route to improving learning? here
• Nick Warren takes a light-hearted look at what 2012 holds in store for FE, here.
• Ian Nash looks at the ‘State of confusion’ – the world of FE as seen by the media, here.
•Nick Warren considers More plumbing, less pilates – ‘Mickey Mouse course’ accusations and the reputation of FE/HE, here.
• Peter Davies, Mick Fletcher and Maggie Greenwood look at HE in FE colleges under the new fees regime – a cloud with a silver lining?, here.
• Ian Nash asks Big Society or Big Business? Is there a future for the voluntary sector?, here.
• Mike Cooper considers Emerging from the Inspection pit, here.
• Mick Fletcher considers the Unanswered questions on the Wolf Report, here.
• Andrew Morris looks at Science as one of the Arts, here.
For more information and the full think-pieces, click here
• provide insight into developments in post-14 learning and skills through the production of summaries, analysis and commentaries that highlight the practical implications of the rapidly shifting policy environment for our clients;
• offer advice and project support in areas including research; evaluation; funding; employer engagement; equality and diversity; quality improvement; media, communications and marketing.
The Policy Consortium operates to deliver value-for-money outcomes. Our collaborative working methods harness more time, energy and resources than any one individual consultant could commit, without inflating the cost. Frequent discussions and iterations among our expert members result in well-rounded and robust results.
For further details of our experience, expertise, previous outputs and the services that we offer, please click on the About us, Members and Projects & Publications bars on the left.
For news about the Policy Consortium, our take on the latest developments in FE and skills, and related think-pieces from our members, please click on the News and Views and Latest Tweet bars. Do join in the debate by adding your own comments.
For information concerning government and other bodies working in FE and skills, please click on the Links bar.
To get in touch about possible ways in which we might assist your organisation, please click on the Contact us bar to the left and enter your details, or e-mail us directly via the Get in Touch link below.