What are the implications for vocational learning if loans take-up crumbles?

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First roll out then roll back? is an interesting piece by RSA’s Chief Executive Matthew Taylor about outsourcing and payment by results (PbR) in the public sector, with what is a fairly chilling conclusion:

“Opponents of outsourcing focus on the transfer of public funding and assets to the private and not for profit sectors. Critics of PbR worry that it may not lead to improvements in outcomes. But perhaps both are missing the point. The longer term, deeper impact of introducing payment by results in a context of austerity may be to provide a rationale for an unprecedented narrowing of the social outcomes for which Government accepts accountability.”

The same logic could be applied to the current FE loans experiment. Has the government thought through the implications for vocational learning if loans are not taken up and provision crumbles? There are many in the sector who worry that the implications have not been thought through: but if in truth they have been and government faces the prospect of level 3 meltdown with equanimity the picture could be even worse.

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