FE backs funding and planning changes

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "FE backs funding and planning changes", Education + Training, Vol. 46 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/et.2004.00446eab.005



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

FE backs funding and planning changes

FE backs funding and planning changes

Further-education providers have overwhelmingly supported plans fundamentally to change the way the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funds and plans for the sector. Some 93 per cent of respondents were in favour of the proposals, which represent a radical change to funding further education and a significant step in the drive to reduce bureaucracy.

They include:

  • measures to make the funding system easier to understand and operate;

  • replacing the separate funding audit with a simpler “regularity audit” to reduce the workload of front-line staff and bring colleges in line with other public bodies;

  • ending the retrospective recovery of funds, or “claw back”, as allocations are increasingly aligned to plans; and

  • introducing a “provision and funding profile” to inform planning and to match planned provision to priority needs.

Geoff Daniels, director of funding policy and development, said: “Plan-led funding is a key part of the reform strategy embodied in Success for All and the Skills White Paper. It also puts into practice the recommendations of the Bureaucracy Task Force. The results of the consultation process showed a commitment on all sides to make a difference to the way we do business in further education. These proposals will be fundamental to the LSC’s new business cycle, which will simplify the planning, funding and performance-review processes within an annual cycle of strategic policy review and integrated planning guidance.”

The proposals were published in October 2003, as LSC circular 03/15 Plan-Led Funding for Further Education, and were followed by a formal consultation that ran until the end of December. More than 200 responses to the consultation were received, from further-education colleges, local education authorities, sixth-form colleges, schools, work-based learning providers, trade unions, other national organizations, sector and regional organizations, as well as individuals.

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