Stephen Exley

Commissioner’s new guiding role: hatchet man or helping hand?

Expert advice to become available as part of an expanded ‘self-improving system’

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If the FE commissioner turns up at your college’s reception, the situation is already grave. At present, Richard Atkins and his team of deputies are drafted in to intervene in cases when a college fails an Ofsted inspection, or is found to be financially inadequate.

But a radical expansion of the commissioner’s role is on the way. Rather than simply being summoned to deal with failing colleges, changes are being drawn up that would also make the FE commissioner the first port of call for institutions in need of advice and support.

In July, education secretary Justine Greening announced plans ...

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