A consultation has been launched on the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). Providers of higher education, including colleges, have been asked to complete an online survey, which will close on 1 March 2019.
This forms part of an Independent Review of the framework by Dame Shirley Pearce, which will aim to ensure that the TEF is "robust, resilient and fit for purpose", according to the government. Dame Shirley expects to report to the education secretary this summer.
“This independent review is an important opportunity to take stock of the TEF from a constructively critical perspective,” she said in her foreword to the call for views document. “What do we really want TEF to do?"
Gold, silver and bronze
The TEF, first introduced in 2017, assesses universities and colleges offering higher education based on metrics of graduate employment, student retention and student satisfaction. It also takes into consideration any additional evidence submitted.
Awards are decided by an independent panel of experts comprising students and academics. In its first year, of the 106 further education colleges in the TEF, 14 achieved gold status, 46 were rated silver and 31 bronze, while 15 received a “provisional” rating.
In 2018, 46 more colleges were recognised. Two specialist land-based institutions – Myerscough College and Sparsholt College – achieved gold status, with 24 awarded silver, 15 bronze, while four received a “provisional” rating, valid for one year.
A gold award means that an institution is of the highest quality found in the UK, providing "consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students".