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Unravel `complex web' of FE accountability, say MPs

MPs have called for a simplification of the "complex web of agencies" that FE providers report to. Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons' public accounts committee, said: "The Department needs to simplify the accountability framework for the sector to avoid over-burdening providers." The committee also said that the competitive market in post-16 education could act as a barrier to collaboration, which might help smaller providers match the results of larger ones. It said that the market also required better information for students to make choices about courses and clear criteria for intervention when providers are underperforming.

College film collaboration makes it to Raindance Festival

A feature film produced as part of a college programme to introduce young people to the movie industry is to be shown at the Raindance Festival. Julius Caesar, a retelling of Shakespeare's play, was made by The Co- operative British Youth Film Academy, a collaboration between more than a dozen colleges and The Co-operative Group. The academy has worked with more than 10,000 students since 2009, offering 14 to 25-year-olds the chance to work with professionals in the film industry, learning about everything from acting to make-up while producing a full-length feature film over the summer.

A-level stress affects lecturers, too, advises charity

A charity that operates a helpline for lecturers in FE has said that college staff need as much support as students when A-level results are released. Recourse, formerly the College and University Support Network, said that spending cuts and a lack of places in higher education were likely to leave college staff feeling overworked and harassed. Julian Stanley, chief executive of Recourse, said: "There will be a lot of unhappy people, including staff, and it is important that they all have a place they can go to get the appropriate advice."

Olympic infrastructure chief to chair City amp; Guilds

John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has been named as the future chairman of City amp; Guilds. A former chief executive of Network Rail, Mr Armitt will take over as chairman of City amp; Guilds governing council and trustee board in October 2012, after overseeing the pound;8 billion infrastructure programme for the Olympics. Mr Armitt said: "I believe in the importance of vocational education in supporting UK plc - a workforce that is fit for purpose is central to the achievement of sustainable economic growth. At this critical juncture for the UK economy, City amp; Guilds plays a vital role in supporting employers' continued investment in their staff."

Football star lends name to Hartlepool College academy

Hartlepool Sixth Form College has opened a football academy for girls, named after a former student who became an England international. Lindsay Johnson (pictured), a centre half for England and Everton, returned to her old college to open the academy, which will offer coaching and fitness training to students alongside their studies. The 31-year-old, who has been capped 43 times for her country, said she was "honoured" to be asked to lend her name to the academy. The college, which has sent 75 students to British Colleges Sport's national championships, also runs academies for rugby, netball and basketball.

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