Minister's bid to provide 'transparency' about role of FE commissioner

The skills minister has written to the FE commissioner to outline what her expectations are from him in the year ahead

George Ryan

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Anne Milton has formally set out her expectations of the FE commissioner Richard Atkins in a bid to “provide more transparency” about his role.

Atkins, a former principal and chief executive at Exeter College and Yeovil College, and ex-president of the Association of Colleges (AoC) was confirmed as the new FE commissioner in October 2016.

In her letter, Milton commended Atkins for his work and highlighted that after his intervention 14 providers that were rated inadequate by Ofsted at start of last academic year have now all improved or merged with a stronger provider.

“Given that you have a wide remit, and your knowledge and expertise gained through your extensive experience in further education is constantly in demand, I felt that it would be helpful to write to you to set out my expectations formally,” Milton wrote. “I hope this will help you to plan and focus even more effectively, and provide more transparency around your role.”

She added: “It has been a pleasure working with you since I became skills minister and I hope we can both see our efforts bring the college education that people rightly expect and deserve.”


  • To ensure colleges that trigger formal intervention improve as quickly as possible, and that improvement is sustained.
  • To ensure, through the diagnostic assessment process, that fewer colleges fall into formal intervention.
  • To help ensure that FE provision is financially sustainable, through facilitating appropriate and effective restructuring where necessary.
  • To provide leadership to the FE college sector and help bring together organisations that fund, monitor and seek to improve colleges, in order to accelerate quality improvement, and strengthen the capacity of the sector to improve itself.
  • To ensure that ministers and policy officials have a wide range of evidence and advice to inform policy development and implementation.
  • To lead a team of deputies and advisors.
  • Through all of your functions, to strengthen leadership and governance in FE colleges, and further develop peer support and the sharing of good practice amongst colleges.

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George Ryan

George Ryan

George Ryan is a further education reporter for tes

Find me on Twitter @GeorgeMRyan

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