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Quality improvement

It was good to read the article (TES, March 11) on the Learning and Skills Council's quality strategy ("Put Colleges in the Driving Seat") and to read David Hunter's letter about Lifelong Learning UK and the new Quality Improvement Agency. What these items demonstrate are two very important features of the way the new Quality Improvement Agency will need to work.

First, there is a very strong consensus among key agencies including LLUK and LSC that quality improvement is the responsibility of teachers, trainers, tutors, managers and organisations.

What agencies can and must do is to understand their needs, support their efforts and operate jointly to make good practice the norm in the sector.

Second, what will need to be clear to all those working in the sector is that the relevant national agencies are working together coherently in support of the sector's efforts to improve services for students and trainees. The two items last week should be seen very clearly as early examples of this "joined-up thinking".

There is still work to be done on both these fronts and as the new Quality Improvement Agency takes shape it will work to strengthen this co-operative support for a self-improving sector.

Andrew Thomson

Chief Executive, Learning and Skills Development Agency

Argyll Street, London W1.

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