Beware rushing in a funding model that is too simplistic

29th May 2009 at 01:00

It is not clear how punishing colleges financially will force them to improve. A more likely scenario is that those with less money will slip further into decline.

How will withholding funds translate into better classroom performance by tutors and students? Isn't it more likely that good tutors will move on and those who stay will be demoralised? This may be excusable if the aim is to close down poorly performing colleges, but how many students will suffer?

This is another example of inappropriate market-led business models being applied to education. The Learning and Skills Council has tried to manipulate the curriculum and raise standards by a complex funding regime that has raised administrative overheads to a ridiculous level. It has put pressure on colleges to increase retention and achievement, but as this is driven by financial incentives, education has become contorted to fit the needs of the LSC and institutions, not those of students and local community.

The LSC should consider what really motivates people and produces successful education: an intrinsic drive to teach, not a response to financial formula.

John Linfoot, Bournemouth.

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