Clear the bureaucracy jungle now

8th December 2006 at 00:00

The Leitch review is about much more than giving employers control over what colleges teach. It is a blueprint for wresting control of FE from the three big Government departments and handing it to a commission.

The creation of a Commission for Employment and Skills is a central proposal by Lord Sandy Leitch, former head of Zurich Financial Services.

The commission would be employer-run, driving the UK skills agenda. It would decide the terms of engagement for colleges and other providers, ensuring state spending on vocational education was in response to demand.

Under current legislation, such a body would be pushed and pulled three ways by the Department for Education and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Trade and Industry.

Instead, under the new Leitch vision, shared by the Chancellor Gordon Brown, the commission would report direct to the Prime Minister. Of course, Brown expects to hold the post if or when the reforms happen.

There is no doubt the Treasury-commissioned review would not have been published in the way it was unless Brown and Blair backed it. The big question for colleges is: will this lead to greater centralisation or finally free them from the three giant departments that have created more bureaucracy over 10 years than almost any other?

Will colleges see much difference? They are progressing well down the road to demand-led training and Leitch is confident they will do better. There will be tough targets and high levels of accountability. But these recommendations offer the chance to clear the bureaucracy jungle once and for all.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now