Further education: LSIS report aims to number problem providers

14th August 2009 at 01:00
A state-of-the-nation report is to be commissioned in a bid to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the English further education system

Original paper headline: LSIS state-of-sector annual report to stop short of naming and shaming

The report, to be commissioned by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, may become an annual fixture. It would stop short of naming and shaming poor providers but will attempt to put a figure on the number in difficulty.

Ruth Silver, LSIS board chair, believes an annual report would provide crucial support for LSIS's strategy to improve quality across further education by using experts already working in the sector.

"I want an annual state-of-the-sector report that will identify the strengths and the problems. Let's see what we find out. We can then build on that," Dame Ruth said.

She said the report would draw on existing information and data, including Ofsted inspections, but would also incorporate local insights into how providers are performing, using information from bodies such as the student Learner Panel.

"We will not name providers but may say that, for example, 42 colleges are in difficulty," Dame Ruth said.

The report fits into LSIS's wider strategy of self-improvement and innovation in FE, set out in the latest LSIS document, `Strategic Ambitions', published today.

It proposes rapid-response teams, of experts from across the sector, who would be available to help providers in trouble, many of whom will have been identified in the annual state-of-the-sector report. A register of willing and able troubleshooters would be compiled.

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