`The time has come for transparency'

6th June 2014 at 01:00
Unions welcome news of release of commissioner's findings

The government is to start publishing summaries of the findings of the FE commissioner, it has been announced.

Dr David Collins - the first person to hold the post - and five advisers were appointed last November as part of a drive to improve standards. He has intervened in about 10 failing providers and will publish his first annual report in the autumn.

Last week the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) announced that it would also be releasing summaries of his findings and conclusions from each of the individual assessments, although it will not disclose the full reports.

It said the summaries would allow governing bodies and senior executives at FE providers to learn lessons and help them to ensure that learners received high-quality provision.

Bis has also published a document setting out how the FE commissioner will tackle underperformance in the sector, how the intervention process works and how it will communicate when and where he will be intervening.

An intervention can be triggered by an inadequate rating from Ofsted, failure to meet national minimum performance standards set by Bis or the Department for Education, or inadequate financial health or management. The commissioner then advises ministers on the actions needed to address concerns and they charge institutions with making the necessary changes.

A University and College Union spokesperson said: "We need to see the details of these reports to better understand what has happened and to ensure lessons are learned. The time has come for proper transparency in the sector."

Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: "There needs to be a balance between the need for openness and transparency [and] ensuring that any information published following a visit from the FE commissioner doesn't disadvantage the college in question. The procedure, as set out by Bis, seems a fair compromise between these two factors."

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