The ranking is sensitive to the time period considered, the financial metric chosen and the methodology used to calculate composite ranking. Given this limitation, it should be interpreted with due caution.
The results from this analysis (shown in Figure 19) show considerable variation in college performance post-merger. For example, the best performing merger across all three metrics is South Essex College of Further and Higher Education where the profit margin increased by 8%, staff costs reduced by 6% and the level of debt as a proportion of income fell by 5% compared to the three years pre-merger. At the other end of the spectrum is K College where profits fell considerably, and staff costs and debt increased significantly.
21. Four of the new EMA pilots will focus on transpor t.
The DfEE has recognised not only the key role that transpor t can play in suppor ting par ticipation, but also the potential complexity of the issue. The need for transport support is affected not just by parental income but also by the location of the student’s home and the pattern of transport. FEDA is currently under taking an enquir y into home-to-college transport, which may help provide useful background information to shape the pilots and subsequent schemes. In the shor t term, however, colleges near to the four transpor t pilots – in Worcester, Suffolk, Sunderland and nor th-east Lincolnshire – need to be aware that arrangements there will cut across existing patterns of suppor t.
This paper has examined official data relating to HE in FE students to try to explain the resilience of college-based provision and the stability of the
proportion of HE students in colleges. It has argued that this stability can be best explained by placing HE in FE with a broader educational context and, above all, within the inequality of English society. Just as that inequality is stable, so are the markers of that inequality, including HE in FE, which caters for older, poorer, more disadvantaged students. While widening participation policy may have achieved its aims within a conceptualisation of human capital and up-skilling, widening participation is not the same as social mobility, never mind social justice. Thus, HE in FE does not lessen social or economic disadvantages within a society that it can only reflect and never, alone, transform. Nonetheless, HE in FE can transform lives. That is where college-based practitioners may be best to place their emphasis and so produce courses and curricula that value knowledge and that also may analyse and challenge assumptions about social mobility.
In this instance the sample would not need to be large (probably around 1,000) but surveying would have to continue for quite a few years to evidence the wider economic impact. Given the time lag between graduating with a qualification and making a significant contribution to a new business, it is not sufficient to study student outcomes only for a year or so afterwards. In addition it is important not only to track journeys into starting new businesses but also into building small businesses and contributing to the growth of established businesses using the knowledge, skills and competences developed. The Danish longitudinal study outlined in section 3.3 provides an example of how a new longitudinal study could be designed. The survey is not tracking a very large number of students (400 are proposed) but will do so for seven years. Postgraduate students were selected because they tend to be older and therefore more likely to progress to enterprise outcomes within the time frame of the study and the study would provide some evidence within a few years. Tracking undergraduates from entry to HE would require a longer time frame to yield results. Cooperation and coordination with the Danish study would allow comparative research.
Impact of e-learning on teaching
There were strong similarities between the areas where lecturers used e-learning and where they perceived it to be effective, with the most commonly reported impacts being on planning, preparation and sharing materials with lesser effects on aspects of the teaching-learning interface and the smallest impacts on administration and management or efficiency. For instance, around three-quarters of lecturers considered that they were able to prepare for teaching, through researching and creating materials, more effectively as a result of e-learning. A smaller proportion (around two-thirds) felt that they were more effective in presenting information in front of the class and in making course materials available to learners due to e-learning use, with around a half believing they were more effective at developing learners’ understanding. However, just over a quarter felt they were more effective at tracking learners’ progress, and only one third felt that e-learning had assisted them to save time.
For all of the respondents, the most significant influence on how they conducted their work came from their immediate line manager. When asked which factors empowered them in their roles, all participants mentioned one or more relating to how managers created a sense of empowerment or constraint. These included: ‘relationships based on trust’, ‘freedom to run courses as they wished’ or, more generally, ‘a line manager who was considered to be supportive’. These findings have some similarities to other literature (Harris and Muijs, 2003; Politis, 2010; Davis et al., 2012) and highlight the importance of the teacher’s agency to construct their work in innovative ways. In one example, such agency was achieved, not necessarily through ‘legitimate’ consent from a line manager, but by virtue of location and not working at the main college site:
Teaching for learning rather than teaching for assignments. (Sara, 10-11) Sara was concerned that most Science lessons in her placement college were theoretical and lacked the essential practical element of an applied course.
She was surprised at the lack of laboratory equipment to carry out practical experiments and, where the equipment was in existence, it seemed to be poorly maintained and rarely, if ever, used. In discussions with members of the department there was an acknowledgement of the value of experiments but a reluctance to carry them out was attributed to time constraints in completing assignments. Essentially it was felt to be too time consuming, even though there would be learning benefits to the students. Sara took steps to test an item of equipment and was able to bring it into working order for a student practical to be carried out. She reported that the experiment, which allowed the students to apply knowledge and see it in action rather than simply discuss it in assignments, was successful and well received. She also commented on a significant rise in student motivation and understanding of a key concept after this single experiment. However, whilst acknowledging the positive contribution to student learning, staff discouraged the trainee from carrying out experiments on a regular basis because of time pressures in completing assignments to target grade levels. (Field notes, March 2011) It is significant that departmental colleagues acknowledged the value of practical experiments yet felt discouraged from carrying them out as assessment was by written assignment and to strict deadlines. Such experiments amounted to a desirable rather than an essential component of the learning process as the emphasis was on meeting set criteria within the Pass, Merit or Distinction grading bands and attaining the highest grades possible for students. The trainee felt that the lack of practical experiments resulted in a depth of conceptual understanding being sacrificed: essentially the ‘process’ element of learning was being removed as it was time consuming.
Assembly Learning Grant in her second year when she became 19. The college also arranged for the student to have a bus pass and free meals through the Financial Contingency Fund provided by the Welsh Government. The college’s Designated Person for Looked-after Children and Care Leavers provided pastoral support and acted as an advocate in college, and linked in with her social worker, lecturers and personal tutor. A learning coach was alsoarranged for the student to provide additional academic support. Being an independent young person, the student initially found returning to full time education a challenge. However, during the first year she attended the Reaching Wider Summer University Scheme, which developed her aspiration to study criminology at university. The student has returned for her second year at college with more focus and improved attendance, and has submitted her university application for 2011 entry.
There continue to be numerous anomalies in the way the social security system treats those pursuing educational and training courses. Indeed, these inconsistencies are increasing with the introduction of the new Welfare to Work initiatives. As a result, the social security system is getting even more complex for those wishing to study and train. For example, part-time students undertaking ESF funded courses are treated differently from those on FEFC funded courses. In the Workskill Pilot schemes, introduced in April 1997, more flexible study rules are being piloted to see if they improve unemployed people’s job prospects. 26 Under the Welfare to Work Initiative, young unemployed people aged 18–24 are allowed to study full-time under one of the four New Deal options which started nationally in April 1998. Similarly, under the New Deal for the long-term unemployed that started nationally in June 1998, some over 25 year olds are permitted to take a full-time course. Both these groups will continue to be entitled to claim social security benefits, but for others who cannot take advantage of the Welfare to Work options, the 16 hour rule will remain in place as a main route into education and training.
and the impact of mergers should be evaluated rigorously.
Governments in Northern Ireland and Wales have recently taken the decision to move to a smaller network of regional colleges because they believe that greater critical mass will allow colleges to exploit economies of scale, improve the use of investment, increase coherence across the sector, and enhance the status of colleges. The published reviews for both countries do not include any evidence that larger colleges are necessarily more effective, or that collegemergers result in net benefits. The Webb Review for the Welsh Assembly Government does cite evidence that efficiency savings could have a significant impact when an FE institution reaches a turnover of around £15 million, but this evidence is not provided in the report.
What’s important for me as a professional? Exploring teaching strategies that can be adapted to different pedagogical challenges that are presented over the delivery of our courses.
Many staff commented on the impact of FE delivery expectations on their approach to teaching HE
programmes. These latter are required to meet HEI and QAA expectations. Previous research conducted by MEG 7 had looked at the various approaches to HE delivery and concluded that FE colleges appeared to adopt one of two broad pathways. Large-volume providers (those with over 900 HE FTE) were more likely to organise their HE provision separately from their FE. These institutions took the view that, in HE terms, their level of critical mass warranted a separate system of organisation. Some also had a separate building for their HE programmes or at least a suite of rooms in one area of the college and it was more likely that their HE staff taught mainly or only HE. Small and medium-volume providers were more likely to maintain an integrated approach with HE programmes based in their departmental area. Staff were more likely to teach both FE and HE.
“as assessment with dyslexia, which I wanted to have but was dragged to such a long process and had to give up and fund myself – support not helpful at all.”.
Indeed support for mature learners with disabilities can be problematic in that, younger learners may well have had a relevant assessment in their school and can easily apply for a Disabled Student Grant. For learners who have not had a formal disability assessment, most often a dyslexia assessment, they are often required to fund the initial assessment themselves before local authority support is forthcoming. This process can be lengthy and students are often in a “catch 22 situation” that they need to be in education to get support but they need the support in order to progress on the course. Thus they are often disadvantaged by the lengthy progress which can significant impact on achievement and perpetuate lack of confidence and self-belief.
109. While the overall response rate is fairly good there is quite a wide regional variance. For most questions it has been assumed that this is not likely to impact on national projections. It is however evident from the data on ethnicity that the regional variation might impact on national projections. The national picture for ethnicity is therefore based on weighted projections taking into account the relative size and the number of responses from the regions.
9 | P a g e Levels in England (Hawkins and Mill, 2010). They consequently have “strong learner identities” (Lawson, 2014, p. 344). Non-traditional students also tend to have
competing responsibilities such as jobs, children, and caring roles. Traditional students would not typically have these responsibilities. For non-traditional students, juggling these responsibilities can have an impact on the learning experience (cf. Pascall and Cox, 1992; Cappleman-Morgan, 2005; Creasy, 2013). Further, it is often assumed that non-traditional students lack the skills, education and advantages associated with traditional students (Leach, 2011, p. 248), and are “under-prepared for academic rigour” (Hawkins and Mills, 2010, p. 11; Burton and Golding Lloyd et al, 2011; Arum and Roska, 2011).
iii. Contribution to the priorities and outcomes in the above plans and priorities are clearly demonstrated and measurable and agreed with these partners.
Demonstrates links with plans for tackling specific local issues and challenges, including those affecting rural and remote areas and plans which support regeneration. Demonstrates added value / cost reduction or increased impact benefits for the outcomes and priorities set out within these plans and priorities;
Levels of attendance have a direct impact on the success of our students. Students are more likely to complete and achieve their qualification if they attend classes regularly. Students who arrive late have an impact not just on their own learning but also on the progress of the rest of the class. Similarly, employers set high expectations of attendance and punctuality in the workplace.
Another perspective on these students is offered by the theory of motivational orientations which came largely from Houle's (1961) classic typology of learners. This was based on in-depth interviews with 22 learners and was elaborated by others (Boshier, 1971, 1976; Morstain and Smart, 1974). The three classifications of ‘goal- oriented,’ ‘activity-oriented’ and ‘learning-oriented’ try to account for the origin of the need to learn by looking at the personality traits. Goal orientated learners use education as a means to an end and want specific things, the activity oriented who take part for the sake of the activity itself and the social interaction and learning oriented are seeking knowledge for its own sake. Houle’s approach is highly generalized and assumes that learners can be easily categorised and that their reason for participating does not change. It also ignores the impact of the adults’ circumstances and how these impact on decision making. It assumes too, that the respondents are able to identify and articulate their reasons. Morstain and Smart (1974) extended Houle’s three categories to six, adding External Expectations (complying with authority), Social Welfare, (altruistic orientation) and Escape/Stimulation (alleviating boredom ore escaping home or work routine). They also allowed for learners to have multiple reasons for participation. Of my participants two, Maeve and Abbey, would fit the category of ‘goal oriented’ as they sought out a specific course to meet their needs. Another, Daniel, fits the ‘activity oriented’ category as the social aspect of college was very important to him. However, these and all the others, have elements that would qualify them for many other categories as well as having other more complex motivations and circumstances.
special governance tasks, in order to gather deeper and richer evidence related to ASG-role specific activities. Through such research, the sector will be able to assess the impact on FE governance from a reimagined ASG role.
From the multi-site case study, and based on the opinion of various governors, it is clear that ASGs are unique in their capacity to bring the shop-floor TLA perspective to governance as no other governors are in a position to present this perspective with the immediacy an ASG can. Within a reimagined model of ASG roles in governance, where consideration is given to the three aspects of the roles put forward in this paper (Role-as- Position, Role-as-Perceived and Role-as-Practices), it may be easier to see how the ASGs’
„‟… was taking creativity away from college boards. Without a legitimated planning role governing bodies were struggling to get beyond the dominating compliance issues.‟‟
However, views on the impact and influence of internal-external factors vary considerably. For some governors the statutory procedures of college governance are responsible for encouraging inward looking thinking. For others, it is a matter of interpretation whether statutory responsibilities are responsible, or external audit factors are to blame. While the Articles of Governance focus specifically on the college as an institution, they are not solely confined to internal matters. Custom and conventional practice at board level, including issues of equality and diversity (selection, recruitment, training, gender and race) significantly impact on governance cultures. As one governor observed:
Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Scotland No. 129889. Scottish Charity No. SC17886 Page 3 Because of the scale of changes underway, this year’s report is likely to be the last in its current format. It’s far from clear what impact regionalisation will have on library services but there is no doubt that a new survey design will be necessary to take account of changes.