Top PDF The impact of college mergers in Further Education

The impact of college mergers in Further Education

The impact of college mergers in Further Education

circumstances, mergers are an effective tool for improving college performance. Whilst this analysis does not consider the mergers that occurred as part of the Area Review process, this may help inform the extent to which the recent wave of mergers from the Area Review process was different to those which occurred previously as well as whether further mergers might be desirable. It could also help to identify the types of mergers where additional support from DfE might prove necessary to achieve the ultimate objectives of improvements in college financial and learner performance. Finally, it helps improve the evidence base regarding what works in terms of mergers and spreads best practice regarding any future mergers. To our knowledge, this is the first large scale quantitative study of the effect of mergers in FE. As such, it should be seen as a first step which future research could build and improve on.
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Does further education mean business? :
An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in
England believe their organisations contribute towards
business competitiveness

Does further education mean business? : An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in England believe their organisations contribute towards business competitiveness

Interviewer Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Well that’s interesting. I’ll show you this (shows Model D). This was my ideal world, which is what I’m testing within the questions, everything that’s going on, everything that’s evolved. The idea was that there was, exactly what you were saying, that continuous dialogue, not just between businesses but actually government as well as further education and that dialogue then informed the products, then informed the types of delivery and then there was an impact measure, a review, an adjustment, and so it continued. And all of it focussing on competitiveness, so all that comes together. So that is the model I was testing. But interestingly, from some of the responses I’ve had to date, it doesn’t seem to be working like that, not as a complete model. It seems to be that businesses generally have a lack of understanding of what FE colleges can do, or can provide, and that sounds a bit like what you were saying…and so, one of the things about all this, which is the whole basis of it, is the communication. Do you think communication is effective between FE and businesses and government?
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Impact of e-learning in further education : survey of scale and breadth

Impact of e-learning in further education : survey of scale and breadth

Overall, therefore, it appears that achievement in an institution was not directly associated with its lecturers’ use of e-learning. However, the level of achievement of learners was associated to a lesser, but significant, extent with lecturers having indicated that they used e-learning in research and preparation for teaching more frequently. Although this could be described as one of the simpler uses of e-learning in teaching practice, it is also one of the more widespread and the detailed uses (to prepare work, research and access information and create materials) were used frequently or all of the time by the majority of lecturers (see Section 2.2). It may be, therefore, that some of the more interactive forms of e-learning, which were less widely used by respondents, were not yet sufficiently widespread to impact on college- level achievement. However, as noted in Chapter 3, they are helping the majority of lecturers surveyed to be more effective in their teaching.
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The impact of deprivation on learners’ attainment in further education and work-based learning

The impact of deprivation on learners’ attainment in further education and work-based learning

62 Managers at colleges and work-based learning providers stated that the EMA and training allowance certainly helped with attendance and punctuality. One college reported attendance levels for learners in receipt of the EMA to be over 95% in 2009-2010 when authorised absences were considered. Providers had developed robust systems to monitor and record learners’ attendance. In many cases, they used electronic registers, and learners had access to their attendance records on the provider’s Moodle system. In some cases, providers used a paper-based system where learners were required to ‘sign in’ at every session. In these cases, the time and effort required to monitor learners’ attendance and to authorise payments were considerable. All providers applied appropriate expectations for all learners in receipt of financial support. Providers applied these consistently and did not authorise
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The erosion of good education? The impact of
liquid modernity on trainee teachers’ experiences in further education

The erosion of good education? The impact of liquid modernity on trainee teachers’ experiences in further education

The data in this study provides a picture of work from two perspectives: one perspective examines the working experiences of trainee and newly qualified teachers, and the other examines the attitude to work of college students, as perceived by these teachers. In very simple terms one might say that the teacher’s work is to educate, while the student’s work consists of study. Importantly, the ‘work’ of education is based on a reciprocal working relationship between teacher and student: both must ‘work’ if education is to be effected. However, the data presented in the preceding chapters suggests that a shift has occurred in the relationship between teacher and student which has resulted in an increase, not only in teacher responsibility for student results, but also an accompanying increase in the amount of teacher work necessary to effect these results. The work expectations of students are less well defined, though, and the findings in Chapter 6 suggest that a shift in the relationship between teacher and student has fostered a trend towards entitled attitudes in students and an increasing expectation that education be presented in ways that are ‘fun’ for them. The ‘work’ of education seems to be shifting towards engaging (or entertaining) activities and in order to better understand this trend it is useful to consider Bauman’s analysis of work in the context of liquid modernity. Bauman argues that the character of work has been changed by the shift from a solid to a liquid societal framework: solid work was a collective effort and was
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Higher Education in Further Education and its impact on social mobility in England

Higher Education in Further Education and its impact on social mobility in England

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.
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Finding the glass slipper : the impact of leadership on innovation in further education

Finding the glass slipper : the impact of leadership on innovation in further education

It is perhaps inevitable that the production of more specific guidelines about how education institutions will be judged provides a narrower definition of teaching, of learning and of good practice in either domain. The creation of a powerful inspection regime, in conjunction with the production of standards, form control mechanisms which require increased quality assurance processes to monitor compliance against these standards. But who says the standards are right? And even if they are, for how long? Coffield argues that the current system of inspection, while having some merit, is overall ‘unreliable, invalid and at times unjust’ (2017: 69). The purpose here is not to diminish the value of standards themselves, or the benefits of measuring progress against them, but to recognise that in order to evolve we must create the space for innovation and change.
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The hardship of learning : students' income and expenditure and their impact on participation in further education

The hardship of learning : students' income and expenditure and their impact on participation in further education

A third of all students surveyed received some information about assistance with the costs of going to college. The most common source was the student services at the college they were attending at the time of the interview. Nearly two-thirds of the students who had obtained information, got it from this source but only two in five acquired the information before starting college. They also considered their college the most useful source of information. Not surprisingly, more 16–18 year olds accessed information through their schools (17%) or the Career Service (16%) than students over 19 (4% and 5% respectively). Otherwise, there were no significant differences in the sources of information students used or their most useful source. It is not possible to assess just how useful the information was to students, for example, by examining what proportion of those getting information actually went on to receive student financial support. This is because the overall numbers receiving student support were so low. There is some evidence, however, that an above average percentage of students getting student support had received information. However, on the whole, people tend to get information when they need it — those who had not sought out information on student support may have decided not to apply for such funding.
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Education maintenance allowances : the impact on
further education

Education maintenance allowances : the impact on further education

students in apparently similar circumstances receive different levels of suppor t. This will be a par ticular issue in the pilot phase (and in any event is nothing new for colleges used to the discretionar y award regime). In the first pilot sample, some colleges have taken the decision to use college funds and Access Funds to minimise the differences between students (for example, by paying a similar allowance to second year students or those from outside the area). In these cases they have taken the oppor tunity to make payments subject to the same conditions as EMAs.

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Does further education mean business? :
An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in
England believe their organisations contribute towards
business competitiveness

Does further education mean business? : An investigation into the impact leaders of colleges of further education in England believe their organisations contribute towards business competitiveness

Employer Skills Services, the Adult Enhancement and Careers Service and the Learner Skills Services (BIS, 2009b, p.4). The other was the Education Funding Agency, which is responsible for delegating 0-19 year old funding. In 2011, the SFA became the lead body for funding agreement, performance management, audit and intervention in general colleges of further education (SFA, 2011a, p.1). For the sector as a whole, it can only be hoped that this move will prove to be an enlightened, strategically-focused deployment of resources, rather than, as previous interventions have been referred to, “a masterpiece of bureaucratic muddle” (TES, 2008, Online) and “a bureaucratic mess” (Lee, 2010, p1). During 2010-2011 over 265,000 employers received training that was supported through the SFA (Skills Funding Agency, 2014, p.1). In 2012, key findings from an employer satisfaction survey found that private sector providers consistently attracted the highest ratings from employers, with ratings “generally lower for FE and special colleges” (ibid, p.2).
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What aspects of reasoning do further education college lecturers use in writing rationales?

What aspects of reasoning do further education college lecturers use in writing rationales?

quality of thought expressed in the writing merits further investigation was similar to conclusions reached by Dye (1999) and McMahon (2001). Weaknesses with aspects of reasoning seem to occur not only in written work but also in one-to-one tutorials when the tutor/researcher presses the lecturer to consider the soundness of evidence (Halliday and Soden 1998). In the Halliday and Soden transcripts of lecturers’ responses to a question about how the lecturers knew what they had just asserted about effective practices, there was a predominance of ‘unsupported’ assertions. More general research suggests that post-school education programmes do not have a strong impact on adults’ reasoning about everyday knowledge. Researchers have reported that adults both with and without post-school education did not reason well about issues such as causes of failure at school, return to crime and inadequate recycling of resources (Perkins, Allen and Hafner, 1983; Kuhn, 1991; King and Kitchener, 1994).
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Management accounting information and the board meeting of an English further education college

Management accounting information and the board meeting of an English further education college

organisation (Cornforth, 2012). At board meetings (Machold and Farquhar, 2013; Samra‐Fredericks, 2000) directors seek to collaborate with each other through discussion (Bailey and Peck, 2013; Forbes and Milliken, 1999) and, where appropriate, non-executive directors monitor and control the actions of executive directors (Sundaramurthy and Lewis, 2003). Effective governance requires a skilful switching between control and collaboration within a board meeting (Nicholson et al. 2017; Roberts et al., 2005) because an over-emphasis on control and monitoring can have a negative impact on board effectiveness (Brennan et al., 2016). This article frames board activity using a control and collaboration perspective recognising that boards engage in other processes and behaviours such as strategizing (Pugliese et al., 2009); boundary spanning (Miller-Millesen, 2003); and resourcing the
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Towards an understanding of the construction of the professional identity of vocational further education college teachers

Towards an understanding of the construction of the professional identity of vocational further education college teachers

Following the Act, the funding changes for students arguably had the biggest impact on the sector’s teachers (Randle and Brady, 1997). Funding was removed from local authorities to a central body the Further Education Funding Council England (FEFCE) formed prior to the introduction of the act. Its influence rapidly became significant across the sector. Now colleges’ funding from the FEFCE was weighted towards students staying at college and achieving their courses, with penalties imposed through less funding in the following year for students who left without achieving. This became known as ‘lag’ funding. Within this new methodology funding was awarded by ‘unit’ with the aim that it followed the student learning, therefore colleges were set unit targets (Lucas, 1999:46). In order to maximise funding, colleges had to meet their student recruitment targets, this became known as the ‘demand-led element’. If they did not meet the target, then the following year their allocation of funds was effectively capped and reduced (Hodgson et al, 2015). This methodology, created by the FEFCE, was extremely complex and called for rigorous administration and audit trails, the use of the phrase ‘data’ became pervasive. New departments were created such as
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Higher education in further education : leading the challenge

Higher education in further education : leading the challenge

The PT market appears to be responding to higher fee levels very differently. Many employers pay at least part of the fee for their employees or give in-kind benefits such as day release or study leave. However, for many employers the cost of education courses is seen as a cost of the business and thus subject to the same cost-reduction pressures as any other part of the value chain. In 2012, when fees for FT students leapt, in some cases from £3,000 to a maximum of £9,000, many providers decided, not illogically, to set PT fees pro rata to their FT equivalents. In many cases, this represented a three-fold increase in costs to employers, with little notice. Given that enterprises of all sizes set training budgets in advance, the response of many employers was simply to reduce the number of students they funded to one-third. This response will undoubtedly have contributed to the massive decline in PT students experienced by colleges and universities alike since 2010/11. Setting an appropriate fee presents a new challenge for college leaders. The impact may depend on local circumstances, including competition from other local providers. As indicated earlier, colleges claim to offer more taught hours per week, smaller class sizes and greater levels of individual student support. All of this costs money. Coupled with the costs of securing validation either from a partner university or the college seeking validation powers of its own, HE in FE can be relatively expensive to deliver. Without a substantial critical mass of HE, economies of scale can be difficult to achieve. An irresistible pressure to charge higher fees may develop as other costs rise. 34
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Understanding higher education in further education colleges

Understanding higher education in further education colleges

iii) The effect of clearer strategy and improved management capacity has been to encourage institutions to focus their partnerships – either by establishing clearly articulated regional partnerships (in which the HEI is ‘first among equals’) or focusing on a smaller number of key FEC partners in support of a number of agendas, i.e. widening participation and improved progression, more distributed and flexible delivery or employer engagement and business development, rather than simply franchising and validation. Against this background of present provision most HEIs appear to anticipating limited change, despite the potential impact of the White Paper reforms. One interviewee summed up this majority view: ‘we hope things in the future will be as close as the way they have been in the past as possible’. The majority of HEIs in the sample are hoping to preserve their current stake – with the exceptions of some scaling-back of franchised numbers to reflect the overall cut in student numbers and those institutions which are planning to focus on a smaller number of FEC partners (a process that had generally been under way before the publication of the White Paper). However, there are longer-term worries about the impact of the Government’s reforms – in particular, on their potential erosion of the stable conditions needed to build effective collaboration.
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Understanding higher education in further education colleges

Understanding higher education in further education colleges

iii) The effect of clearer strategy and improved management capacity has been to encourage institutions to focus their partnerships – either by establishing clearly articulated regional partnerships (in which the HEI is ‘first among equals’) or focusing on a smaller number of key FEC partners in support of a number of agendas, i.e. widening participation and improved progression, more distributed and flexible delivery or employer engagement and business development, rather than simply franchising and validation. Against this background of present provision most HEIs appear to anticipating limited change, despite the potential impact of the White Paper reforms. One interviewee summed up this majority view: ‘we hope things in the future will be as close as the way they have been in the past as possible’. The majority of HEIs in the sample are hoping to preserve their current stake – with the exceptions of some scaling-back of franchised numbers to reflect the overall cut in student numbers and those institutions which are planning to focus on a smaller number of FEC partners (a process that had generally been under way before the publication of the White Paper). However, there are longer-term worries about the impact of the Government’s reforms – in particular, on their potential erosion of the stable conditions needed to build effective collaboration.
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Leadership and ethics in further education

Leadership and ethics in further education

College leaders are not interested in trying to do regional or even national work. Their focus is on developing an intergenerational dynamic. They refurbished part of the college estate recently and found that the builders who worked on the original project had grandchildren – currently training as apprentices – working on the current build. Local people view the college with pride. In this they feel unlike some other colleges. The local community champions them, recognising them as civic leaders. In a low- wage, low-social demographic economy, the college is a support rather than a hindrance. The Principal has developed a reputation for being something of a civic leader. The local borough council and local industry ensure he always has a seat around the table. This is not something enjoyed by all colleges. The college also receives a good press. Foundation learners do supported internships in the local hospital. The college provides community-based ESOL classes, and has provided basic skills in literacy and numeracy for parents in local schools. The Community Health team come into the college and use the specialist gym equipment. This college clearly has impact. It is responsive to local needs. This is a friendly, aspirational college. it is a beacon of hope in a community that really needs one.
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The evidence base on college size and mergers in the further education sector

The evidence base on college size and mergers in the further education sector

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 college mergers 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.
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Governing the governors : a case study of college governance in English further education

Governing the governors : a case study of college governance in English further education

to the FE system. The study indicates strong resistance to such proposals from governors, on grounds that the stakeholder model both privileges market interests, and by passes community priorities (Guardian, 2009). At the same time there is evidence to suggest that the way governors are currently recruited, selected and inducted, lacks transparency and diversity (Schofield, 2009). The evidence from this study suggests, however, that governors are at their best when actively engaged in non formal activities with students, professionals, community and work-related activities, rather than embroiled in paperwork, audits and loaded board meetings. It is also evident that that the further education sector has now entered a deeper crisis. With £200m being wiped from the adult learning budget in 2010, and further estimated cuts of £300m over the next three years, the impact on job losses and adult learning places are likely to be significant (UCU, 2010). In this context the process of encouraging FE colleges to engage with their communities is perhaps more important than requiring them to respond to market rhetoric ( ‘demand-led,’ ‘self regulation’ ‘single voice’), that appears distant from the main issue of improving the quality of FE provision - especially at a time when colleges are absorbing ‘on a more for less basis, ’ wider cohorts of jobless learners displaced by market and policy failure.
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A further education college as a heterotopia

A further education college as a heterotopia

FE like most education is affected by the needs of the wider society. Educationalists might debate the values of intrinsically worthwhile progressive education against extrinsically worthy traditional education but, on the whole, the government’s education policy decides what education is for (at least at that particular moment in time). Foucault’s fourth principle of a heterotopia is that it should be ‘linked to slices in time’ (1986,26) and we can see that the particular slice of time and the particular government of that slice of time has a significant impact on the role of an FE college. We have already discussed some of the recent changes in FE but there are more changes afoot: the marketisation of FE (Bathmaker & Amis 2005a); a movement towards ‘schooling’ cultures with the growing emphasis on more and more learners in the 14-19 age group being taught in FE colleges (Bathmaker & Amis 2005b), and the ‘modern’ concept of FE colleges embedding sustainability (Martin et al. 2007).
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