Written by FEjobs.com
Wednesday 4th July 2018
A £15m fund aimed
at improving the quality of education in the FE sector was launched last week
by Skills Minister Anne Milton.
The Minister unveiled the main
phase of the Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF) during the Association
and Colleges conference, the gov.uk website reports. The SCIF will match
colleges in need of improvement with high-performing institutions, where the
latter will share best practice advice in order to improve standards.
Colleges in need of improvement
will be eligible to apply for a grant to work alongside a stronger ‘partnering’
college. Through their collaboration, the two colleges will devise a plan of
action to deal with the problems they face.
Anne Milton commented: “We want
to improve the quality of education for everyone. It is vital that all further
education and sixth form colleges are able to give people the skills and
knowledge they need to get on in their life and succeed in the workplace.”
She said she is thrilled to
launch the fund, which will “enable colleges to work together to improve
standards across all colleges.”
Before the SCIF was launched, a
hugely successful pilot scheme saw fourteen colleges gaining grants totalling
more than £2m. At the end of the phase, colleges reported the fund improved
awareness of good practice, promoted mutual learning and allowed for rapid
action to enhance quality.
The fund follows the launch of
the National Leaders of Further Education and National Leaders of Governance
programmes, also put together to share the expertise witnessed in some of the
country’s best colleges.
Association of Colleges Director
of Education and Skills Policy, David Corke, said: “[We have] long called for a
peer improvement scheme for further education to match the one in schools. It
was great to see the [DfE] pilot this and we are encouraged by the opening up
of the eligibility criteria to allow more colleges to apply.”
The SCIF is funded by the DfE,
administered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and will be available
until March 2020.
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