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Further Education: Standards

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the Learning and Skills Council’s proposed star rating on (a) further education and (b) sixth form colleges. (133717)

The proposed star rating system—the Framework for Excellence (FfE) and the associated strategies announced in the White Paper ‘Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances’ will be developed and implemented as part of a coherent and evolving package of reform. The framework aims to improve the quality of post-16 provision and support better-informed choices and decisions by employers and individuals, thereby contributing to better and more relevant outcomes for end users, increasing skill levels in the workforce and increased productivity.

The Framework is in an early stage of development and will be piloted this summer in approximately 100 general FE, 6th form colleges and work-based learning providers. It will enable further education institutions to use a single performance management framework, with common sets of data and performance indicators instead of a number of different frameworks. Thus the framework will be more streamlined than existing arrangements and should help to reduce bureaucracy.