£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

Let’s keep it simple please

We do need to get smarter at running further education colleges, but lets keep it simple please.

I have been looking at the “Expert Advice” from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills [UKCES is the outcome from the Leitch report] on how to “build a more strategic, agile and labour-market led employment and skills system” from Autumn 2009

Much of it is about how UKCES sees that we should “simplify”  funding, qualifications etc , but some of their proposals desperately need to go through the reality wringer.
Example : One strategy would be :

Offering lighter touch regulation, simpler and more flexible funding, and single account and contract management arrangements to providers in exchange for their use of the public quality and performance framework of course labelling and institutional scorecards, which empower customers and communities to drive provider responsiveness

Scorecard for Rating the InstitutionScorecard for Rating each Course

Blimey Cedric! Nothing that a dedicated “course labelling and institutional scorecards” department of a major research university couldn’t sort out in a year or two, I am sure – but in colleges now, or even in a favourable financial climate?

And even then – the data is not at all easy to collect or analyse.

UKCES itself set out to answer “how much is NVQ2 worth to an individual ?” in their  “Economic Value of Intermediate Level Qualifications” December 2009

A plain, hardworking, rigorous 104 page report without the usual padding of full-page photos report, and as you would expect they didn’t come up with any simple answer that could just be plugged straight into any Course Value score card.

Basically, an NVQ2 is 4% better than having no qualifications at all – but only if you are female.
The value is greater at 10% if you gain the NVQ2 through an employer; and the value is always greater than having no quals if you are of low ability, compared to someone retraining who already has other qualifications.

And not all NVQ2s add value.
An NVQ2 in the energy sector is worth 14% [for a male, but minus 8% for a female].
In finance, the effect reverses – with the NVQ2 being worth 2% to a female compared to having no qualifications, but  minus 14% for a male.

Balance that score card!

My feel is that we can do without the balanced scorecard from UKCES’ blue skies thinking for a while.
It is all good stuff, and there is no harm in it – unless someone decides that we should try to put it into practice in the real world.

Let’s keep it simple please.


January 18, 2010 - Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: