Sixth form and further education shake up to see fewer colleges in Sussex

Posted On 05 Oct 2015 at 4:48 pm

Skills Minister Nick Boles has announced a review of sixth forms and further education (FE) colleges in six parts of the country, including Sussex.

The review will include Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College (BHASVIC), Varndean College and City College Brighton and Hove.

CBI Conference

Nick Boles

The first meeting of the review group for Sussex is due to take place on Thursday 22 October. It will be chaired by further education commissioner David Collins.

The area review team lead for Sussex is Lynne Tabone.

The aim, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is to restructure the post-16 sector resulting in fewer colleges.

Those remaining are expected to be bigger, more resilient and more efficient.

Mr Boles, who contested Hove for the Conservatives at the 2005 general election, had previously signalled that changes were on their way.

And an earlier announcement paved the way for the review, flagging up a “major reform of post-16 education and training institutions ” while maintaining “very tight financial discipline “.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Each review will start by assessing the economic and educational needs of the area, and the implications for post-16 education and training provision, including school sixth forms, sixth form colleges, further education colleges and independent providers.

“The reviews will be led by steering groups consisting of chairs of governors, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities, FE and sixth form college commissioners and regional schools commissioners.

“This approach is designed achieve a transition towards fewer, larger, more resilient and efficient providers, and more effective collaboration across institution types.

“A critical aspect will be to create greater specialisation, with the establishment of institutions that are genuine centres of expertise, able to support sustained progression in professional and technical disciplines, alongside excellence in other fundamental areas – such as English and maths.

“This will ensure that we have the right capacity to provide good education and training for our young people across England, and will include the creation of a new network of prestigious institutes of technology and national colleges to deliver high-standard provision at levels 3, 4 and 5.”

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