As recipients of public funds, Further Education colleges are expected to demonstrate in an open and transparent way, how they deliver value for money and how they are responsive to the communities in which they operate, thereby fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. Accountability is central to the Code of Good Governance for English Colleges. This states that college governors must be collectively accountable for the business of the college, taking all decisions on matters within their duties and responsibilities.
Further Education colleges are under an increasing burden of external scrutiny, with many bodies charged with oversight and intervention. The main bodies are:
Further Education colleges, as Exempt charities, are required to abide by Charity Commission legislation, but the Charity Commission are not the named regulator of colleges – this role is fulfilled by the Department of Education. The Charity Commission’s role is to ensure that the public can have confidence that colleges are being run in the public interest. The Charity Commission is a non-ministerial department. Find out more about Charity Commission accountability on the Charity Commission page.
Department for Education
The DfE is the government ministerial department, led by the Secretary of State for education, with responsibility for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. Find out more about FE Commissioner intervention on our Support and Challenge page.
Education & Skills Funding Agency
The ESFA brings together the former responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to create a single agency accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults. Find out more about obligations set by the ESFA on our Government legislation page.
Office for Students
The OfS are the independent regulator of higher education in England. Find out more about OfS compliance on our Codes and Compliance pages.
Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, who inspect services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. Find out more about Ofsted expectations for FE governance on our Codes and Compliance pages.
Other key stakeholders are:
Association of Colleges
The Association of Colleges is the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England. Find out more about the Code of Good Governance for English Colleges on our Codes and Compliance pages.
The local government organisation that is responsible for the provision of public services in a particular area, and will include devolved areas such as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Greater London, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England
Other stakeholders include Staff/Students/Parents & Carers/Local Communities/Employers/Banks and Auditors