This guidance is for the governing bodies of institutions in further education statutory sector, including sixth form colleges, further education colleges, and designated institutions. It is to help enable governing bodies of institutions within the further education sector comply with their duty to review provision in relation to local needs.
Section 52B of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 places a duty on governing bodies of institutions in the further education sector to review how well the education or training provided by the institution meets local needs, and consider what action might be taken in order to meet those needs better.
Governing bodies must have regard to the statutory guidance when carrying out these reviews. The publication can be found here.
Main points from the guidance include:
• Governing bodies must undertake regular reviews of how well the education or training provided by the college meets local needs, in particular needs relating to local employment.
• Governing bodies should undertake a review at least every three years, or when a new LSIP is published, if earlier.
• In reviewing provision within a local area, governing bodies are expected to collaborate with other governing bodies also serving that area.
• Governing bodies are required to publish the outcome of their reviews on their websites.
• Governing bodies must consider what actions they and other providers (including providers not subject to the duty, and those located outside of the local area) can take to better meet local needs, in particular to better ensure learners have the skills needed to secure suitable employment. These actions could include changes to the structure through which provision is delivered within a local area.
• Accountability Agreements, due to be introduced in academic year 2023/24, should reflect any actions governing bodies have agreed to take as a result of a review.
• The responsibility for the curriculum offer continues to rest with individual governing bodies.