Proposals to improve financial oversight of colleges

The Department of Education has published proposals to strengthen relationships with universities and promote better planning to ensure that students get the skills they need.

The proposals follow Dame Mary Ney's independent review, which began after the Hadlow and West Kent & Ashford colleges were incorporated into education management in 2019. The review examined how the government oversees college finances and financial management. This included examining the work of the Agency for Financing Education and Qualifications (ESFA) and the team of the Commissioner for Continuing Education.

The government's response includes a number of measures that follow the report's recommendations, including increased coordination between the Commissioner for Continuing Education and ESFA and a regular strategic dialogue between the ESFA team and the Commissioner for Continuing Education with all university committees from September is led by priorities.

Other measures include new whistleblowing requirements for universities, including the publication of guidelines on university websites and a review of the governance guidelines to increase transparency, as well as a new round of the College Collaboration Fund.

Further changes will be announced after the summer as part of the FE White Paper.

Gillian Keegan, Minister of Apprenticeship and Skills, said: "It is more important than ever now that universities ensure that students acquire the skills they need to progress and meet the needs of businesses and their local communities . "

"I welcome this independent review by Dame Mary Ney and her call for a clear vision for the sector. We have started to make changes that take into account many of the recommendations in the report, including increased monitoring of the financial health of the sector and strengthening the coordination between the Education and Skills Financing Agency and the FE Commissioner.

"I have seen first-hand the exceptional work of universities across the country and I know what key roles they will play in helping our economic recovery. I look forward to working with them and across the sector to achieve a new vision for. " FE. "

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