This report from the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) provides expert advice on what constitutes quality in Further Education (FE). We worked with Professor David James from Cardiff University and Professor Lorna Unwin OBE of University College London to undertake an evidence review on this topic. In order to provide the most relevant recommendations the experts explored the existing literature as well as interviewing a number of key stakeholders within the FE sector in Wales.
The report found that there has been a steady decrease in the number of overall post 16 learners since 2005/6 although work based learning provision is on the increase. Most respondents who had been interviewed felt that the FE sector is now at its optimum size in terms of the number of institutions. There was a strong wish for consolidation rather than further reformulation of the current arrangements. Some argued that a further reduction in the number of institutions would jeopardise the capacity of colleges to serve their communities and main stakeholders.
Seven determinants of quality were identified as the key to high quality vocational education:
The full report provides more details about these determinants of quality and the importance of effective Continuing Professional Development within the FE sector to achieve them. The report also makes a number of recommendations that would help ensure that these determinants of quality are effectively enacted in Wales, these include: