Sixth Form Colleges: the policy landscape ACVIC Conference

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SFCA Update
Chairs of Governors Workshop
James Kewin
SFCA Deputy Chief Executive
October 7th 2014
SFCA: our roles
The SFC sector
Policy context
An education success story
 SFCs
are the most effective and efficient
providers of sixth form education attainment, value added, progression to
HE, Ofsted, but…
• Numbers are in decline: 123-93 since 1993
• School/academy/free school sixth forms
increasing in number (on better terms)
• SFCs hit harder than any other sector by
funding cuts
Conspiracy or cock up?
 Strong
belief that every school and
academy should have a sixth form
 Powerful schools lobby
 “The more money we take from you, the
better you get”
 A misunderstanding of how markets work
coupled with…
…a misplaced obsession with
brand
The future policy landscape
Election in 2015
 Critical
to the future of the sector, but not
an education election
 Conservatives:
• Better bedside manner, same medicine
• Less focus on provider type
• Funding and curriculum status quo
 Lib
Dems:
• Focus on early years
• Will extend education ring-fence to 18
Election in 2015
 Labour:
• Focus on ‘forgotten 50%’
• Accept 16-19 funding cuts and inequalities not
sustainable, but education ring-fence may go
• Positive plans for A level reform and national
baccalaureate
 All
parties:
• Education not central
• FE = apprenticeships
SFCA manifesto
recommendations
 Reverse
the decision to decouple AS
levels from A levels
 Ensure all students can benefit from a full
time programme of study
 Introduce a national funding formula based
on the actual cost of delivering the
curriculum
 Drop the ‘learning tax’ by removing the
imposition of VAT on Sixth Form Colleges
SFCA manifesto
recommendations
 Reform
the system for funding students
with high needs
 Introduce a competitive process for
establishing new sixth form providers
 Enable Sixth Form Colleges to expand
their collaborative activities
Looking ahead
 Curriculum
and funding are the two
biggest policy battlegrounds – in that order
 Continued uncertainty around both makes
planning extremely difficult for colleges
 Potential funding cut this year, possible recoupling of A levels next year?
 3 A levels as core offer?
 Cliff edge in 2016/17
Engaging with politicians
Background
 SFCA is
secretariat for All Party
Parliamentary Group for SFCs (38 MPs)
 Additional group of supportive
parliamentarians
 Big increase in written and oral questions
 Debates on Sixth Form Colleges and
related issues
How to engage
your MPs – don’t forget
neighbouring constituencies
 Invite them to the college
 Identify
•
•
•
•
Build rapport
Identify their interests
Meet the students
Photo opportunities always welcome!
 Ask
to join the APPG if they can
 Keep lines of communication open
Get the content right
 National
data important for consistency
 Manifesto provides key themes but put the
college (particularly students) first
 Template letters = template responses
 We can help to draft letters
 Use the updated manifesto section on our
website for data - a ‘how to’ guide will be
released with manifesto
Join in national campaigns
 Building
of manifesto there will be joint
letter and petitions on behalf of the sector
 Accept that these cannot be written by
committee!
 Some signed by MPs, others by
Principals/Chairs
 Important to keep pressure up through
campaign from above and below
Diversification and increasing
efficiency
Curriculum delivery and
teaching staff efficiency
Reduce management structure
70%
Increase class sizes
69%
Withdraw expensive/inefficient courses
62%
Reduce allowances/remission
56%
Restructure responsibilities to save allowances
53%
Reduce delivery hours for courses/subjects
Limit programme size for students
Increase contact time: weekly or by moving to
annualised hours
42%
37%
34%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Reducing non pay
costs/increasing income
Reduce all non pay budgets
74%
Grow student numbers
74%
59%
Reduce staff training budget
57%
Review all opportunities to generate non-EFA/SFA income
52%
Increase market share through enhanced promotions
45%
Use new technologies to reduce costs
Cancel or scale back refurbishment/replacement for buildings
& equipment
42%
23%
Introduce additional payments for books and other resources
22%
Shared services with other institutions
17%
Introduce/increase registration payment for new students
16%
Introduce fees for enrichment activities
0%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Diversifying income
All options have their pros and cons,
important that diversification fits with the
college’s mission:
 International students
 Higher education
 Employer provision
 Apprenticeships
 Recruiting 14-16 year olds
Structural change
 Become
an academy? Not allowed!
 Sponsor an academy? May help at the
margins
 Other options:
Soft
federation
Hard
federation
Merger
Thank You
[email protected]
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