Clause 16

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 12:45 pm, 12th June 2007

I have already revealed one small element of our private discourse, and I hope that the hon. Lady will forgive me, but now I shall reveal something more. I hope that in the course of the time that I do my job—I shadow half of one Minister and the whole of another, so I am doing one and a half jobs—the Opposition can lay out a plan for how we might move to a system where colleges were self-regulated to a much greater degree.

I am not saying anything very controversial. That was the recommendation of the Government’s own report, the Foster report. Sir Andrew Foster said that colleges should move to self-regulation by degree. He  lamented the fact that there are 17 bodies with a supervisory, inspection or regulatory role in respect of FE colleges. We will happily put forward plans during what I hope will be our short period in opposition, which is becoming shorter by the day, that will provide the opportunity, when we enter government, to move to circumstances where colleges can enjoy a much greater degree of freedom because that freedom will allow them to innovate and excel.