Further Education

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 3rd November 2015.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether hon. Members are always informed when a post-16 area-based review is announced for an area which includes their constituency.

Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how long the process of undertaking a post-16 area-based review will take in each area for which they are planned or already underway.

Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the possible savings to his Department of the outcome of post-16 area-based reviews.

Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether an (a) free school, (b) academy, (c) school sixth form and (d) university technical college will be allowed to open while a post-16 area-based review is still taking place.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

Yes. The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit supporting the area reviews will advise Hon. Membersas a matter of course when reviews are due to be undertaken in any part of their constituency.

Area reviews should take place as quickly as possible, the typical timescale being 3-4 months but this could vary depending on the number of colleges and complexity of the local issues involved.

The reviews are aimed at delivering a skills system that meets the economic and educational needs of areas whilst also ensuring the long term sustainability of colleges to support productivity. Their purpose is not to secure savings to Government. However, early evidence from the pilot reviews indicates that there is potential for the reviews to secure efficiency savings.

All applications to open a free school, academy, school sixth form or university technical college will be assessed on a case by case basis against the published criteria and taking account of local needs and circumstances.

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