An assessment of the potential merits of extending consumer protection law to cover further education (FE) courses has not been made. However, the government promotes high quality FE within a regulatory framework, that aims to protect the rights of learners accessing FE courses.
FE college corporations operate as independent charities and are subject to robust accountability arrangements for the public funding they receive. Ofsted inspects and publicly reports on the quality of education within FE providers. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) allocates significant annual funding to providers of education and skills training for young people and adults. ESFA holds providers to account for their performance to ensure they consistently raise standards.
The FE Choices learner satisfaction survey 2017-18 captures learners’ experiences of their college or training organisation. The most recent survey was published by the department on 19 July and reports that 82% of learners were ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend their learning provider to friends or family.
FE providers must also ensure that complaint handling processes and practices are accessible, clear and fair to learners.