Guild consultation ends

The FE Guild project leader has described responses to a consultation on the proposed organisation as “positive and constructive”.

Peter Davies CBE said written responses and contributions from 12 consultation events, were “useful”.

The consultation, which ended last Monday, initially triggered concerns that providers would struggle to meet the three-week deadline.

But Mr Davies said he was pleased with the range of responses, although the results were not yet available.

“Overall, I found each of the consultation events to be very positive and constructive, and will definitely be most useful in shaping the way forward,” he said.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views… in what we realise was a limited timescale.”

He added: “We set ourselves the aim of trying to ensure all parts of this very diverse sector had the opportunity to engage in the guild consultation process.

“So it was pleasing to see people from all different provider types and organisations chosing to be involved in discussing the proposals.”

In an earlier online questionnaire 50 per cent of respondents were broadly supportive of the idea of a guild, while 42 per cent said they were “ambivalent” until they knew more about the guild’s remit. The consultation suggested the guild could take responsibility for defining standards and professionalism, and developing qualification frameworks. The key proposals suggest the guild will be a small team, funded initially by a direct grant with a view to self-funding in the future.

Online questionnaire respondents also queried the suitability of the title, an issue acknowledged in the formal consultation document.

Meanwhile, the steering group began its search for an interim chief executive for the guild’s set-up, but an advert on the group’s website said this was subject to a positive response to the consultation and ministerial approval.

“Our priority now is the full and robust analysis of the range of responses so that we can deliver our implementation plan by the end of March. We will start to provide some initial feedback in our blog and website when we’ve collated all the feedback,” said Mr Davies.

He said anyone interested in the guild’s development should check for updates on Twitter at @team_FEGuild, the website, www.feguild.info, and the blog at www.fe-guild.blogspot.co.uk