FE Commissioner Dr David Collins to get deputies and new advisers as area reviews take their toll on workload

FE Commissioner Dr David Collins is appointing a new intake of FE deputy commissioners (FEDCs) and advisers with his workload set to burgeon with a series of upcoming area reviews.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is looking to recruit an unspecified number of FEDCs, who could earn up to £700 a-day, and advisers, who could receive up to £600 a-day.

The application window for the two-year positions closes on September 30. Interviews are then pencilled in from October 26, with appointments expected from November 1.

The last round of appointments took place in November 2014 — raising the number of Dr Collins’ advisers to 11.

The new posts are advertised on an appointments website, where it says: “The FEDCs and advisers will work alongside the FE and Sixth Form College Commissioners.

“FEDCs will lead area reviews and intervention cases. The advisers will undertake the institutional analysis which underpins the reviews and their recommendations.”

Click here for more information on the appointments or to apply.

The first round of area reviews was announced on September 8 and will see the future of 40 colleges come into question as the government looks to act having identified the “need” to move towards “fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers”.

The area reviews for Birmingham and Solihull, Greater Manchester, and Sheffield city region will start on September 18, 21 and 28, respectively, but affected principals have told FE Week of concerns that the reviews do not cover school sixth form provision.

Meanwhile, four prevent advisers are also expected to be appointed by BIS.

“They will conduct risk based assessments of non-publicly funded further education and training providers to ensure compliance with the Prevent Duty which is currently being legislated for to require all FE education providers to tackle radicalisation,” according to the appointments website.

“In this respect prevent advisers will perform the same function that Ofsted undertakes for the publicly funded FE sector.”

The Department for Education (DfE) is also looking to make appointment to Sixth Form College Commissioner Peter Mucklow’s office, with an unspecified number of advisers. It also wants to appoint charitable and commercial provider advisers. The roles, including prevent advisers, are also two-year appointments and pay up to £600 a-day.

All the roles advertised are said to require the successful candidates to support the intervention process to tackle poor performance, either in terms of financial management or quality.

It further says they should support the series of area-based reviews of provision.

“These were described in the policy statement Reviewing Post-16 Education and Training Institutions, with further detailed guidance issued September 2015,” it says on the appointments website.

It adds: “For all these roles we seek high calibre individuals with a good understanding of the education sector and strong experience in change and financial management.

“You will bring excellent analytical skills. Your personal impact and credibility will need to gain the confidence of stakeholders across the FE sector.”

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  1. God help us. The retirement homes will be buzzing with such exciting prospects available.

    We’re going to end up with a bunch of old dinosaurs determining the future of FE. Why not use current, relevant Principal’s and work from within the sector? At least then these people would be relevant!

  2. This a disgusting waste of public funding and with no guarantee of the calibre of individuals carrying out this important role. It will end up like Ofsted’s now discredited approach to use part time consultants in Associate Inspector capacity. I will be putting in a FOI re. how much this exercise is costing. The money would have been much better spent on students and programmes. So all of this money will be going into starting a process that government have already stated it will not be funding the implementation of? Funding that currently goes to colleges is meant to be used for students and delivery of programmes – not for paying for restructuring exercises that will cause a huge and unnecessary distraction, will result in no cost savings and a decline in quality, and will ultimately have to be unpicked by future governments. As a tax payer and someone with 25 years’ experience of further education changing lives, I find this very offensive indeed.