• Area reviews mishandled early on, DfE research concludes

    The way the government handled the first wave of the area reviews has been slammed by new research on behalf of the Department for Education. Most of those who took part “considered their involvement in the first wave of the process as a challenge”, consultancy firm CFE found. Major obstacles included a “lack of lead

    12.00 Jan. 26th, 2018 | News

  • West Midlands college merger bites the dust for lack of government cash

    Another major merger between two colleges in the west Midlands has been called off, amid accusations that the government was unwilling to provide the necessary funding. In a joint statement, North Shropshire College and Reaseheath College in neighbouring Cheshire, said “unfortunately, long-term funding is not available” for a merger, even though they have “successfully worked

    11.04 Aug. 21st, 2017 | News

  • Area reviews in further education: a summary

    Following publication of the final area review recommendations, Jude Burke recaps the two-year process  What were the area reviews? In essence, area reviews were a restructuring of the post-16 education and training sector, initiated by the government, which ran from September 2015 until March 2017. Through a series of steering group meetings, further education and

    17.00 Aug. 8th, 2017 | Feature

  • Area review waves four and five recommendations published

    Reports into the final two waves of the area reviews of post-16 education and training have finally been published – bringing the process to a close almost two years after it began. The 15 documents detailing the outcomes of the reviews in waves four and five of the process were made public today by the

    13.32 Aug. 3rd, 2017 | News

  • London college merger called off at last minute

    A planned merger between two London colleges has been called off at the last minute, FE Week can reveal. Barking and Dagenham College and Havering College will no longer link up on August 1, Barking’s acting chair of governors has admitted. Mark Bass told FE Week that merger discussions between the two colleges “have for

    17.59 Jul. 26th, 2017 | News

  • Colleges scrap merger plans less than 3 months after announced

    Two colleges have scrapped merger plans less than three months after they were announced. Stanmore College and West Hertfordshire College formally declared their intention to join forces in February, following the West London area review. But both have now confirmed the merger has fallen at the first hurdle. Gill Morgan, West Herts College principal, told

    13.50 May. 16th, 2017 | News

  • Area review transition fund shrouded in secrecy

    Confusion reigns over the £726 million fund earmarked to help colleges make changes recommended by the area reviews, after the government refused to say how much of it has been handed out. The Department for Education is also refusing to reveal who has been appointed to run the unit responsible, even though the application deadline

    10.00 May. 7th, 2017 | News

  • FE Week asks: FE Commissioner on 'big success' area reviews

    Richard Atkins has had a very busy four months since he was confirmed as the new FE Commissioner. FE Week’s Jude Burke caught up with him this week, for an exclusive interview on his progress in the demanding role, at the AoC’s Governors Summit With the area review process and college interventions occupying so much

    10.00 Mar. 4th, 2017 | News

  • Manchester merger scrapped by FE Commissioner

    One of just two mergers recommended in the troubled Manchester area review has been scrapped following intervention by the FE commissioner, FE Week understands. Plans to merge Tameside, Oldham and Stockport colleges have been called off after the FE commissioner Richard Atkins visited at least one of them – forcing them back to the drawing

    8.00 Feb. 27th, 2017 | News

  • Government wants £140k-a-year director to oversee area reviews

    The government is on the hunt for a permanent director to run its transaction unit following the area reviews process – a job which co-mes with a £140,000 salary comparable to that earned by FE’s busiest civil servant, Peter Lauener. An advert for the role was recently posted by the Department for Education, with a

    12.34 Feb. 17th, 2017 | News

  • 'Inadequate' Gateway SFC pulls back from Leicestershire area review

    A struggling sixth form college has pulled out of its ongoing area review, after a special intervention by sixth form commissioner Peter Mucklow. The Leicester-based Gateway SFC received an ‘inadequate’ grade from Ofsted in October, and Mr Mucklow (pictured) made the recommendation based on a visit he made in November. His report into the 1,600

    12.00 Jan. 28th, 2017 | News