Councils' Views on the Effectiveness of the 16-19 Commissioning Process

David Sims, Geoff Gee, Kelly Kettlewell, Clare O'Beirne

09 December 2013

NFER was commissioned by the LGA to examine councils’ views on the current approach to commissioning education and training provision for 16-19 year olds, managed nationally by the Education funding Agency (EFA), and to assess its effectiveness and local impact. To achieve this, NFER carried out a survey of councils and undertook five telephone case studies.

Overall, the research concluded that councils had a range of views on the effectiveness of the current EFA approach. However, there was some agreement that the approach could be improved in the areas of: responsiveness to local need; flexibility to meet local demographic change; and providing appropriate opportunities for vulnerable groups.

Key Findings

  • Around half of the council respondents (53 per cent) reported that the commissioning process for local 16-19 education and training provision was effective overall.
  • The majority of respondents believed that the EFA was restricted in the extent to which it was responsive to local need.
  • The majority of respondents felt that their council did not have sufficient influence over their EFA funding allocation and reported that it was difficult to change the commissioning of local provision.
  • Over half of respondents said that the approaches adopted by the EFA were limited in the extent to which they were able to reflect local needs to reduce the number of those not in education, employment or training (NEET).
  • Over half of respondents reported that they were dissatisfied with funding for HNS in their local area.