Mapping the terrain: 16-19 funding transfer
Local Authorities (LAs) now have the lead in joining up 14-19 education and creating a unified and coherent system for young people aged 14-19, which will work at local, sub-regional and regional levels. In addition by 2010 planning and funding responsibilities for 16-19 year olds will be transferred from the learning and skills council (LSC) to the LAs.
The overall aim of this project was to establish LAs' early experiences with regard to the 16-19 funding transfer in order to inform future progress in terms of workforce capacity issues. More specifically the objectives were to:
- Identify early developmental experiences with regard to preparation for 16-19 funding transfer from LSC to LAs
- Explore these experiences in different contexts
- Further inform future LA preparations for the 16-19 funding transfer, especially in terms of capacity building.
Exploratory research conducted as part of a previous project "mapping the terrain - the 14-19 agenda" revealed three key areas were reported to be important at this early stage of preparation for funding transfer:
- relationships in terms of partnership and collaborative working
- needs analysis, with regard to both learners’ and the local economy’s needs and
- the commissioning process, especially in terms of the shadowing process.
In the case of each of these key areas the following questions were asked:
- What progress have sub-regional groups made? What, if any, have been their achievements? What, if any, have been their challenges and barriers and, if any experienced, in what way have they tried to overcome them?
- What do the sub-regional groups perceive to be necessary to happen in order for them to be fully prepared for the transfer of funding from LSC to LA control? What are they doing, and what do they plan to do, to ensure they are fully prepared by 2010?
- What do the LAs perceive their capability and capacity are in terms of managing the transfer? How do colleges view LA capacity and what do they perceive needs to be done with regard to building that capacity? What can the LGA do to support the LAs?
Impact and outcomes
The research took place between December 2008 and May 2009. A concise report, with executive summary is available. The main impact is to inform future LA preparations for the 16-19 transfer, especially in terms of capacity building.
Research design and methods
In order to explore and understand LAs’ early experiences in terms of preparation for the funding transfer, and to further inform capacity building, a qualitative methodology was used.
Nine case studies were conducted, one in each Government Office Region. Each of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services’ (ADCS) regional representatives were asked to supply the names of LAs in their region (both more- and less-well advanced in terms of preparation for the funding transfer).
The NFER selected the nine case-studies from the sample population, in order to ensure a cross-section of LA type and preparedness for the funding transfer.
The project was cognisant of what had been learnt in the exploratory stage of this research, and mindful of some of the identified benefits of partnership working. It also considered what could be learnt from relationships formed as part of the Diploma Gateway Consortia (in consultation with the LGA). Each case study included a variety of stakeholders:
- a Director of Childrens’ Services
- a LA 14 -19 Strategy Manager
- a Further Education Principal or Vice-Principal
- an FE 14-19 Strategy Manager
- the regional Learning and Skills Council (LSC) representative
- a learning provider.
Key audiences include the LGA, the Association of Colleges (AOC), the DCSF, the DIUS, the Sixth Form College Forum, the Association of Learning Providers, the LSC and other national level stakeholders and provider bodies.
December 2008 - July 2009.