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Welsh Government response to Hazelkorn report on post-compulsory education and training in Wales

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A new strategic authority to oversee skills, funding for research and the higher and further education sectors in Wales is to be created, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced today.
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The Cabinet Secretary for Education has responded to Professor Ellen Hazelkorn’s report on a ‘framework for building a world-class post-compulsory education system’.

The report was commissioned to examine issues such as the growing complexity, duplication and provision gaps across post-compulsory education and training. It considered how to better align governance and funding arrangements, ensuring a learner focused system that enhances educational and career opportunities.

Read the Cabinet Secretary’s statement (external link)

What happens next

We will soon consult on establishing a single, strategic authority, responsible for overseeing post-compulsory education and training.

The new body will be given responsibility for:

  • planning
  • funding
  • contracting
  • ensuring quality
  • financial monitoring
  • audit
  • performance
  • risk
  • leading on research funding.

As part of this process there will also be reviews of innovation activity investments and how the effectiveness and outcomes in the post-compulsory education system are monitored and could be improved.

What this means and why now

Raising standards in schools is crucial, but we also recognise that skills, lifelong learning, part-time learning and work-based learning are essential to individual and national prosperity. Getting the system right will align to our innovative ‘Diamond’ support for all modes of study.

Wales will adopt a model that builds on what is tried and tested in successful education systems elsewhere in the world, where academic and vocational routes into and through further education and higher education are equally valued and supported.

Working lives are now longer, and change rapidly. We need a system that makes it easier for people to learn and acquire skills throughout their careers. This is an opportunity to ensure employers and education providers of all types work together as our lives and economy undergo huge technological change.

There are significant changes to higher and further education governance, policy and funding elsewhere in the UK. These will have a knock-on effect on Wales and we need to ensure our system is fit for purpose and benefits learners of all ages, employers and communities.

The current functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales would be transferred to the new Authority, which would operate at arm’s length from the Welsh Government. To help manage the transition, the current chair of HEFCW has provisionally agreed to continue in this role for a further period of three years. Alongside this, the Education Secretary is seeking new members for the HEFCW council with experience in a wider range of areas, including work-based learning and major public and private sector employment, in addition to existing strengths in higher education and research.

Contact

Email: HEPolicy@wales.gsi.gov.uk