AT A MEETING of the STANDARDS COMMITTEE held in the College on MONDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2010 at 6.30 pm. Present A TOWNSEND in the Chair B Guthrie J Heads A Isherwood and B Ollerenshaw. Also in Attendance L Oliver (Clerk) N Brewster and N Davison (Directorate) and J Layfield (Head of Faculty for Adult Learning). 1
Declarations of Interest There were no Declarations of Interest made prior to the consideration of business.
Minutes The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 June 2010 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
Learner Responsive Update The Committee considered a report on the following â€“ Success rates 2009/10 Recruitment to target for 2010/11 for all Learner Responsive funded students Other curriculum matters not dealt with elsewhere on the agenda With regard to success rates the report informed that whilst they are improving some, such as Long Level 2 provision for the 16-18 age group was still well below national benchmark. Overall for the age group success rates had improved by 7% points since 2008/09. It was recognised however that the main issue for the College was retention as achievement was above national benchmark but retention was below. Full time enrolment statistics for 2010/11 showed that under 19 enrolments were 986 against a target of 1240 with over 19 enrolments standing at 350 against a target of 331. Part time figures were 60 against a target of 450 for under 19s and 962 against a target of 2413 for the over 19s. The report described how the College was responding to the enrolment /income gap which for the over 19 group was partially caused by uncertainty over which courses would be funded.
Page 1 of 5
With regard to the ESF BESD Contract notification of the success of the bid had been received too late as the target group for the contract had already left school. The project has however been extended to March 2011 but reduced the numbers of young people with whom the project will work. Resolved That the report be received and the College approach increasing recruitment be endorsed. 4
Employer Responsive Update The Committee noted a report providing an update on performance relating to Employer responsive provision including Work Based Learning Subject Sector Areas 04 Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies 05.2 Building & Construction 15 Administration and Law Train to Gain The College was reminded of the need to differentiate between %age and %age points differences. The SAR judgement grades for each area of provision was as follows 04 Engineering 05.2 Building 15 Administration Train to Gain
Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Outstanding
Work Based Learning with a success rate of 65.1% was 6%age points below the national average. 5
Minutes of HE Committee The Committee noted the Minutes of the Higher Education Quality and Standards Committee held on 21 October 2010.
Higher Education Update The Committee considered a report on progress to date of recruitment to higher education courses, the success rates for 2009/10, IQER and Widening Participation Funding. Recruitment was currently standing at 255 against a target of 280 for the 2 year period. With regard to success rates it was noted that some courses may not be sustainable given the enrolment numbers.
Page 2 of 5
As regards IQER Action Plan the College is aiming to achieve a ‘full confidence’ outcome. The College is expecting to receive an increase in Widening Participation Funding. 7
Curriculum Review The Committee considered a report on the planned curriculum review. The report detailed how the review was to be managed and the scope of the review is to include all provision (Learner and Employer Responsive) full cost provision and HE. The agreed recommendations are to be considered by the Senior Leadership/ Management Team at the end of December 2010. Resolved That the College’s proposed approach to the review of the curriculum be endorsed.
Schools Collaboration The Committee noted a report outlining recent developments with regard to collaboration with local schools. The report informed that following the abandonment of the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme the following school redevelopments would not now proceed – King James 1 and Bishop Barrington amalgamation Spennymoor and Tudhoe Grange amalgamation Shildon Newton Aycliffe although the College will continue to its commitment to collaboration with local schools. A copy of the College’s policy on developing relationships with local schools was attached to the report. It is hoped that with regard to the Spennymoor/Tudhoe amalgamation that some new building work may proceed following the disposal of the Tudhoe site. In addition the Government has stated that it will no longer provide developmental support for Diplomas. The College is also working closely with the local authority and The Oaks Special School to develop provision for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities aged 16-25.
Page 3 of 5
County Durham 14-19 Update The Committee noted a report providing an update on 14-19 arrangements. In curriculum terms the agenda for this group was Diplomas Foundation learning 14-19 entitlement Information advice and guidance NEETs reduction Specific funding initiatives But in the light of government developments this agenda has broken down. Following the Government changes the County Council convened a meeting bringing together providers to discuss how to respond to the new situation with a number of initiatives being agreed. It was also agreed to hold similar events in the future.
Shaping Adult Learning and Skills The Committee considered a report about future arrangements and planning provision for adult learning in County Durham following the loss of the learning partnership structure based on the former district council areas. For the south and west of the County new partnerships loosely based on the Area Action Partnership boundaries are to be established which will feed into the county wide Durham Partnership. The College remains committed to adult and community learning which will be more effective through joint planning with other FE Colleges, the County Council and other providers. Resolved That the exploration of the potential for collaboration between the FE Colleges and the local authority concerning the planning and provision of adult learning and skills be endorsed.
Quality Matters The Committee noted a report providing an early indication of anticipated main grades for the 2009/10 Self Assessment Report. The report informed that for the first time the structure of the SAR has been modelled around the Common Inspection Framework. This year has involved the use of external moderation panel members to ensure that moderation is robust.
Page 4 of 5
The grades given in the report had not been moderated and that final conclusions would be available during November 2010. The final work will include moderation of the SAR for Governance by the Corporation’s SAR Sub-Group. The final draft of the SAR will be presented to the Corporate Board at its meeting on 6 December 2010. 12
Quality Improvement Action Plan (QIAP) The Committee noted a report on the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the Quality Improvement Action Plan. Attached to the report were the headline developments in implementing the Plan. The report also informed that the action planning software system ‘Meld’ was now fully implemented and being used to help manage the ongoing evolution of the cross College QIAP and in particular to ensure that the monitoring of implementation is robust.
Sustainable Skills Strategy The Committee considered a report informing of the College’s response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation document, Skills for Sustainable Growth, of July 2010. A copy of the proposed response was attached to the report. Resolved That the proposed response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation document, Skills for Sustainable Growth, of July 2010 be endorsed.
The Wolf Review of Vocational Education The Committee considered a report on the College’s response to the Wolf Report on Vocational Education. A copy of the response was attached to the report. Resolved That the proposed response to the Wolf Report on Vocational Education be endorsed.
Date of Next Meeting The Committee noted that its next meeting was to be held 18 April 2011 but that an additional meeting be arranged for 31 January 2011 at 5.00 pm.
Page 5 of 5