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LSC needs to act now

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The Learning and Skills Council needs to start proving its worth, according to a piece in this week's Guardian.

The paper's Nick Tester examines the progress of the LSC so far, pointing to an alleged 'collapse of its information technology' and help drafted in from NIACE to help staff the organisation earlier in the year as major problems the LSC has already had to face in its first 6 months of life. Tester points to a recent conference hosted by the Association of Colleges, where LSC Director of Learning Programmes apparently asked the audience for more time for the LSC to properly lay out its stall - its policy, strategy and funding.

Although the article in the paper concentrates its analysis on plans for post-16 education in schools, the LSC of course has a much wider remit. With Education and Skills Minister Estelle Morris coming from a teaching background, questions have been asked since her appointment about the level of attention her department has been giving to post-16 education and training. A brief straw poll of DfES press releases since the beginning of July shows that 39 have been on school-related subjects, with just 17 covering a range of post-16 issues, including FE and HE, job seekers, basic skills and educational research. The LSC's corporate plan was published at the end of July - in fact, this appears to be the only press release put out through the Department for Education and Skills by the LSC during this period.

The LSC's own website reveals that the Council has developed a Memorandum of Understanding with Regional Development Agencies, commented on research from the LSE, commissioned more research into the amount of training taking place within organisations, and put together a £160 million support package for colleges inspected under the new Ofsted arrangements.

There are 15 press releases in total since July, but TrainingZONE sees lots of announcements and little action in all this. If anyone from the LSC would like to get in touch and tell us otherwise, please do!

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