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‘Radical Change’ Call at LSDA Conference


Education leaders and government have said that radical change is needed within Britain’s education and training organisations, at both national and local levels, if they are to become more accountable and customer-friendly.

The statements came during the Learning and Skills Development Agency’s annual conference earlier this month.

Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council Mark Haysom said he wanted to turn the organisation "on its head".

Speaking of his vision for “a new landscape to end the mind-numbing bureaucracy”, he set out his ideas for a new-style LSC that will be trusted and acclaimed.

“We want to be a very different public sector organisation. We want to be known for understanding the communities we serve.”

The comments followed the Bureaucracy Review Group proposals for reform published in its annual report, launched at the conference on 16 June.

The report proposes a strategy to reduce the burden of inspection, put an end to unnecessarily duplication and clarify lines of accountability.

Speaking at the conference chair of the group Sir Andrew Foster warned "bureaucracy is the antithesis of good management" and proposed a more integrated, streamlined inspection process.

He also called for a “massive rationalisation” in the amount of information that learning providers are required to produce – for inspection, audit and by awarding bodies.

For the Government's part Dr Wendy Thomson, the Prime Minister's adviser on public services, said that inspection is too focussed on targets rather than development.

"It is up to public service managers to manage their own quality assessment,’ she said.

While Ed Balls, chief economic advisor to the Treasury, spoke about the importance of promoting strategic decision-making and policy innovation in skills policy at the regional and local level.

"Strategic regional leadership - drawing on local expertise and resources - can help to integrate the approach to skills with the enterprise, innovation and employment agendas," he said.


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