By Claire West

Responding to new arrangements announced for the funding and management of post-16 education, Cllr Shireen Ritchie, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Board at the Local Government Association, said:

“There will be disappointment that this reorganisation of post-16 education follows so swiftly from a previous one, and the latest leaves just as many funding streams and middlemen in place.

“Making changes to who distributes the money to colleges will make no difference if the process isn’t simplified. Colleges dealing with funding from two quangos — the Young People’s Learning Agency and the Skills Funding Agency — would be better served by just one funding body. Colleges and councils should not pick up the extra burden of having to deal with money coming from two different government departments.

“It’s good that councils today have again been promised a strong, strategic role in overseeing the education and training offered in their local area. Accountability to local politicians is vital, because local authorities know best the social and economic needs of their areas.

“The years young people spend learning the skills and knowledge they hope will shape their future careers are some of the most important in their lives. During these difficult economic times it is even more crucial that colleges and schools are providing high-quality courses that give young people the skills that local employers need.”