A review of post-16 education and training is underway in Sheffield and stretching across South Yorkshire as the Government seeks to create ‘fewer, larger, more resilient and efficient providers’.
Colleges within the scope of the review include Sheffield College, Northern College, Dearne Valley College, Doncaster College, Barnsley College and Rotherham College, along with sixth form facilities Longley Park and Thomas Rotherham Colleges.
The Sheffield region is among the first three areas to be scrutinised with a view to restructuring, along with those of Birmingham and Greater Manchester.
The government requires ‘substantial change’ with reform to ‘create greater specialisation, with the establishment of institutions that are genuine centres of expertise, able to support sustained progression in professional and technical disciplines, alongside excellence in other fundamental areas – such as English and maths.’
Reviews will start with detailed assessment of the economic and educational needs of each area, with the implications for post-16 education and training provision.
They will be led by steering groups that will include chairs of governors, local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, further education and sixth form college commissioners and regional schools commissioners among their numbers.
A local steering group for the Sheffield City Region will meet for the first time at the end of this month chaired by Dr David Collins.
In time, judgements are likely to be made on which institutions will attract Government funding in the future.