Robert Halfon, the Committee chair, opened on the question of the availability of testing for schools, with Gavin Williamson replying that he continued to emphasise the importance of schools to those responsible. The Prime Minister faced similar questions from the Liaison Committee. The NAO reported on the financial sustainability of FE colleges, describing the situation as “fragile” and calling for a clear vision, role, and funding for the sector. As with the recent report by Dame Mary Ney on college finances, this is another significant contribution in the run up to the publication of the much-anticipated FE White Paper. The AoC said the FEWP had to be a “turning point” for the sector. Another eagerly awaited policy piece is the government’s response to the Augar review of HE funding and this week the IFS published findings into the wage returns on postgraduate study. If ministers choose to go down the route of “picking winners” in terms of funding, reports like this could play an important role in influencing thinking.
For more on these and other stories, read this week’s Policy Watch briefing.