£15million fund will help drive up standards across further education.

An innovative multi-million pound fund to boost the quality of education offered across the further education sector has been launched by Skills Minister Anne Milton on 28th June.

Speaking at the Association of Colleges conference, the Minister announced the main phase of the £15million Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF), which will partner strong colleges with those in need of improvement –to share best practice and drive up standards.

Colleges that need support to improve will be able to apply for a grant to work with a stronger ‘partnering’ college and together they will create an action plan to tackle the issues they face.

The launch of this fund follows a successful pilot phase, which saw fourteen colleges receive grants totalling over £2million. Outcomes from the pilot included colleges reporting that the fund built awareness of good practice, fostered mutual learning and enabled rapid action to improve quality.

This move follows the launch of the National Leaders of Further Education and National Leaders of Governance programmes, which also aim to spread the expertise seen in the top colleges across the country.

Available until March 2020, the SCIF is funded by the Department for Education and will be administered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.