The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) have commissioned a consortium of partners (including BMG Research, NIACE, and CFE Research) to evaluate the FE Reform Programme.

By definition, the reform programme should lead to positive change within the FE system. BIS have therefore commissioned this consortium to provide an independent, representative and rigorous evaluation of the programme to measure any resulting impact. Such evidence is crucial for BIS (and the sector) to inform upcoming spending reviews and decisions for the Government.

Prior research about the programme was undertaken in 2010 (which explored provider’s plans for implementing changes as a result of the reforms) and in 2013 (which explored progress to date). The 2015 evaluation aims to build on this work and meet the following aims:

  • Provide a comprehensive evaluation of the overall impact of the programme on the sector including how and the extent to which providers have implemented changes.
  • Provide an understanding of how partnerships between LEPs, local authorities and others have helped local provision evolve.
  • Understand how providers react to changes in funding and new requirements in relation to Apprenticeships, especially the variable requirements within different frameworks.

The research includes: a telephone survey of colleges and private FE providers; in-depth interviews with 50 providers and 10 key stakeholders; and analysis of ILR and other FE datasets.

A final report will be publically published and presentations outlining the findings will be delivered at key conferences and events.

For further information about the research please contact Elizabeth Davies, Research Director, BMG Research on 0121 333 6006 or

Share this article: