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ERIC Number: ED502033
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 40
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-8457-2413-5
Delivering Quality and Choice. How Performance Indicators Help and How Performance Indicators Hinder. Research Report
Perry, Adrian; Simpson, Matthew
Learning and Skills Development Agency (NJ1)
This document reports on a research project held in 2005, which looked to see how performance indicators related to area needs. It shows the results of research across four Learning and Skills Council (LSC) areas, with contributions also from national stakeholders and other witnesses. Findings include: (1) Performance indicators are regarded as useful by players at all levels of the learning and skills system, though for different reasons at different places; (2) Implementation of performance management was nearly always a top-down process, with colleges and other providers striving to meet national levels in externally-defined areas of performance, and college teams; (3) Few examples were found where targets or performance indicators were used to support internal initiatives; (4) Little evidence was found to indicate that the usefulness of performance indicators is weakened by managerial or statistical manipulation; (5) A new suite of success measures is being introduced by the LSC: although welcomed, there is doubt as to whether value-added techniques can be extended fully to other clients and courses; (6) Current quality measures work well for individual institutions, but have weaknesses in setting or assessing the needs of an area because attention is focused on the achievements of the people actually enrolled at the institutions rather than on the population of the locality; (7) Weaknesses are most evident in participation at Level 2 and below, and Level 3 work is disproportionately valued; (8) 14-19 area-wide inspections and Strategic Reviews have been used to analyse the appropriateness of local provision: weaknesses in the mechanisms needed to secure the right balance of provision were found; (9) Public Service Agreements (PSA) set high-level government targets for educational performance, but there are difficulties in establishing clear connections between PSAs and local action; and (10) Local action plans need clear information, and an understanding of who is tasked to ensure delivery. The report concludes with recommendations concerned with new indicators, improved information, better local plans, clear local responsibilities, the creation of statistical families in the sector, improvements in management training, alignment of school and FE quality measures, and a greater focus on the nature of provision alongside its quality. Four appendices include: (1) Bibliography and Further Reading; (2) Methodology and Survey Questionnaires; (3) Problems with Performance Indicators; and (4) Questionnaires used in the Study. (Contains 19 footnotes.)
Learning and Skills Development Agency. Available from: Learning and Skills Network. Regent Arcade House, 19-25 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7LS, UK. Tel: +44-845-071-0800; Fax: +44 20 7297 9001; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Learning and Skills Council, Coventry (England).
Authoring Institution: Learning and Skills Development Agency
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom