«Paper E Chief Executive’s Annual Report 2014/15 Despite a challenging fiscal climate, 2014/15 was a very successful year for Landex and for the ...»
Chief Executive’s Annual Report
Despite a challenging fiscal climate, 2014/15 was a very successful year for Landex and for the
majority of its members. An overall growth in student numbers at both further and higher education
level, accompanied by a range of good Ofsted inspection and QAA higher education review
outcomes reinforced the high quality of the programmes delivered by the sector.
As always during General Election years, there was considerable uncertainty about policy direction and funding priorities. The outcome was generally unexpected and the new government, without the moderating effect of coalition, heralded further challenges and downward pressures on funding.
Landex Strategic Direction 2014-17 In November 2014 a revised Vision and set of Strategic Priorities were approved to reflect the priorities determined by the membership.
All our members will be:
Recognised by their learners and stakeholders as providing high quality cost-effective land based (Agri-Food, Land and Animal Sciences) education, training and professional development.
Valued by their communities and employers for their contribution to the sustainability of businesses, the well-being of society and the prosperity of rural economies.
Strategic Priorities Landex through its membership and resources will focus on improving the quality of service delivered by all members to that of the very best in the sector by focussing on the 4 strategic
priority themes of:
Quality, Staff Development and Student Experience Leadership and Management Governance and Reputational Management Funding - Protecting and Enhancing through Influencing Landex Board The 2014 AGM usually held in November, was postponed until January 2015 when Tim Jackson was re-elected as Chair, and Andrew Counsell was re-elected as Vice-Chair.
Steve Handford, Director of Finance at Sparsholt College was appointed as both Finance Director and Company Secretary of Landex. However, following his retirement mid-way through the year, Stephen Horrobin his successor at Sparsholt succeeded him in the role.
National Directors Tim Jackson, Principal, Sparsholt College Mike Johnson, Director, Bedford College (Shuttleworth).
Des Lambert OBE, Principal, Plumpton College.
David Llewellyn, Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams University.
Russell Marchant, Principal, Hartpury College.
Page 1 of 9 Ann Turner, Principal, Myerscough College.
Regional Directors Yorkshire and North East: Liz Phillip, Principal, Askham Bryan College.
South West: Andrew Counsell, Principal, Duchy College.
London & South East: Paul Hannan, Principal, Hadlow College.
North West: Meredydd David OBE, Principal, Reaseheath College.
West Midlands: Jackie Doodson, Principal, NorthShropshire College.
East & East Midlands: David Henley, Principal, Easton & Otley College.
N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales David Jones OBE, Principal, Coleg Cambria Landex Committees
The Landex Board continued to be supported by a committee structure:
Higher Education Committee chaired by David Llewellyn, Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University.
Further Education Curriculum and Quality Committee chaired by Tim Jackson, Principal Sparsholt College.
Finance and Funding Committee chaired by Ann Turner, Principal of Myerscough College.
Learning Materials and Technology Committee chaired by Des Lambert, Principal of Plumpton College.
Membership Committee chaired by Tim Jackson, Chair of Landex.
We are grateful to the chairs and their convenors for the work that they undertake in managing the committees.
Landex Finance and Administration The Landex finance function continues to be administered by Sparsholt College, and the human resource function by Hadlow College.
As the organisation now undertakes less activity that is subject to VAT, the decision was taken that the trading subsidiary Landex Commercial and Education Services Ltd. should become dormant with effect from 31st December 2014. The shares that Landex CES held in the joint venture company, Land based Learning Ltd. will be transferred to Landex Ltd.
We expect the annual accounts for Landex Ltd. for the year ending 31st July 2015 to be approved at the November AGM: the financial outturn comfortably exceeded the projected budget surplus, and reflected both the additional services provided for members and the range of funded activity carried out for external organisations. The Company continues to maintain significant reserves to underpin the ever increasing range of activities undertaken.
The revised subscription methodology adopted for 2014/15 reflected a new joint membership agreement with the Association of Colleges (AoC): this proved fit for purpose and consequently the Board approved its continued use together with a modest increase in net subscriptions for 2015/16.
Membership During the year Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) transferred from associate to full membership and Bicton College merged with Cornwall (Duchy) College. At the year-end Landex had 36 full, 1 affiliate and 2 associate members.
The Quality Improvement team continues to be ably led by Quality and Qualifications Manager, Lynn Hart, whose teacher education background has proved of real benefit to members.
Lynn has been assisted by Associate Quality Advisors Mike Ridout, Pauline Williams and Robert Pheasant – and latterly by an additional full-time member of the team, Petra Williams who joined Landex from Brooksby Melton College in May.
Specialist Land based Funding In July 2014 we reported that following a lengthy campaign by Landex and its member colleges, the newly appointed Minister of State, Nick Boles MP had announced an increase in the specialist (G) weighting for 16-19 learners from 1.6 to 1.75.
During the current year the EfA has confirmed that plans are in place to reflect this decision in funding allocations for 2016/17. It is to be hoped that this planned increase in the weighting is not adversely affected by the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Quality Improvement Quality improvement is the cornerstone of Landex activity and sets it aside from all other membership organisations in the sector. Each member is offered 4 days of on-site officer support each year as part of their membership entitlement.
The primary vehicle for improvement continues to be the 2-day peer review process linked to quality improvement plans (QIPs): the review is carried out by a senior member of staff from another member institution supported by a Landex Quality Adviser.
The remaining 2 days may be selected from a menu of activities, which was extended during 2014/15 to reflect the increased emphasis upon activities such as English and maths.
During 2014/15 all full members completed the mandatory peer review exercise. Following completion of the annual review visits, a number of areas for further improvement were identified.
Improving the capture and recording of career destinations Improving initial assessment and outcomes in English and maths (functional skills and GCSE), including those for Work Based Learners Embedding the development of English and maths within vocational lessons Stretch and challenge – developing the enquiring minds of learners (Ofsted cite this as ‘curious’ in the 2015 CIF). Including increased differentiation in practical settings.
Increasing learner autonomy in tutorials and the use of ILP’s Increasing the use of blended learning and use of technology to enhance learning including strategies (flipped learning). Increasing use of VLEs.
Planning and implementing strategies to respond to external policy changes.
A further 144 days of improvement activities were delivered, with strong demand for ‘Stretch & Challenge’ workshops, ‘English and Maths Strategy’ reviews, and ‘Teaching Observation Validation’ activities in particular.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) A substantial review of CPD programme development was undertaken during the year to ensure that specialist events now include a wider range of contributions from external professionals who are experts in their fields, to complement examples of best practice from within the sector that had been Page 3 of 9 identified during peer review visits. Events delivered during 2014/15 were well attended and proved to be popular with specialist staff who valued the technical updating provided by external speakers as a means of advancing their own performance.
Eleven CPD activities were delivered with an average of 19 delegates per event. Staff from 34 member institutions attended these development activities, which was almost double the number of participating institutions during the previous year. Activities were designed specifically for staff
working in the following area:
Animal Management Residential Services Teaching and Learning Coaches Funding and Programme Management Work based Learning & apprenticeships Course Mangers (3 events) Blended Learning Quality Improvement Equestrian Farm Management & Agriculture Livestock production
In July 2015, the Ofsted grade profile for the English members indicated that 88% of institutions were judged to be good or better with 12% (4 institutions) ‘requiring improvement’. No members were judged to be ‘inadequate’. However, two of the four colleges which were graded overall as requiring improvement, had land based provision that was judged to be good. The two remaining colleges had new management teams in place and both institutions actively engaged with Landex to help drive up improvement, and particularly with respect to teaching, learning and assessment.
Table 3: the current grade profile as of 1st July
Estyn and ETI profile At year end member colleges from Wales and Ireland were awaiting inspection by Estyn and the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) respectively. However, both institutions are currently judged as good, or very good by their inspectorate processes of annual review.
Outcomes from Quality Assurance Agency
During 2014/15, six Landex members were reviewed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and 100% met UK standards. Over the two years since the Higher Education Review (HER) was introduced, 11 commendations have been awarded to the 15 members visited, and only one institution has received a judgment of ‘requires improvement’. Of the 16 commendations awarded to date, 11 of these were awarded to Landex members.
Overall the profile of judgements was considerably better than those awarded to the further education sector as a whole.
Partnership with GuildHE Landex members continue to benefit from an annual agreement with GuildHE: the advice provided by the GuildHE team was invaluable and members responded positively to the access that this arrangement provides to GuildHE publications. The availability of high quality meeting space for Landex meetings within the GuildHE offices in Tavistock Square is an additional benefit of the partnership.
Association of Colleges (AoC)
Landex has an arrangement with the AoC, whereby Landex members, who also belong to the AoC, are eligible to receive a reduction in their AoC subscription to recognise the substantial work undertaken by Landex that is not replicated by the AoC.
Most AoC members have now opted to pay their subscription through Landex and the saving for those members is evident in the revised subscription methodology referred to above.
Meredydd David represents Landex members very effectively on the AoC Board and we are grateful for his efforts on behalf of members.
Rural Services Network and SPARSE - Rural Landex continues to belong to this organisation, which as a consequence offers free membership to all Landex Colleges and Universities.
Sector Representation Landex Directors and the Chief Executive established and maintained a regular dialogue and attendance at meetings with a wide range of organisations during the year to represent the interests
of members, these included:
AgriSkills Forum – Agriculture Industry Professional Development Schemes Agrifood Charities Partnership (AFCP) Board Defra - Future of Farming Group Defra – Apprenticeship Group Defra – Biosecurity Group Defra/RHS – Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable and Employment Working Group DfE - Ministerial Working Group on implementation of reforms to post-16 education and funding EfA - Post-16 School & FE Funding Group EfA/SfA/Lantra - ‘G’ weighting and specialist college status group EfA/SfA Advisory Forum Education and Skills Improvement Forum (ESIF) Environmental Studies Higher Education Forum (CHES) Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) - Countryside Education in Schools Farm Safety Partnership – ‘College contributions to improving H&S in agriculture’ Page 5 of 9 Federation of Sector Chief Officers (FoSCO) – ‘Collaboration between sector membership bodies’ Further Education Trust for Leadership (FETL) – Grants Panel Green Gown Awards – Grants Panel HSE - Agriculture Industry Advisory Committee (AIAC) IoH Grow Initiative – ‘Recruitment to Horticulture Programmes and Careers’ IoH - Training and Education Providers Group (HorTEPG) Leadership Conversation – Steering Group (ETF funded project) LEAF – Linking Environment & Farming.
LE-TEC – ‘Land based Engineering Partnership’ Ofsted – Inspection issues related to specialist land based provision SfA - ‘Further Education Technical Advisory Group (FETAG)’ Vetnet Council – progression and CPD for animal management & veterinary nursing.
Mike Atkinson (Plumpton College governor) represented land based interests on the ‘AoC Governors’ Council’ and was also a member of the ‘BIS Project Board’.
Meredydd David represented Landex members on the ‘AoC Board’ and Des Lambert has represented Landex principals on the ‘PPC Board’.