Wales creates single post-16 education regulator

Move to ‘break down barriers’ and create ‘parity of esteem’ through whole system approach seen as potential model for England

June 29, 2022
The Senedd Cardiff
Source: iStock

Wales will be the first UK nation to manage colleges, universities, apprenticeships, sixth forms and adult education as a single system after legislation to create a new post-16 education regulator was passed.

The Commission for Tertiary Education and Research, created by Wales’ Labour government, is seen as a potential model for England.

CTER, scheduled to be established as an independent Welsh government-sponsored body by 2023, will be responsible for overseeing the entire post-16 sector, including further education, higher education, apprenticeships, sixth forms and Welsh-government funded research and innovation.

The legislation to create the body followed a 2016 government-commissioned report on the future of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, which recommended the development of an “overarching vision” for post-secondary education in Wales, based on “stronger links between education policy, providers and provision, and social and economic goals”, along with the creation of a single tertiary regulatory, oversight and coordinating authority.

The Welsh government said that the CTER would “support learners to move seamlessly from compulsory education to post-compulsory education and training”.

The legislation also “sets out a new duty for the commission to promote lifelong learning and a duty for the first time to fund ‘proper facilities’ for further education for adults”, thus helping create a fairer society and prosperous economy by offering “an opportunity to give everyone the chance to develop or re-boot their career in adult life”, it added.

There is also “a new requirement on providers to ensure learners’ and students’ interests are represented and their well-being and welfare supported”.

Jeremy Miles, the minister for education and Welsh language, said: “It is only by adopting a whole system, whole sector, and whole nation approach that we will narrow educational inequalities, expand opportunities, and raise standards.

“The reforms delivered by this bill will help break down barriers, secure easier learner pathways and support continued investment in research and innovation.

“I view this bill as the ‘parity of esteem’ bill. It will support the different but complementary strengths of all institutions, so that learners of all ages have access to the full range of opportunities and are able to contribute economically, academically, and to our communities.”

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Reader's comments (1)

Your illustration of the Welsh Sennedd has everyone in Wales chuckling. That is the Opera House, the Sennedd is next door...