behr outcomes

Localised Strategic Education Partnerships (LSEPs)

A Localised Strategic Education Partnership (LSEP) would expect to produce the following real benefits:

  • local education provision that correctly matches the needs of each learner, whatever their particular circumstances;
  • a set of identified post16 career paths for young people that suit future local, regional, national and global skills requirements.

A paper was published by behr outcomes in August 2012, advocating an overarching strategy that ensures complementarity and efficiencies across education authorities. A second paper followed in December 2012. 

Three possible strands have been developed from these papers and are illustrated below. There is also a subsequent update on recent developments at the bottom of this page.

Three Strands for LSEPs

It was suggested in the December 2012 paper that there should be three appropriately balanced strands to facilitate achievement of expected outcomes within an LSEP. These are developed below:

a) Evidence Strand: Contribution towards a solid evidence-base of key factors that impact on high quality education provision in a localised area. This would need to include:

  • a review of current evidence base, identifying agreed gaps;
  • commissioning of rigorous independent studies to help fill these gaps;
  • a synthesis of new information with existing evidence;
  • dissemination of revised evidence base, highlighting changes, to all stakeholders;
  • subsequent iterations on a cyclical basis that responds to external policy changes.

b) Outcomes Strand: Recommendations for relevant joint actions by local decision makers to ensure diversity of post16 progression routes and real choice for all. This strand will need to:

  • re-examine current outcomes that ensure diversity of post16 progression routes and real choice for all, using the revised evidence base of key factors that impact on high quality education provision in a local area;
  • agree on changes to improve desired outcomes, ranging from making them more specific and measurable, to completely replacing and/or re-prioritising them;
  • agree on recommendations to local decision makers that reflect the most appropriate joint actions they might take.

c) Benefits Realisation Strand: A delivery framework that best permits required changes to take place i.e. fewest barriers, biggest potential benefits. This might for example focus around the localised role of Academy chains or Teaching School Alliances in primary and secondary education. It might equally look at the post16 role of 'Local Learning Ecologies' (LLEs) mentioned in a report published in April 2013 by the Institute for Learning, the 157 Group of FE colleges and the Institute of Education.

The 3 strands do not need to have committees or even fixed chairs, but would involve advisory/task and finish groups with rotating and cross membership and leadership, from among, but not necessarily limited to:

  • head teachers and principals in schools and colleges (or their delegated leads); 
  • local area leads on children’s services, education and employment/careers; 
  • employers; 
  • university representatives; 
  • students; 
  • teachers; 
  • parents. 

The geographical remit of an LSEP in England should be decided locally on a similar basis to LEPs (see below)You could imagine for example the London Enterprise Panel (the capital's LEP) being broken down into a number of LSEPs covering the 33 separate borough councils - some of these have already moved to joint running of children's and education services through the Tri-borough agreement between Hammersmith & Fulham, Chelsea & Kensington and Westminster, and 'Achieving for Children' in Richmond and Kingston.

Any thoughts, suggestions or comments about LSEPs are very welcome and should be addressed in an email headed 'LSEPs' to: [email protected] 

Recent developments

"...there is a strong rationale for considering skills policies at the local level to align national aspirations with local needs ... Employers can do a lot more to create a climate that supports learning, and invest in learning; some individuals can shoulder more of the financial burden; and governments can do a lot to design more rigorous standards, provide financial incentives, and create a safety net so that all people have access to high-quality education and training. Designing effective skills policies requires more than co-ordinating different sectors of public administration and aligning different levels of government. A broad range of non-governmental actors, including employers, professional and industry associations and chambers of commerce, trade unions, education and training institutions and, of course, individuals must also be involved."

  • The Witty Report of a review of UK universities' role in economic growth was also published in October 2013. It picked up on the key role of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), of which there are 39 in England which have a remit to stimulate productivity, skills and employment within a defined economically functional area. The report encouraged universities located within LEPs to be involved in local growth planning and investment decisions, while recommending a national advisory body to ensure that good practice is shared between all LEPs in the UK. The Business Secretary Vince Cable MP gave a speech in July 2013 where he emphasised potential lessons from 3 growth pilots taking place in the North East, Staffordshire and Stoke and West of England LEPs. We are still awaiting to see what these lessons might be.
  • report was published in May 2013 by London Councils which noted that "the key to improving skills provision in London is to understand and address the needs of London’s sub-regional functional economies ... LMI [Labour Market Information] needs to be published more regularly, be more forward-looking, and be more granular, providing information not only on national trends, but also on regional and local needs. In London, more analysis needs to be done to identify the needs across London’s functional economic areas."
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