Understanding Further Education

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy needed to understand the market for Further Education in detail. We showed the limitations of competition and the barriers to better take up, and made policy recommendations.

Learning for life

Further Education is a market delivered by a range of public, private and voluntary sector providers. In general it equips a learner for further learning, including Higher Education, or for employment.

With such a range of outcomes, and a range of players, it is a market with many moving parts – but a vital one for reaching out to disadvantaged groups to improve their life chances.

We had to find out how it works and how it could be improved.

Taking everyone’s word for it

We drew on three forms of evidence. First, the published literature from a vast range of sources, from the academic to government policy documents, provider annual reports, and legislation. Second, we carried out quantitative analysis from several sources. And third, we interviewed about 60 stakeholders in-depth about their experiences and views.

We defined and segmented the market, assessed all aspects including five “deep dives” to check our assumptions, and came up with conclusions about the five barriers to the market working as well as it could.

Market interventions

Frontier’s conclusions provided the platform for discussion between government and the Further Education market about the way forward, including a set of priorities for policy intervention.

Read the full report here