ADD2196 Research on 16-18 skills provision in London

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2196
Date signed: 
05 February 2018
Decision by: 
Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director - Skills and Employment

Executive summary

The GLA has recently undertaken a procurement process to seek a contractor to undertake research on 16-18 education trajectories in London. This research will help the Mayor to make the case for devolution of the 16-18 Department for Education budget, informing the evidence base and presenting the rationale to negotiate with government. The proposed research will cover study and progression patterns for London learners at and below Level 3 and will also help to inform policy on 16-18 skills provision in the final London Skills Strategy.

The Corporate Investment Board reviewed the ADD2107 for this proposal on 18 April 2017. This approved expenditure of up to £40,000 for the research project. However, following the tendering process, all bids that were submitted were higher than the £40,000 budget. The applicant with the bid that had the highest score following the assessment process (for technical and commercial elements of the application, presenting the best value for money for the project) was invited to revise their proposed costing for the project, and agreed to reduce this to £49,910. This ADD seeks approval for expenditure of £49,910 for this research.
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Skills and Employment approves expenditure of £49,910 on a research project to make a case for devolution of the 16-18 Department for Education budget and also to help inform policy on 16-18 skills provision in the London Skills Strategy.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The GLA has recently undertaken a procurement process to seek a contractor to undertake research on 16-18 education trajectories in London. The Corporate Investment Board reviewed the ADD2107 for this proposal on 18 April 2017. This approved expenditure of up to £40,000 for the research project. However, following the tendering process, all bids that were submitted were higher than the £40,000 budget. The applicant with the bid that had the highest score following the assessment process (for technical and commercial elements of the application, presenting the best value for money for the project) was invited to revise their proposed costing for the project, and agreed to reduce this to £49,910. This ADD seeks approval for expenditure of up to £49,910 for this research.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of the research is to develop further the evidence base for 16-18 provision in London, from
which practical recommendations or asks of government can be drawn.

The expected outputs of this research are:
•    A report assessing the current landscape of provision for 16-18 London learners, including:
o    A map of provision across the capital and beyond.
o    A set of recommendations for skills and education providers, London government and central government.
•    A presentation summarising the key findings and recommendations of the report.
•    A road map for implementation of the recommendations.
 

Equality comments

It is expected that the recommendations from the research commission will give consideration to how skills
policy and provision in London better addresses the needs of different groups in the capital including those
from different ethnic groups, BAME, gender differences, disabilities and learning difficulties.
 

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues

i.    The timeframe for producing the research is quite tight. Access to data or data limitations could result in gaps in the research commission. Work is underway to explore accessing a data sharing agreement with government within the given timeframe. Other routes to commissioning data are also being explored.

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

The research links to several of the Mayor’s manifesto commitments including to:
•    Develop a city-wide, strategic approach to skills, identifying gaps in provision.
•    Seek a devolution deal over further education which recognises the strategic importance of a London-wide approach to FE, aligned with the needs of employers and students; [and call for the devolution of further education funding for 16-18 year olds and adults to create high-performing colleges that meet the needs of London’s economy and help to reduce youth unemployment.]
•    Support the development of, and protect schemes which expand opportunities for people with disabilities to work and gain skills.

The findings of the proposed research will help to inform the development of a post-16 London Skills and
Education Strategy ahead of devolution of the Adult Education Budget to the Mayor in 2019/20.

c) Impact assessments and consultations

GLA officers have consulted on the aims and scope of the proposed research with the GLA’s Education and
Youth Team and London Councils who will each part-fund the research. The Skills and Employment
Team is working closely with officers from each of these teams/organisations to help inform the basis of
the specification which will be put out to tender.
 

Financial comments

5.1    The total cost of this proposal is £49,910 and will be span two financial-years as follows:

•    2017-18 - £12.500
•    2018-19 - £37,410

5.2    The costs of £12,500 for 2017-18 will be funded from the GLA’s Education & Youth Research & Consultancy budget. With regards to costs that fall in 2018-19; £25,000 will be funded from the GLA’s Skills budget for 2018-19, with the balance of £12,410 being met via income from London Councils.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

 

Activity

Timeline

Tender specification completed

October 2017

Procurement commences

November 2017

Tendering deadline

December 2017

Contractor in place

January 2018

Work commences

January 2018

Research complete

May 2018