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Foster slates LSC in college report

Sir Andrew Foster has criticised the Learning and Skills Council’s handling of the ailing college building programme in his Government-commissioned report into the fiasco.

The former Audit Commission chief executive’s report, published today, said: “The implementation approach did not include a robust financial strategy or a regional or national approach to prioritisation.”

The Government commissioned Mr Foster to investigate why the LSC was left with a £3 billion funding gap after finding cash for just eight of 79 approved schemes.

He found there was no-one within the council with clear overall responsibility for the capital programme.

Mr Foster added that the priority now was to “agree how the present demand-led approach to the programme is replaced by a needs-based approach with explicit priorities and choice criteria”.

LSC chairman Chris Banks said: “The LSC accepts the criticisms that have been directed at it.

“I am taking immediate action to strengthen the governance of the capital programme and other key elements of the LSC’s work. I have commissioned a review of our governance arrangements and this will be presented to National Council on 22 April.”

He added: “I will be working closely with our new chief executive, Geoff Russell, to ensure that all Sir Andrew’s recommendations are implemented swiftly and effectively.”