Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

LTE Group performance update

Report of the Chief Executive of the LTE Group attached.


This report provides an update on progress for the Manchester College against its quality and outcomes targets for learners as well as a view on connecting this to social mobility. A progress update on the UK’s largest skills investment project and a  view of the “Manchester” element of Total People Apprenticeship provision



The Committee considered the report of the Chief Executive, LTE Group that provided an update on activity.

The Chief Executive, LTE Group referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -


·                The Manchester College was performing strongly and was in the top 10% for learning outcomes nationally;

·                Significant increases in work experience and employability had not only contributed to high employer ratings of students but also a very strong “Grade 2” OFSTED earlier this year;

·                In terms of the development of the new city centre campus, concerns raised by the Committee at previous meetings had been incorporated into the LTE Group’s negotiations with banks and the final agreement on the full project funding had been able to measurably improve the value of Manchester City Council’s first charge security for the land loan;

·                Total People continued to perform in the top 3 of the largest 20 UK providers for apprentice quality and perform better on total starts and numbers of apprentices in learning than the national position and also for Manchester learners on outcomes;

·                The steps being undertaken to understand the implications for employers and learners in relation to the DfE’s proposed changes in 2020 to the way training provider performance was calculated;

·                The Manchester College was supporting strong engagement on NEET and creating capacity for significant population growth but currently had no funding for nearly 300 new 16-18 year old students who started their studies in September 2019. Consequently, this with other unfunded learners meant there was a significant in year funding gap (£2m) between demand and available funding; and

·                The allocation of Non-Levy funding to Manchester and GM providers looked to be significantly below the level needed to deliver the economic and social aspirations. This meant that unless very significant amounts of funding could be “gifted” from large employers to SME’s, then SME’s in Manchester would be disadvantaged.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·                What would be the impact on those students who had started their courses in September were the College did not have the funding for them;

·                It was acknowledged that further scrutiny would be required on the final agreement on the funding between banks and LTE Group for the College’s new city centre campus;

·                What did the LTE Group consider to be the key challenges of the new Ofsted inspection framework; and

·                Were the issues described with apprenticeship funding and drop in apprenticeship numbers acute to 2015 onwards.


The Chief Executive, LTE Group advised that the LTE Group was meeting with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to discuss the financial requirements needed to support SME’s in taking on apprentices.  The Group was also adopting an Our Manchester approach and working with large employers to gift their levy to other SME’s.  In terms of the College, it was explained that it was also intended to hold discussions with the ESFA on the funding required to support the several hundred learners in completing their studies and to provide for a strategic approach to supporting a ten-year population surge of 16-18 years olds.


The Head of Work and Skills agreed that a report on the final agreement on the funding for the College’s new city centre campus could be submitted to Scrutiny in the new year.


In terms of the new Ofsted inspection framework, the main challenge would be the ability to provide enough resource to ensure that the change in methodology to tracking a learner’s journey and skills development could be adequately monitored.




The Committee: -


(1)       Notes the report; and

(2)       Supports the request from the LTE Group to support an in year funding ask to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to support several hundred learners in completing their studies and to provide for a strategic approach to supporting a ten-year population surge of 16-18 years olds.


[Councillor Johns and Raikes declared prejudicial interests in this item as the LTE Group had sponsored work undertaken by their employer and withdrew from the meeting during consideration of this item]

Supporting documents: