College results `unacceptably low'

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The Independent Online
TOUGH NEW targets are needed to raise "unacceptably low" levels of achievement in many further education colleges, according to a report published today by a powerful committee of MPs .

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said fewer than half of students gained the qualifications they had studied for in as many as 10 per cent of colleges. They want Ministers and the Further Education Funding Council to set "a searching challenge for colleges".

David Davis, the committee's chairman, said: "The variability in the levels of student achievement is very disturbing."

On average, 67 per cent of college students get the qualification at the end of their course. But the report pointed to variations between colleges. The so-called achievement rate in some colleges was 99 per cent, while in the worst, Hackney Community College, London, the average slumped as low as 24 per cent.

Further education colleges provide education and training for more than 4 million full and part-time students at an annual cost of pounds 4bn. The Government has promised an extra pounds 255m over three years.

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