Latest Blog

Lisa O'Loughlin's response to the Augar Eeview

Our reaction to the government’s response to the Augar Review

Lisa O’Loughlin, Principal of The Manchester College and Deputy CEO, responds to latest plans that will impact the HE and FE sectors.

Yesterday the government published its long-awaited response to the Augar Review, the independent panel report into post-18 education and funding.

Included in the government’s response was changes to student finance and earning thresholds for repaying loans, a renewed focus on level 4 and 5 qualifications, a lifelong learning entitlement, and minimum grade requirements for accessing student finance for higher education.

Responding to the government’s announcement LTE Group Deputy CEO and Principal of The Manchester College, Lisa O’Loughlin, has welcomed the plans to place a renewed focus on higher technical provisions and the positive impact this can have on the economy and social mobility for learners of all backgrounds.

Lisa commented: “We welcome the consultation on plans to introduce a lifelong loan entitlement, which include making loans available to students looking to study Higher Technical Qualifications at level 4 and 5. Expanding higher technical provision is a key means of building a high-wage, high-skill economy, and FE colleges’ excellence in providing technical education, allied with their close links with industry, makes them ideally placed to deliver this agenda.

“The Manchester College is already playing a leading role in collaborating with colleges across Greater Manchester to develop a suite of high-quality technical training routes for young people and adults in the city region and beyond. What we need to see in the coming months and years is a sustained commitment from the government to promoting this new suite of courses to employers to ensure that they develop into a major route through which more young people and adults reach their potential.

“While some of the details of the proposals announced today require further unpicking, including the introduction of minimum GCSE English and maths grades for progressing to higher education and the impact this would have on the routes available to young people and adults as they seek to upskill, we welcome moves to entrench technical education as an aspirational route into a successful and rewarding career, alongside higher education and apprenticeships.”

The government’s response to the Augar Review can be found in full here: Fairer higher education system for students and taxpayers - GOV.UK (