Policy Forum for Wales

Priorities for Post-Compulsory Education and Training in Wales

Morning, Tuesday, 21st January 2020

Central Cardiff


The conference comes at a time of considerable change for PCET, as the Welsh Government establishes a new authority to oversee the sector - The Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER).

Delegates will consider the structure and priorities for the new body in order maximise the potential of the new post-compulsory system, in light of Welsh Government aims including: widening access to PCET education, enhancing the economic impact of post compulsory education and training, governance, and funding, and the promotion of the Welsh language and culture.

Establishment of the  Tertiary Education and Research Commission for Wales comes following recommendations in the Hazelkorn review of the oversight of post-compulsory education and the Weingarten review on how to improving the sector’s effectiveness. Attendees will discuss how to ensure that the CTER is configured to allow effective governance of HE and FE institutions and a smooth transition to the new single regulatory organisation. They will also consider the future governance structures of CTER itself - both in its relationship with the Welsh Government and the representation of stakeholders within the governance of the organisation.

We expect discussion on CTER's initial priorities as it inherits the responsibilities currently performed by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, including funding arrangements under the new framework and scrutinising designated providers to ensure quality in the post-compulsory sector. As well as its proposed functions of auditing for further education and work-based learning, contracting, financial monitoring, funding, and planning, we expect a particular focus on the decision to include sixth forms within CTER's remit, including the likely impact on school funding arrangements.

Further sessions discuss the types of skills that Wales needs in the long-term and what the PCET reforms could mean for goals in the Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All strategy of increasing high quality employment, higher overall skills levels, and achieving one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Keynote Speaker

Dr David Blaney

Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Keynote Speakers

Dr David Blaney

Chief Executive, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Kirsty Williams AM

Minister for Education, Welsh Government


Suzy Davies AM

Shadow Minister for Education & Welsh Language, Welsh Conservative Party, National Assembly for Wales


Senior speaker confirmed from Estyn

Rob Simkins

President, NUS Wales

Mark Jones

Principal, Gower College Swansea

Margaret Phelan

Wales Official, University and College Union

Barry Liles

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Skills & Lifelong Learning, University of Wales Trinity Saint David