The Learning and Skills Compact Review concludes that "weaknesses in leadership of this agenda at regional and local levels to ensure this issue is given sufficient priority and focus" obstruct the LSC from adhering to the Compact.
The review says there are gaps in staff knowledge, awareness and skills in understanding and responding to the needs of the third sector.
The report also concludes that "mechanisms for sector engagement" at regional and local levels are not sufficiently developed across the LSC, and that staff restructuring and turnover has had a negative impact on effective partnership with the sector.
The LSC has "no clear performance standards" in relation to meeting the Compact's requirements, according to the review.
Among the review's recommendations are:
- The development of a clear set of standards for Compact performance across the LSC
- The extension of the current staff development programme to "incorporate knowledge and competences required to deliver effective partnership working and high standards of Compact performance".
Despite criticising the LSC's leadership at regional and local levels, the review also said there was "good awareness of the sector and its potential contribution to the LSC at senior levels in the organisation". It added that there was a "clear national strategy for working in partnership with the sector" and a "strong national leadership of this strategic agenda".
The report was commissioned by the LSC's chief executive to assess the organisation's performance in relation to the Compact in general, and two of its Good Practice Codes (Consultation and Policy Appraisal, and Funding and Procurement).
Report author Gill Edelman, former chief executive of children's communication charity I Can and former chair of the Governance Hub, was asked to identify good practice and areas that needed improvement and aspects of LSC strategy or policy that hindered Compact compliance.