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In April 2008, the then Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills exceptionally granted a one-year postponement to the withdrawal of funding for ELQ students studying theology for the ministry. During that year discussions were held with the stakeholder groups around the development of an appropriate curriculum for foundation degrees and employer co-funded awards for future ministerial development.

HEFCE commissioned J Tann (Consultant) to conduct a detailed analysis of the current academic and funding relationships which exist between theological colleges and higher education institutions in England. The analysis was conducted between October 2008 and August 2009. Its purpose was to:

  • identify the existing academic and funding relationships between institutions and theological colleges in relation to ministry training addressing the range of relationships, the number of learners and the level of provision, and any other points of interest
  • inform our policy development in this area particularly around developing appropriate curricula for foundation degrees to form part of ministry training, and the development of co-funded higher awards.

The report makes a number of recommendations to HEFCE around providing support for the development of foundation degrees and employer co-funded awards and it requests a further one-year postponement to the withdrawal of funds for ELQ learners. This further postponement was granted by Government in August 2009. The report also raises emerging points for consideration by the Ministry Training Division as it takes forward its thinking in the development of ministerial training.