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ViewPoint: By David Hughes – Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges
November 8, 2018
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By ignoring colleges, the Budget ignored the UK skills crisis Far from being a “People’s Budget”, the Chancellor failed to address the critical need amongst young people and employers for investment in colleges.

“The hard work of the British people is paying off. Austerity is coming to an end.” These were the words of the Chancellor as he introduced his Budget for “the strivers, the grafters and the carers”. I’ve even heard commentators talking about it as a “People’s Budget”. The problem, as always, is which people?

There are many other commentators who will pore over the tax and benefits announcements to declare how fair or otherwise the Budget was and who won and who lost. What I saw was a Budget that was more about politics and potholes than about the jobs, skills and life chances.

Any long-term view of our country will recognise just how important it will be to improve our education and skills investment as the weaknesses in our labour market become more exposed. Employers in private and public sectors have become reliant on skilled and semi-skilled people moving here to work, many from the EU. Nurses, teachers, engineers, construction workers, carers, shop workers – the list goes on and on. That reliance has hidden the misfit between our education and skills investment and the jobs that are available.

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Names of Over 60 Colleges Involved in New Careers Hubs Revealed
July 12, 2018
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The names of more than 60 FE colleges set to play key roles in new hubs, which the education secretary Damian Hinds has said will transform careers education across England, have been unveiled.

But question marks have been raised over how viable it will be for the colleges to implement the required changes, as the hub support fund amounts to just £1,000 per provider.

This is despite the Department for Education announcing an overall allocation of £5 million over two years to support the hubs’ development.

There will be 20 careers hubs in every region outside of London, which will comprise colleges working with local schools and universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to pool their expertise on improving careers education.

These form a central part of the government’s careers strategy, published in December, which focused the need to implement eight key “Gatsby benchmark” standards.

“The careers hubs announced today will support young people with the right advice to help them make decisions about their future by building better links with employers and providing practical guidance and support to improve the provision of careers advice,” said Mr Hinds.

Other financial support on offer was said to include funding of up to £3,500 for 15 colleges and schools in each hub to train a “careers leader”. Read more

Mental Health: AoC Report

There are 2.2 million people being educated and trained in colleges, including 685,000 16 to 18-year olds. The government’s focus on mental health will never truly be realised until they are prioritised. A new Association of Colleges survey has found that:

  • 90 per cent of college leaders have seen an increase in the number of students aged 16-18 with disclosed mental health conditions
  • 86 per cent of college leaders have seen an increase in the number of students aged 19+ with disclosed mental health conditions

That is why AoC has today launched Mental Health & Wellbeing: A Collection of College Case Studies – a snapshot of just some of the work going on in colleges day in and day out to support students and staff. It covers a wide range of successful and easy-to-follow approaches to tackling poor mental health and to promoting wellbeing.

Case studies include:

New City College – Hackney’s work with East London NHS Foundation Trust to support adults with psychiatric issues

The service, aimed at breaking down barriers, offers emotional and practical support, including advice and guidance on college courses and help with enrolment. There is a specialist advisor on hand to support students during college and then their progress on to higher education and employment. Read more

NEW: Careers Strategy Advisory Support for Colleges

There has been a significant focus on careers education, information, advice and guidance in recent months.

December saw the launch of the Careers Strategy, followed by the Statutory Guidance for further education colleges and sixth form colleges, then the Gatsby Benchmarks for young people in
colleges.

The aim of all of these publications is to enable young people to access and benefit from planned, high quality careers education and guidance to support them in making transition decisions, having a broader awareness of the options available to them. Colleges recognise their role in supporting young people to make effective decisions about their careers. They deliver a number of activities to engage young people in this thinking. 

Assessment Services has developed a one-day support visit to help you build upon the recent publications that relate to the importance of high-quality careers guidance. 

For more information Click Here

 

Strengthened Guidance for Schools and Colleges on Safeguarding

The revised Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance now provides additional advice to help school and college staff deal with allegations of child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment, following a 10-week public consultation launched in December.

The majority of the responses to the consultation on the guidance, published today (17 May) welcomed the additional advice on how to support victims of this type of ‘peer abuse’ and the new guidance will be applicable to all schools, including primary schools, on how to best support children of all ages.

Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi, said:

Pupils and parents rightly expect schools to be safe places, where children are free to enjoy their time in education without fear of violence or harassment.

Schools and colleges play an important part in keeping children safe, so it’s right that we take the necessary steps to ensure staff have the guidance and support they need to deal with concerns about a child’s wellbeing.

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School and College Funding Inquiry Launched
April 23, 2018
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The Education Committee launches an inquiry to inform the Department for Education’s bid for funding for schools and colleges, and to consider whether a longer-term vision needs to be taken of education funding in England.

The inquiry

While the Government is already reforming the way in which money is distributed to schools through the introduction of a national funding formula for schools, the spending review process will determine the overall level of public funding for schools and colleges. The Committee’s new inquiry aims to examine whether a longer-term plan is needed for investment in education and what resources are required to ensure schools and colleges get the support they need. The inquiry will also look at the effectiveness of targeted funding such as the pupil premium and how the new national funding formula will be implemented.

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The matrix Standard – Guidance for FE Colleges
August 29, 2016
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The matrix Standard http://matrixstandard.com/ is the Standard that organisations, involved in the delivery of  information, advice and/or guidance, aspire to achieve.

The video gives you an overview of the requirements of the Standard, while the guidance document matrix standard – Guidance for FE Establishments – April 2016– puts the Standard in context for  FE Colleges.

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