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GDPR Best Practice: How to Reduce the Risk of a Data Breach
December 11, 2019
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A Tribal Group Blog Posted by Paul Dulle

In recent months, it has become apparent that Universities and Colleges are ‘under attack’ or at risk of data breaches. Both the GDPR and the corresponding UK Data Protection Act (2018) are just two examples of international data breach notification laws that have come into play in recent years. 

The breadth and complexity of these regulations are proving to be a significant challenge for businesses and the ICO (the UK Data Protection regulator) has shown they are not afraid to impose significant sanctions for those who cannot demonstrate compliance.   

While it has taken over a year for any ‘big fine’ to be imposed in the UK, during the last few months we have seen some record-breaking fines announced by the ICO. With Marriott Hotel being fined £99.2m and British Airways being fined £183m, now really is the time to ensure your data is backed-up, and if the dreaded does happen, a plan is in place to maintain business continuity.

Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham stated:

“People’s personal data is just that – personal. When an organisation fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft, it is more than an inconvenience”. “That’s why the law is clear – when you are entrusted with personal data, you must look after it. Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights.”

The ICO has identified a list of factors that have contributed to breaches:

  • Poor board-level awareness of the risk to the organisation
  • Incomplete or missing corporate records (contracts and policies)
  • Inadequate staff training (important to keep a record)
  • Policies repeatedly not followed (compliance needs embedding)
  • Not understanding supply chain risks
  • Investment in security deferred
  • Poor data governance (particularly in test or product development environments; and in respect of the use of live data for testing)
  • Staff Workarounds compromising security systems because the agreed way of working is not the easiest way of working
  • Obvious misconfiguration of systems leaving them open to long-known vulnerabilities

Since most data breaches are the result of human error, even organisations with the best privacy program and awareness of personal data processing, may experience a breach. We have learned from the GDPR that organisations must not only be accountable, but also be able to demonstrate compliance. This can be broken down into three key activities:

  • Put in place appropriate technical and organizational measures to meet requirements.
  • Ensure compliance of data processing operations is demonstrable including having underlying evidence ready.
  • Ensure technical and organisational measures are reviewed and updated on a regular basis (annually) to ensure compliance with changing legislation and guidance.

If your University or College is GDPR compliant, you will already have a solid foundation for addressing a data breach, however, if you are still in the process of becoming compliant here are some recommendations:

  1. Create a Record of Processing Activity (ROPA): A key element of GDPR is the ability to provide proper documentation to demonstrate compliance (Article 30). A ROPA provides easy access to all information on processing operations so that you can quickly retrieve information when you have a security alert or incident report.
  2. Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO): The appointment of a DPO is mandatory under the GDPR and other jurisdictions are adopting this requirement. A DPO can act as a first point of contact and internal advisor on how to proceed in the event of a breach.
  3. Conduct (or leverage) your Data Privacy Impact Assessment (DPIA): Conducting or leveraging your DPIA may already reveal risk involved in your processing and include mitigating measures put in place to help you determine if a data breach is reportable.
  4. Keep a data breach register: While not all breaches are reportable to authorities, you do need to keep an internal register of all data breaches and security incidents. Reviewing your data breach register may point to problems within your organization related to lack of awareness, lack of security or simple carelessness in some of the departments.
  5. Document your information assets and your approach to privacy management: By documenting and assigning ownership of the different Information Assets that exist across the college, along with the relevant policies and procedures, decision making processes and business continuity plans, you can create a robust set of information that can be used to assist at the time of the incident and demonstrate responsible privacy management to the ICO and other parties after a breach.
  6. Create a robust business continuity plan: This needs to include both incident management and recovery elements, closely linked to the GDPR notification guidelines. The plan should be rehearsed and available in both hardcopy and electronic formats (in case you experience a ransomware/lock-out situation).  It should also include a call tree (a layered hierarchical communication model used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate recovery, if necessary. This should include internal contacts and external agencies (ICO, Police, National Crime Agency, insurance company etc).
  7. Ensure your operational data is backed-up and secure:  As well as your own backups, Tribal offers a business continuity, backup and disaster recovery service, with two days’ worth of data stored off site, SecureSend transfers and data restoration within four hours.
Fewer than 5% of People in Many Countries Benefit from Adult Learning Opportunities
December 10, 2019
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In almost one-third of countries, fewer than five per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, according to UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4).

Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, minority groups and other disadvantaged segments of society are particularly under-represented in adult education programmes and find themselves deprived of crucial access to lifelong learning opportunities.

Published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the report monitors the extent to which UNESCO Member States put their international commitments regarding adult learning and education into practice and reflects data submitted by 159 countries. It calls for a major change in the approach to adult learning and education (ALE) backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from adult learning and education and that its full contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized.

“We urge governments and the international community to join our efforts and take action to ensure that no one – no matter who they are, where they live or what challenges they face – is left behind where the universal right to education is concerned,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, endorsing the report’s recommendations. “By ensuring that donor countries respect their aid obligations to developing countries, we can make adult learning and education a key lever in empowering and enabling adults, as learners, workers, parents, and active citizens.”

The publication stresses the need to increase national investment in ALE, reduce participation costs, raise awareness of benefits, and improve data collection and monitoring, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Progress in participation in adult learning and education is insufficient

Despite low participation overall, many more than half of responding countries (57% of 152) reported an increase in the overall participation rate in adult learning and education between 2015 and 2018. Low-income countries reported the largest increase in ALE participation (73%), trailed by lower middle income and upper middle income countries (61% and 62%).

Most increases in adult learning and education participation were in sub-Saharan Africa (72% of respondents), followed by the Arab region (67%), Latin America and the Caribbean (60%) and Asia and the Pacific (49%). North America and Western Europe reported fewest increases (38%) though starting from higher levels.

The data shows persistent and deep inequalities in participation and that key target groups such as adults with disabilities, older adults, minority groups as well as adults living in conflict-affected countries are not being reached.

Women’s participation must improve further

While the global report shows that women’s participation in ALE has increased in 59 per cent of the reporting countries since 2015, in some parts of the world, girls and women still do not have sufficient access to education, notably to vocational training, leaving them with few skills and poor chances of finding employment and contributing to the societies they live in, which also represents an economic loss for their countries.

Quality is improving but not fast enough

Quality ALE can also provide invaluable support to sustainable development and GRALE 4 shows that three-quarters of countries reported progress in the quality of education since 2015. Qualitative progress is observed in curricula, assessment, teaching methods and employment conditions of adult educators. However, progress in citizenship education, which is essential in promoting and protecting freedom, equality, democracy, human rights, tolerance and solidarity, remained negligible. No more than 3% of countries reported qualitative progress in this area.

Increase in funding for adult learning and education needed

GRALE 4 shows that over the last ten years, spending on adult learning and education has not reached sufficient levels, not only in low-income countries but also in lower middle income and high-income countries. Nearly 20% of Member States reported spending less than 0.5 per cent of their education budgets on ALE and a further 14% reported spending less than 1 per cent. This information demonstrates that many countries have failed to implement the intended increase in ALE financing proposed in GRALE 3 and that ALE remains underfunded. Moreover, under-investment hits socially disadvantaged adults the hardest. Lack of funding also hampers the implementation of new policies and efficient governance practices.

The UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) monitors whether UNESCO Member States are putting their international commitments on adult learning and education into practice. These commitments are set out in the Belém Framework for Action (2009), the outcome document of the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, Belém, Brazil), and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (2015). In addition to this monitoring function, each issue of GRALE examines a particular topic, the 2019 edition focusses on participation. GRALEis published every three years. The Report combines survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers and practitioners with recommendations and examples of good practice. It presents evidence on how adult learning and education helps countries address current challenges and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

ESFA Apprenticeship Audit: Common Errors and how to Avoid Them
December 10, 2019
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A Tribal Group Blog by Carla Martinho

On 11th June 2019 the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) published the snappily titled “Common findings from funding assurance work on post-16 providers and institutions” guidance document. It summarises the findings from the agency’s annual programme of assurance visits (in other words, audits) of providers delivering:

ESFA apprenticeship audit: common errors and how to avoid them
  • 16 to 19 study programmes
  • apprenticeships
  • adult education budget (AEB)
  • Advanced Learner Loans

For apprenticeships, there were no real surprises contained in the guidance if you have been working closely with the sector since the reforms were implemented (or more accurately started).

Here’s a summary of the key findings relevant to apprenticeships and some tips for avoiding them to ensure a smooth and successful audit:

1. Recognition of prior learning

Some providers have failed to reduce the funding claimed for learners who have relevant prior learning. The ESFA has even introduced a new report in the Provider Data Self-Assessment Tool (PDSAT) to help providers understand where they may have failed to reduce the price – and to allow the Agency to monitor provider data on this too of course.

Top tip: If you aren’t checking your ILR data using the PDSAT every month, start now. And if all of your apprenticeships are charged at the same rate for all learners, then the likelihood is that you have an issue and need to review who should have their funding reduced because of prior learning or experience.

2. Ineligible costs

You can’t calculate how to reduce the funding for RPL if you don’t have a model of how the costs of the apprenticeship have been calculated in the first place using eligible costs only.

Top tip: Create a template for calculating the cost of every apprenticeship standard or framework you deliver and check this against the eligible costs in the funding rules. Use this baseline model of costing to justify your Total Negotiated Price (TNP) price and amend this baseline to evidence reduction of price tailored for each learner who has RPL.

3. Minimum duration

This is one of the easiest rules to comply with and yet according to the recent findings, it’s one of the most common – and potentially most costly – errors! If this condition is not met, the whole apprenticeship for that learner will be ineligible for funding.

Top tip: As well as checking that all your apprenticeships meet the minimum duration rules, double-check that reducing the content of the apprenticeship to account for RPL doesn’t take the length of the apprenticeship below the minimum duration.

4. Off-the-job training

This is another one essential for funding, and if this condition is not met, the whole apprenticeship for that learner is ineligible for funding.

Top tip: Like the top tip for eligible costs, create a template for modelling how off-the-job training will be delivered for every framework or standard during the given duration. Then tailor it for every apprentice who has the content reduced due to RPL. Evidence of actual off-the-job training needs to be recorded for every learner and needs to evidence that it matches the model.

Check that 20% off-the-job has actually been delivered before completion and/or end point assessment.

5. Commitment statement and apprenticeship agreement

The information recorded on the commitment statement must reconcile with the apprenticeship agreement and the ILR. The absence of this evidence may result in a funding error.

Top tip: This isn’t just an induction process – you may need to update all three documents with relevant changes in circumstances such as breaks in learning, changes of job title, pathway or standard.

6. Learning start, learner status, learning end dates

This one is as old as the hills and sounds very simple, yet so many providers get caught out by it. Basically, if you are claiming funding for a learner starting their apprenticeship, you need to have evidence that they have started learning – not just been enrolled, inducted or started a new job. You need evidence that they have to have started learning activity related to the content of their apprenticeship.

Once they have started, if an apprentice is noted on your ILR as in learning, you need to be able to evidence at audit that they are undertaking learning on an ongoing basis. Again, don’t assume that attendance at work or college is evidence of learning, unless you can prove that they were there doing learning activity which forms part of their apprenticeship.

If a learner takes a break in learning or they withdraw from their apprenticeship you must be able to evidence learning up to the withdrawal date. If you can’t then you should change the withdrawal date to correspond with the last piece of learning evidence you have, even if that means drawing down less funding. With work-based learning particularly it’s very easy to get caught out because learners often withdraw because of dismissal at the end of a lengthy disciplinary process during which the learner is not engaged with learning. In that circumstance the end date on the ILR should be the last date of learning taking place and not the last date of employment.

Top tip: Review your learner list every month to check that they really are all in learning. This is where an eportfolio really comes into its own as you have an audit trail of learning taking place.

7. Employment status

Having stated at the start there were no surprises, I wasn’t expecting employment status to crop up in the findings. It’s simple – an apprenticeship is work-based learning; if the learner isn’t in employment, then they aren’t an apprentice and you can’t draw down funding for their learning.

Top tip: Don’t get caught out by signing up learners before their contract start date and using that as their enrolment date and the ILR learning start date (see also 2 above). It may only be a difference of a few days but they aren’t employed according to the funding rules.

8. Payment of employer contributions and small employer waiver

For delivery to non-Levy employers you need to evidence that you have invoiced the 10% contribution. For any employers where you are charging above the maximum funding cap, you also need to show that you have invoiced them for this difference.

Top tip: Invest in a student management system with good functionality around financial records and invoicing. For employers with 49 or fewer employees, make sure that you have a signed declaration from them before you deliver any learning.

9. English and maths

All learners who complete their level 1 English or maths should be offered the opportunity to study at level 2.

Top tip: Build this into your level 1 completion process. Could you hand out a letter with the certificate? You don’t just need to do it – you need to be able to evidence that it’s being done which can be difficult if none of your learners go on to study at level 2. 

These are my top tips to help you build audit preparation into your everyday delivery – but as always, they aren’t a substitute for reading the full document.

Young Care Leavers are Missing Out on Apprenticeship Opportunities
December 9, 2019
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Young care leavers are missing out on apprenticeship opportunities as experts warned they are not receiving adequate support to transition into sustainable careers.

The Children’s Society and Catch 22 are calling for more changes to the apprenticeship levy to encourage this underserved group into work and help care leavers see apprenticeships as a financially viable opportunity.

The latest Department for Education figures show 39 per cent of care leavers aged 19-21 are not in employment, education or training, compared to 12 per cent of those in the same age group.

At the launch event yesterday the charities launched their new Bright Light programme.

The pilot, funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation, will offer holistic and tailored support to London’s young care leavers to help them into apprenticeships, employment or further education.

Emma Allix, Catch22’s Programme Manager for Bright Light, says:

“It is vital that employers are understanding of the personal barriers these young people face, and that they offer effective long-term support. We all have a responsibility to be better corporate parents to care leavers, and with the additional help with transport costs, training, or just improving access, we can change these young peoples’ lives. By offering this support to these young people, employers will see loyal, motivated employees, likely to build a long-term career with their organisation.

“We want those who contribute to the apprenticeship levy to dedicate half their expenditure to those under 30. It is equally important that employers are supported and encouraged to take on apprentices too.”

Peter Grigg, External Affairs Director at The Children’s Society, adds: 

“We know through our work that care leavers face a myriad of issues when looking to their future. They have not had the parental guidance needed to navigate the world of job hunting nor will they have the financial backing to take up an apprenticeship that pays just £3.30 per hour. This low wage is simply not enough to live on. That is why we are calling on the first year apprenticeship rate to be brought in line with under 18 minimum wage. This additional money would remove some of the financial barriers and hopefully reduce the disproportionate number of care leavers not in education, employment or training.”

Bright Light will enable care leavers to achieve the best possible outcomes when transitioning from care into adulthood and employment. The course will provide one to one support for up to 18 months. Career coaches will help each individual build their confidence, to understand employer expectations, interview techniques, budgeting, the importance of time management and more.

Loveth Benson, a 22 year old from East London, is one of Bright Light’s first participants. Loveth is currently at university but was signposted to the course because of the struggles she has faced in trying to find a job.

Loveth explained:

“I was in care at 15 and lived with foster families, then at 17 I was living in semi-supported housing, which was quite regulated, so I wasn’t allowed to get a part-time job. When I could get a job, I didn’t know what to put on my CV, or how to even do one. I didn’t know how to write a personal statement or a cover letter, and there was no one to ask for help… no parents. This course is helping me to find out more about these things.”

Loveth hopes being part of Bright Light will help her achieve her dream career:

“I really want to be a social worker. Being in care, I met lots of young people with different issues and backgrounds, but all of them had no one they could ask for help… I want to be able to help them. I have only just started the course but we have already looked at jobs that can help me achieve my goals.”

How do you Attract Millennials to a Business?
December 9, 2019
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By 2020, Millennials will account for 35 per cent of the global workforce. Renowned for their propensity for smashed avocado and Instagram, they will soon be the most represented demographic on earth from a professional perspective.

So, what does a typical Millennial look for in a workplace? The modern employee is a different beast to previous decades, no longer motivated purely by the amount of their salary or the size of their company. Money and reputation are certainly still important, but there are other factors at play now.

Work-life balance

The ability to be fulfilled both at and away from work is not only a reality in 2017, it is highly sought after by employees and employers alike. Those at the top of businesses understand that productivity is directly linked with worker happiness and satisfaction, and the flexibility to adjust office hours and work remotely is highly valuable.

Company culture

Clocking out at five on the dot is a thing of the past for many businesses. Workplace culture is a crucial aspect that contributes to employees feeling valued and taking pride in their job. Friday afternoon drinks, celebrating company milestones and mentoring programs are all examples of developing company culture.

Office layout 

The physical nature of workplaces has changed drastically in the last decade, with Millennials renowned for their interest in the design, layout and amenities. Simply being open plan is no longer a distinguishable feature; young professionals are interested in everything from dedicated ‘chill zones’ with ping pong tables and edgy collaboration spaces, to wellbeing facilities and onsite baristas.

Career advancement

There is a perception that Millennials are not as loyal as previous generations given the shift from the old model of spending more than a decade at one organisation. To combat this high-turnover environment, businesses must demonstrate clear pathways for their employees to upskill and develop from a professional perspective.

Is Flexibility the Key to the Modern-Day Workforce?
December 6, 2019
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The concept of flexible working arrangements has been a game-changer in recent years, allowing workers to meet personal responsibilities while still fulfilling the requirements of their role.

Is Flexible Working Key To Attracting New Talent?

A flexible working arrangement usually refers to where the work is completed from (i.e., from home or the office) and when it is done. While the list of benefits is exhaustive, there are also potential pitfalls to be wary of. We take a look at both sides.

Advantages
A shortcut to a better work-life balance 

Flexibility in hours can help workers at any age or with any type of lifestyle. Working to a schedule or from a location that benefits the worker can allow people to live regionally and still work in capital cities, and it can give parents the opportunity to spend more time with family. Those with mental health issues can greatly benefit from a more flexible schedule. Lessening the pressure of these everyday life stressors can lead to better focus while at work. 

Time saved on commuting 

The time saved on a commute gives people extra hours each week that would usually be spent travelling to and from the premises. Even the introduction of flexible hours can reduce commute time, as employees aren’t required to travel at peak times.

Morale and productivity

Improved morale is the biggest positive involved with flexible working. Giving workers more choice in how they organise their working week has links to higher enjoyment at work, as well as increasing productivity. By offering flexibility in contact hours, employees feel more in control of their schedule and can better meet their health, social and family needs. 

Financial benefits for the business 

Companies who encourage flexible working arrangements often increase their revenue through less personal leave taken by workers. Better morale generally translates into a lower staff turnover and thus reducing hiring costs.

Disadvantages
Complacency

This one really depends on the type of person and level of accountability required in the role. Working from home or in the office at times that others are not around does sound enticing; however, it’s all too easy to use work hours to attend to household chores or personal errands. It can be a great exercise in discipline for those easily distracted.

Remote collaboration can come with its challenges 

Despite technology allowing workplaces to communicate from anywhere, some meetings, pitches or critical interviews are best done in person. The extent of these challenges does come down to the type of person, how outgoing they are and how comfortable they are contributing to meetings over video or phone.  

Switching off takes more discipline

Sitting on the couch under a blanket or working with a cuppa on the porch can be just the thing to meet a big deadline. However, bringing work into the home environment can make it difficult to draw a line between working hours and relaxation time. The same goes for having flexible hours — some may find it difficult to switch off and not remain contactable at all times.  

ESFA Update: 4 December 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Documents

ESFA Update further education: 4 December 2019

ESFA Update academies: 4 December 2019

ESFA Update local authorities: 4 December 2019

Details
Items for further education
Remindersubmission of college financial statements
Reminderindividualised learner record (ILR) R04 return
Reminderregister for our webinars on how to support smaller employers transition to the apprenticeship service
Informationapplications to the register of apprenticeship training providers
Informationpublication of high needs student and pupil numbers recorded in the ILR and school census 2018 to 2019
Informationreminder of advice on Aluminium Composite Material cladding
Your feedbackour online remittances for post-16 funding
Items for academies
Actionacademies financial returns deadlines
Actionteachers’ pension employer contribution grant (TPECG) supplementary fund claim form now available
Reminderindividualised learner record (ILR) R04 return
Informationpublication of high needs student and pupil numbers recorded in the ILR and school census 2018 to 2019
Informationreminder of advice on Aluminium Composite Material cladding
Your feedbackour online remittances for post-16 funding
Items for local authorities
Actionteachers’ pension employer contribution grant (TPECG) supplementary fund claim form now available
Reminderindividualised learner record (ILR) R04 return
Informationpublication of high needs student and pupil numbers recorded in the ILR and school census 2018 to 2019
Informationreminder of advice on Aluminium Composite Material cladding
Your feedbackour online remittances for post-16 funding

Published 4 December 2019

Ofsted Newsletter
December 4, 2019
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Sections

All Ofsted
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated HMI details for the South West region.
Ofsted publications during pre-election period – Information about what Ofsted will publish during the pre-election period, running from November 6 to December 13 2019.

Schools
Inspectorates of British schools overseas: annual Ofsted report – Our annual report on the quality of inspection work by the inspectorates of British schools overseas in the academic year 2017/18.
School inspection handbook – Updated with minor changes following the launch of the education inspection framework (EIF).
Section 8 school inspection handbook – Updated with minor changes following the launch of the EIF.
School inspection update: academic year 2019 to 2020 – Added the November 2019 edition of the school inspection update newsletter. This is the first edition since the rollout of the EIF. It focuses on the minor changes to section 5 and section 8 handbooks following the first two months under EIF. A summary of the changes is included and the edition also includes information on the release of key stage 4 checking data.
School inspection data summary report (IDSR) guide – Added IDSR guidance for secondary schools.
Official Statistics: Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes in England: August 2019 – Provisional data for the period September 2018 to August 2019 and revised data for the period September 2017 to August 2018.
Official Statistics: State-funded schools inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 – Provisional data for the period April to August 2019 and revised data for the period September 2018 to March 2019.

Social care
Social care questionnaires 2019: what children and young people told Ofsted – We use questionnaires to capture views about social care settings, including children’s homes, boarding schools and living with foster carers and adopters. This is the fifth year that we have published data and a report about the survey responses.
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the social care privacy notice to include references and links to the Care Inspectorate Wales.
Ofsted annual fostering data collection – Added note on the changes to the data collection template and the portal for 2019 to 2021.
Social care common inspection framework (SCCIF): Minor updates to different sections of the SCCIF:

National Statistics: Fostering in England 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – Fostering in England statistics for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
Register as a children’s social care provider or manager – Added links to Ofsted’s personal information charter and social care privacy notice.
Official Statistics: Local authority and children’s homes in England inspections and outcomes – autumn 2019 – Local authority inspection data and children’s homes inspection data, covering the period up until 31 August 2019.

Further education and skills
Research into further education subcontracting launched – Ofsted is launching a new research project to look at the subcontracting landscape within further education.
Official Statistics: Further education and skills inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 – Data for inspections and outcomes as at 31 August 2019 including data for inspections carried out between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019.
Using Ofsted’s inspection data summary report (IDSR): 16 to 19 – Added ‘Example 16 to 19 inspection data summary report’ for 2019.

Early years and childcare
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the section ‘Who we might share your data with’ in the Childcare: Ofsted privacy notice to include childminder agencies that you apply to work for.
Ofsted education blog post: early reading and the education inspection framework – Gill Jones, our Deputy Director for Early Education, sets out how we look at early reading and phonics teaching as part of our new inspections.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated addresses as at 31 October 2019.

Subscribe to this newsletter here.

ESFA Update: 27 November 2019

Latest information and actions from the Education and Skills Funding Agency for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers.

Documents

ESFA Update further education: 27 November 2019

ESFA Update local authorities: 27 November 2019

Details
Items for further education
Actionadult education budget, 19 to 24 traineeships and 16 to 18 traineeships, review point 1
Remindersubcontractor declaration for adult delivery, including apprenticeships and traineeships, and for the first time, for 16 to 19 provision
Informationrequesting a 19 to 24 traineeship allocation for the 2019 to 2020 funding year deadline
Information2018 to 2019 final reconciliation statements
Informationcontract capping release, over-delivery, for 2018 to 2019
Informationtraining providers helping to test the apprenticeship service
Items for local authorities
Actionadult education budget, 19 to 24 traineeships and 16 to 18 traineeships, review point 1
Informationgrowth and falling rolls fund guidance for 2020 to 2021

Please note, there is no academies edition of Update this week

Published 27 November 2019

UK Employers Urged to Upskill Workers
November 26, 2019
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As businesses around the world race to upskill their workforces, City & Guilds Group warns that UK employers risk being left behind

UK employers must do more to upskill their workforces or risk lagging behind employers in other parts of the world, according to City & Guilds Group.

It surveyed 6,500 employees and 1,300 employers across 13 international markets and found significant differences in L&D investment in different parts of the globe.

The research showed that employers in developing countries with rapidly emerging economies are among the most likely to ramp up investment in upskilling their workforce in the near future, compared to developed economies such as the UK.

A significant proportion of Indian (92%) and Kenyan (78%) employers predicted a net increase in L&D investment in the next 12 months, compared to just 54% of employers in the UK. 

This is concerning considering only 13% of UK employees would rate the L&D opportunities at their organisation over the past year as very effective, compared to 31% of employees in India, researchers said.

When asked about skills, 71% of employees globally recognised that the skills they need to do their job will change in the next three to five years. However, only 66% of UK workers think their employer is keeping pace with these changing skills.

UK employers had a more positive outlook, with three-quarters (75%) saying they’re confident they have the skilled staff they need for the next three to five years. 

This highlights a worrying gap between employer and employee perceptions which could lead to lower retention rates, poor performance and opportunities as for employees to seek out organisations which can better meet their training needs.

John Yates, group director for corporate learning at City & Guilds Group, said the research shows that upskilling is less of a priority in the UK than he hoped. 

“Businesses worldwide are navigating a period of immense transformation – and this is particularly evident in emerging economies where organisations are ramping up their investment in L&D as they embrace technology and hone the skills required to compete on a global stage. 

“However, our study shows investment in skills is less of an immediate priority for employers in the UK – putting us at risk of lagging behind other, more future-focused countries,” he said.

He urged employers to listen to workers’ needs on training and development: “With the workforce becoming increasingly mobile – and the influx of overseas talent crucial to the future of British businesses – UK employers cannot afford complacency. 

“Employers need to listen to their workers’ training needs and ensure they continue to focus on upskilling or risk losing talent to other markets who are making this a priority. Equipping workforces with the skills to succeed in the future is a marathon, not a sprint, but those who overlook the importance of skills investment risk dropping out of the race altogether.”

The study also found that employers in developing economies are feeling the impact of technological advances in the workplace most acutely.

While just 25% of employers in the US and 42% in the UK recognise the impact of digital transformation on their business, this rose to 65% of Kenyan and 62% of Indian employers. Equally, when it comes to automation and AI, the majority of employers surveyed in Malaysia (60%) and India (58%) found this to be a major driver of change, compared to just 27% of employers in the UK.

Paul Grainger, co-director of the centre for post-14 education and work and head of enterprise and innovation for the department of education, practice and society (EPS) at UCL, said technology can help to support the changing workforce. 

“The foreseeable future is likely to be dominated by emerging digital technologies. These can help individuals and communities to grow, become more agile, develop skills and network with a wider, global community,” he said.

“As these technologies are able to transcend borders, they help organisations and the communities in which they are based to adapt to the evolving needs of the community and the world at large. They support agility. And as workplace change is increasingly rapid, it is likely that those regions actively engaged in emerging markets will be better placed to manage the tensions between flexibility and predictability.”