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The 3 Colleges to Open Centres for Excellence in SEND
June 21, 2019
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City College Norwich, Derby College and Weston College will each share a slice of £1.2 million to provide support for leaders, managers and practitioners who wish to put learners with SEND at the heart of their organisation.

Revealed: The 3 colleges that will share £1.2m to open centres for excellence in SEND
Three colleges have been chosen to open centres for excellence in special educational needs and disabilities.

Selected by the Education and Training Foundation, each will host a SEND strategic leadership hub, which will provide leadership support to around 15 leaders from different providers across the country’s FE sector.

The centres will also develop “effective practice” for use in college strategies, by creating pathways to employment, curriculum co-creation and promoting staff and learner wellbeing.

City College Norwich will focus on “community”, ensuring that learners with SEND are “participating in their local communities, including creating pathways to employment”.

Meanwhile, Derby College will focus on making sure the curriculum “always has a clear purpose so that learners with SEND have potential to achieve their aspirations”.

And Weston College will focus on people, ensuring organisations create “truly inclusive cultures, motivating staff to engage in continued professional development with an emphasis on supporting learners with mental, social and emotional needs”.

The ETF expects the initiative to support 120 managers.

Nadhim Zahawi, children and families minister, said the investment will “help young people with special educational needs strive toward their ambitions, by making sure education is designed with the needs of students in mind”.

And David Russell, chief executive of the ETF, said: “Further education has an essential role to play in ensuring every learner in our country has the maximum opportunity to make the most of their talents, skills and ambitions. It is vital therefore that we place more focus, thought and activity on how we can better support our learners with SEND which is why this new programme is needed.

“We are pleased to be working on this programme with the three chosen Centres, on behalf of DfE and we look forward to supporting leaders, teachers and trainers across the whole sector on making this a success.”

Corrienne Peasgood, principal at City College Norwich, said her college was “excited by this opportunity to act as a hub for good practice”.

“There is a wealth of innovative partnerships and approaches in FE that enrich learning, enhance progression, and enable students with SEND to make a visible and valued contribution in their communities,” she added.

Mandie Stravino, chief executive at Derby College Group, said: “We are incredibly proud to be selected as a Centre for Excellence in SEND by the ETF – particularly during these challenging times when peer support and sharing good practice is even more important.”

And Weston College’s principal Paul Philips added that his college was “thrilled and excited to be delivering within the new centre”.

Anne Milton Addresses Association of Colleges Spring Conference
May 29, 2019
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Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton speech at the Association of Colleges spring conference 23 May 2019 (Original scriptThe Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, may differ from delivered version)

I was appointed to this job on 12th June 2017 – so almost but not quite 2 years ago. For a minister these days it’s quite a long time – although the longest serving skills minister was Baroness Blackstone who was Minister for both FE and HE for 4 years (1997-2001).

To be honest before that I knew very little about FE, nothing about what an apprenticeship involved, what all the different qualifications were – it was only O Levels, CSEs and A Levels in my day – or what really went on in Colleges.

That lack of awareness of what FE does won’t be restricted to me. Many people, including some MPs, are unaware of the huge amount of activity that goes on in college campuses around the country, and do not understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available. 2 years – a brief period compared to how long many of you in this room have been involved in the FE sector. But in that time, it has been an enormous privilege to learn so much about the reach and impact of FE. A sector that changes people’s lives. A sector that never gives up on anyone. And a sector with multiple strands of business, that has never had the attention it deserved and does – so much – for so many.

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Education Committee Chair Writes to Chancellor on Further Education Funding
October 16, 2018
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Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Committee, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to highlight the stark disparity between funding for pre- and post-16 education and urge the Government to ‘look very carefully’ at the core level of funding for FE ahead of the Budget and Spending Review

In the letter  181015 – Chair to Chancellor on FE funding the Chair states that

‘it cannot be right that a funding ‘dip’ exists for students between the ages of 16 and 18, only to rise again in higher education’. The letter adds that ‘successive governments have failed to give further education the recognition it deserves for the role it pays in our national productivity puzzle’.

The Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into the level and distribution of school and college funding and last week heard from a panel on the current issues faced by the FE sector.

AoC President Priorities Key Areas
August 13, 2018
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AoC’s new President Steve Frampton MBE has outlined four key priorities in his year ahead following the start of his tenure this month.

Steve Frampton, who has a lifelong passion for post-16 education, took over from his predecessor Dr Alison Birkinshaw OBE on 1 August 2018.

His extensive career has been recognised at the highest level, with Steve being awarded an MBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2017. Aside from working in colleges since the 1980s, he has been the director of several local community charities, including Business South and PiTC – the community arm of Portsmouth Football Club.

In addition to funding and enterprise, the former Principal wants to prioritise these key issues:

1. a) A meaningful post-16 curriculum and assessment regime, working with GJCQ and DFE Read more

Multi-Million Pound Fund Launched to Help Colleges Improve
June 29, 2018
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An innovative multi-million pound fund to boost the quality of education offered across the further education sector has been launched by Skills Minister Anne Milton (28 June).

Speaking at the Association of Colleges conference, the Minister announced the main phase of the £15million Strategic College Improvement Fund (SCIF), which will partner strong colleges with those in need of improvement –to share best practice and drive up standards.

Colleges that need support to improve will be able to apply for a grant to work with a stronger ‘partnering’ college and together they will create an action plan to tackle the issues they face.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

We want to improve the quality of education for everyone. It is vital that all further education and sixth form colleges are able to give people the skills and knowledge they need to get on in their life and succeed in the workplace.

I’m really thrilled to announce the next phase of the £15million Strategic College Improvement Fund. This fund will enable colleges to work together to improve standards across all colleges.

 

The launch of this fund follows a successful pilot phase, which saw fourteen colleges receive grants totalling over £2million. Outcomes from the pilot included colleges reporting that the fund built awareness of good practice, fostered mutual learning and enabled rapid action to improve quality.

This move follows the launch of the National Leaders of Further Education and National Leaders of Governance programmes, which also aim to spread the expertise seen in the top colleges across the country.

Association of Colleges Director of Education and Skills Policy David Corke said:

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Merger Update: Colleges in Need of a Partner
March 26, 2018
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Review into Funding for FE
March 20, 2018
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The government is launching a review into how the current system of funding for FE meets the costs of “high-quality” provision, Anne Milton has revealed.

The skills minister announced the plans in the House of Commons today during educations questions after she was asked what the Department for Education had made of “recent trends” in education funding for 16- to 19-year-olds.

Alongside the post-18 review of education funding, she said: “We are also looking at the efficiency and resilience of the FE sector”.

“We need to make sure that existing and forecast funding and regulatory structures meet the costs of high-quality, first-class provision,” she continued.

“I’ve asked my officials to assess how far the current funding system meets the costs of high-quality provision in the further education sector and will update the House shortly.”

 

Tes FE Podcast – 14 March 2018
March 16, 2018
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podcast FE voting 16 apprenticeships IfASarah Simons and Collab Group chief executive Ian Pretty discuss the latest news in FE

In this episode of the Tes FE Podcast.

They discuss employer and FE partnerships in the delivery of apprenticeships, question whether lowering the voting age to 16 is something the sector should be promoting and chat about the age at which they felt like they became a grown-up.

 

 

 

Colleges Earn £57m From International Work
January 15, 2018
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A report by the Association of Colleges (AoC) has revealed how financially important the international market is for many UK colleges.

Ninety colleges were asked what top five countries were most important to their international work. “The most popular by a long way was China but there was a strong presence of EU27 countries”, the report emphasised. International work is financially appealing to many colleges, “The combined international and EU income reported in 2016-17 was nearly £57 million”.

AOC’s international director Emily Meredith has said that international recruitment forms a part of international work for some colleges. Yet Ms Meredith warned how “The first hurdle to overcome is any perception that the Brexit vote means the country is closed for business”. This is because after China, Italy, Germany, Spain and France are key markets that UK colleges recruit from.

Read The Full Article Here

FE Commissioner – New Intervention Trigger Announced
November 28, 2017
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The FE Commissioner has new powers to trigger formal intervention, under tougher plans to enter colleges before they hit rock bottom.

According to a new intervention policy published by the Department for Education, the FE Commissioner, Richard Atkins will now be able to take formal action at a college that isn’t yet failing, but where a “diagnostic assessment” has revealed it is in danger of doing so.

Previously intervention could be triggered in one of three ways: a college being rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted rating, or ‘inadequate’ for financial health or control by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, or for failing to meet the DfE’s minimum performance standards.

This new “escalation” process – which will happen before a college hits one of these markers for failure – will occur where “action is required quickly, which is likely to include leadership and governance change”.

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