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Have Your Say on Post-16 Level 2 and Below Study
November 12, 2020
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Views sought on how to boost study at level 2 and below so more students progress into jobs or further study.

Published 10 November 2020From: Department for Education

A call for evidence seeking views on how to ensure post-16 qualifications at level 2 and below – excluding GCSEs – can support more people to progress into further study or employment, has been launched (10 November) by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan.

Access the Online Survey Here

Qualifications at level 2 (GCSE equivalent) and below can be the springboard that supports large numbers of young people and adults to access higher levels of study, unlock employment opportunities, re-engage in education and secure English, maths and digital skills.

However, new analysis published by the Department for Education has revealed that 60% of 16 year olds who study a classroom based level 2 course do not move on to study at level 3 (A Level or T Level equivalent) the following year. It also highlights that 37% of students who leave education with a level 2 qualification find it harder to get a job, compared to 14% of students who leave with a level 3 qualification.

Making sure everyone can access high quality qualifications that give them the skills they need to secure a good job and that provide employers with the skilled workforce they and the economy need to build back better from coronavirus, is a priority for the government. The call for evidence builds on the action already underway to overhaul the post-16 landscape so all students, no matter where they live and whatever qualification they choose, they know it will set them on the path to success.

Gillian Keegan, Apprenticeships and Skills Minister said:

We are overhauling the post-16 system to make sure it delivers for everyone. We are already taking action to make sure qualifications at level 3 are fit for purpose, but for too long courses at level 2 and below have been overlooked and undervalued – we want to fix that.

We want all students to be confident that whatever option they choose it will be high quality, valued by employers and will lead to an apprenticeship, further study or a great job. I encourage everyone from students to employers of all sizes to share their views so we can transform further education in this country.

In October the government set out detailed measures aimed at making sure that whatever course a student takes at level 3 and below they can be confident it will be fit for purpose and lead to good outcomes. This includes removing funding from qualifications that overlap with T Levels and A levels, and only funding qualifications that are high quality and lead to good outcomes for students.

Work is already underway to overhaul technical and vocational education in this country, including the roll out of new T Levels, working with employers to create more high quality apprenticeship opportunities, establishing a system of higher technical education and a network of Institutes of Technology, backed by up to £290 million.

The government will shortly publish its ambitious FE White Paper which will set out plans to build on and strengthen the excellent work that is already happening across the country to unlock potential and level up skills and boosts opportunities for more people.

Extra University Places Announced

Over 9,000 additional places approved at UK universities for courses to deliver vital services and support the economy.

Published 30 July 2020 From: Department for EducationDepartment of Health and Social Care, and Michelle Donelan MP

Michelle Donelan

Extra university places for engineering, science and nursing courses have been made available for September, the Universities Minister has announced today.

Michelle Donelan has confirmed that the Government has approved over 9,000 additional places at UK universities for courses that will deliver vital services, support the economy and generate positive outcomes for students and the taxpayer.

As part of the Government’s aim to drive an increase in science and innovation and encourage STEM subject take-up, it has approved more than 1,300 extra university places for engineering courses, 756 places for bio-sciences and almost 500 for maths courses.

A total of 5,611 places for healthcare courses have also been allocated at universities in England to support the NHS, with 3,803 of these additional places going to nursing courses.

Last month the Prime Minister stated that investing in skills is crucial to our economic recovery post-coronavirus.

Today’s announcement will not only help thousands more people gain knowledge that will help them progress in life, but also to help rebuild Britain.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:

The coronavirus will not stop us from boosting growth in vital subjects like science, engineering, and maths.

These courses not only deliver some of the best outcomes for students, they will also be integral to driving innovation, helping our public services and building the skills the country needs.

Bids for extra places were assessed on the quality of each provider, including their rates of continuation and graduate employment outcomes. In total there were 3,859 eligible bids from 38 providers for additional places on courses of strategic importance. All bids that met the set criteria have been accepted.

Bids for healthcare courses in England totalled 5,611 and the Department for Health and Social care have accepted all additional places.

The allocation of places announced today follows the introduction of temporary student number controls, in which institutions were given the opportunity to bid for 10,000 additional places – at least 5,000 for healthcare courses and 5,000 for courses of strategic importance.

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New T Level Guide for Teachers and Careers Advisers

The Department for Education T Levels team has created a new T Level guide for Teachers and Careers Advisers.

This new guide is available to download from the Amazing Apprenticeships site here.

T Levels Guide
New Package of Support for T Level Industry Placements

A new package of support to help employers and FE providers deliver high-quality industry placements which are at the heart of pioneering new T Level qualifications have been announced (Friday 3 July) by Gillian Keegan, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.

Engineering industry placement

T Levels – high-quality technical alternatives equivalent to three A Levels – have been created in collaboration with industry experts so students gain the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and so businesses can access the workforce they need to thrive.

A unique part of a T Level will be the completion of a high-quality industry placement – of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days – where students will build the knowledge and skills and develop the confidence they need in a workplace environment.

Two new reports published today highlight that providers have found that the government’s Capacity and Delivery Fund (CDF) has made a really positive impact, giving them the opportunity to recruit staff to start preparing for the delivery of T Level industry placements, establish the right infrastructure and procedures within their organisations and to build strong relationships with local employers. Employers also reported that they appreciated the flexibility of the different placement models published last year which made it easier for them to host learners on placements.

The package of support announced today will build on this, helping to make sure employers and FE providers can offer really high quality placements when they start delivering T Levels. It includes:

  • New guidance setting out the key roles and responsibilities for providers and employers, and a new guide for students to help them prepare for their placement, with hands on support and advice so everyone can get the best experience possible.
  • Additional delivery models for employers and providers including new models for the way industry placements can be delivered in the Construction and Engineering & Manufacturing routes, to reflect modern practices, and allowing Capacity and Delivery Fund placements to be delivered over two academic years, to bring them in line with T Levels, with a reduced delivery target of 25% for the 2020/21 academic year, to reflect the impact of the coronavirus on employers.
  • In recognition of the impact of coronavirus on employers, the government will extend the Employer Support Fund pilot, launched in September 2019, to offer financial support to employers in selected regions where funding is a barrier to them hosting high-quality industry placements. The Employer Support Package, a suite of online guidance, case studies and workshops to help employers to host high-quality industry placements, will also continue: and
  • The government will also procure an organisation with the appropriate expertise to support 2020, 2021 and 2022 providers to help them deliver high-quality placements in line with the delivery guidance.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:

Industry placements will give young people invaluable first-hand experience of the workplace that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere, that is what makes T Levels unique and why they are at the centre of our ambitious plans to transform technical education.

These placements will not only boost student’s confidence and knowledge but will also provide employers with a pipeline of skilled workers for the future, something that will be more important than ever as we recover from coronavirus.

With this new package we are supporting businesses and providers so they are able to give students access to the best possible experiences and ensure all placements are high-quality from the start, so we can set up the next generation for success.

The first three T Levels in Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction, Digital Production, Design and Development and Education and Childcare will be taught from September 2020 with more rolled out gradually between 2021 and 2023. The new qualifications will play a key part in rebuilding the economy after the coronavirus outbreak, boosting access to high-quality technical education for thousands of young people so they can progress to the next level, whether that is getting a job, going on to further study or an apprenticeship.

The government is investing significantly in technical education and training including T Levels. Last year the Chancellor announced an additional £400 million boost for 16 to 19 education in 2020-21, including funding to support the first T Level providers to deliver high-quality courses. A further £133 million will also be invested to ensure students have access to industry standard equipment and high-quality facilities.

Bruce Boughton, People Development Manager, Lovell Partnerships said:

With the ongoing skills shortages in both the construction trades and professions, industry placements give us a chance to see and work with young people as a shortcut in the recruitment process. Having spent nearly three months working with us, they are already part of the team and understand the company and how we work.

Cian Short, Group Apprentice Manager, Bakkavor said:

T Levels have the potential to greatly improve technical education in the UK. With more focus being placed on ‘on the job’ experience through the industry placements, employers will be receiving students who are far better prepared, either to go straight into a role or to join a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship.

For more information on T Levels and industry placements, visit https://www.tlevels.gov.uk/employers

Revealed: The 22 Areas Sharing £2m in Careers Hubs Funding
June 24, 2020
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Almost 900 additional schools and colleges will join the government’s careers hubs from September as the programme expands with a £2 million injection.

Skills minister Gillian Keegan announced today that the funding for the third wave of the scheme will be shared between 22 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) across England (list below).

Revealed: The 22 areas sharing £2m in careers hubs funding

Each area either has or will create its own careers hub to work with a group of 20 or more schools and colleges to train staff to give better careers advice and offer students more “encounters” with employers.

The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), which runs the scheme and distributes the funding on behalf of the government, said the allocation of the one-year £2 million funding boost will be dependent on how many schools and colleges are in each hub.

The first 20 careers hubs launched in 2018 and were backed with £5 million, covering 710 schools and colleges. A further 19 opened or expanded in 2019 and were given with £2.5 million as the programme scaled up to cover 1,300 schools and colleges.

The CEC said an additional 882 schools and colleges will join the programme in September 2020 – taking the total to around 2,200, which is nearly half of all state sector schools and colleges. In eleven regions, all schools and colleges will now be covered by a careers hub.

The quango could not name the colleges joining the scheme this September as that detail won’t be submitted by the LEPs until July.

The CEC said the hubs will play a “critical role in supporting local skills development, and as key responses to LEP’s and Mayoral local economic recovery plans” to Covid-19.

They added that the existing hubs have been “at the forefront” of efforts to respond to the initial period of lockdown.

Keegan said: “The expansion of our careers hubs will mean we are now supporting more than 2,200 schools and colleges, bringing them together with employers to provide high quality careers guidance. 

“Now, more than ever, it’s vital young people make the most of their talents and are aware of the range of opportunities available. This is brilliant news and I look forward to hearing about the progress made.”

Careers hubs comprise colleges working with local schools and universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to pool their expertise on improving careers education in their area.

They include a “hub lead” who works with school and college leaders to provide “strategic support” on their careers plan and access to business networks, as well their delivery against the Gatsby Benchmarks.

The hubs also have “careers leaders”, who offer face-to-face careers training to schools and colleges.

The CEC said today that hubs have already “accelerated levels of support and improvement in young people’s career development”.

Evidence published by quango in October last year found that two thirds of schools and colleges in hubs ran “regular encounters with employers”, compared with just over a third in schools and colleges outside the network.

Nearly three in five schools and colleges in hubs were also found to run work experience compared to around a third (35 per cent) outside the network, while nearly two thirds of schools and colleges in hubs were “learning about careers direct from the jobs market”, compared with only three in 10 outside the network.

John Yarham, interim chief executive of the CEC said: “Careers Hubs bring people together. They create a powerful partnership between schools, colleges, employers and local agencies focused on improving skills and opportunity for young people, tailored to local need – nationally led, locally developed and delivered.

“This partnership is a critical point of difference from the past and means we are better positioned to weather the storm and help our next generation navigate the choppy waters ahead.

“Schools, colleges and young people have a real time connection to the changing jobs market – opening opportunity in areas that are emerging the strongest and growing the fastest. What this means is we have the opportunity to more closely match real people to real jobs in real time. It is a proven robust and sustainable model for the needs of now and into the future.”

The 22 LEP areas part of the new expansion of careers hubs:

.            Black Country

.            Birmingham

.            Buckinghamshire

.            Coast to Capital

.            Cornwall & Isles of Scilly

.            D2N2

.            Dorset

.            East Sussex

.            GFirst

.            Greater Manchester

.            Heart of the SW

.            Hertfordshire

.            Lancashire

.            Liverpool

.            New Anglia

.            Sheffield City Region

.            Stoke on Trent

.            Swindon & Wiltshire

.            Tees Valley

.            The Marches

.            West of England

.            Worcestershire

All Employers to Drop PhD Apprenticeship Plans

The following is the text from a letter sent by Gillian Keegan MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills to the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education 

RE: LEVEL-8 APPRENTICESHIPS

The Secretary of State for Education wrote to you on 26th February 2020 to ask you to undertake a formal review of the Senior Leader Level 7 apprenticeship standard. I want to thank you for the work that you and your staff have carried out on this review.

Higher and degree level apprenticeships continue to form an important part of our skills and education system, providing people of all backgrounds with a choice of high-value vocational training alongside traditional academic routes.

As the Secretary of State set out in his recent letter to you regarding the Senior Leader standard, it is important that levy funds are supporting those that can benefit most from an apprenticeship, such as those starting out in their careers or helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get ahead. While we do not yet know the full impact of the Coronavirus, our priority is ensuring that apprentices and employers can continue to access high quality training, both now and in the future.

I do not believe that using levy funds for Level 8 apprenticeships, which could result in a PhD, provides value for money, nor are they in the spirit of our reformed apprenticeships system.

Therefore, I am writing to inform you that after careful consideration the Department will not fund apprenticeships at Level 8. As the powers to take decisions on standards development and approval reside with the Institute you will wish to consider whether you continue to invest resources in the development of apprenticeships at this level.

I know that the employers currently developing Level 8 apprenticeships were informed in the summer of 2019 that funding for these standards could not be guaranteed, due to the need to ensure that we are meeting the needs of employers and apprentices at all levels in a way that is financially sustainable and delivers good value for money.

I am aware that the employers involved have worked hard developing not only these Level 8 apprenticeships, but also a range of apprenticeships at lower levels that have contributed to the success of our reforms. I want to thank them for their continued commitment to this vital programme.

I am copying this letter to Antony Jenkins, Chair of the Institute. Yours sincerely,

Gillian Keegan MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

A spokesperson for the IfATE said:

“We accept the decision and will not support the development of level 8 standards at this time.

“We would like to thank the trailblazers for their hard work on the proposals. The institute has been as upfront and informative as possible with them on the funding issue. We requested policy guidance from the DfE and it is appropriate that this has now been issued.”

New Free Online Learning Platform to Boost Workplace Skills
April 29, 2020
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Online platform ‘The Skills Toolkit’ will help people to build their skills during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

A new online learning platform to help boost the nation’s skills while people are staying at home, has been launched today (28 April) by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

The Skills Toolkit

Free courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the gov.uk website, called The Skills Toolkit. The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

These are the skills which are highly valued by employers and sought after in a wide range of jobs. With more people expected to be working and studying remotely in the coming months, the platform offers a great opportunity to learn new skills to help to get ahead online and gain the knowledge we’ll all need for the future. The platform also offers employees who have been furloughed an opportunity to keep up their skills development while they are at home.

Courses on offer cover a range of levels, from everyday maths and tools for using email and social media more effectively at work to more advanced training. Individuals will be able to access courses helping them to create great online content developed by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding, to understand the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing from Google Digital Garage and to learn how to code for data analysis from the Open University. All courses are online and flexible, so people can work through them at their own pace.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

I know how difficult the recent months have been and the huge changes the coronavirus has brought on the daily lives of us all.

The high-quality and free to access courses on offer on our new online learning platform, The Skills Toolkit, will help those whose jobs have been affected by the outbreak, and people looking to boost their skills while they are staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

I want businesses to encourage their furloughed employees to use The Skills Toolkit to improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health so they have skills they need to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak.

The Skills Toolkit is designed to help people gain new skills while they are staying at home and boost their confidence. The courses have been selected on the advice of experts and leading employers to make sure they meet the needs of business, not just for today but in the future. This is just a first step towards assisting with the longer-term recovery to boost employability across the country, helping people to build up the skills employers need during time spent at home.

Employers are also encouraged to use The Skills Toolkit to help to support and develop furloughed employees who are interested in learning from home.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director said:

Online learning is a great way for people to upgrade their skills at any time, but never more so than during a lockdown.

The toolkit’s heavy emphasis on the skills that businesses need are welcome.

Maths and digital skills are highly prized by employers, so for those who take the chance to upskill they can help improve their job prospects and career progression. I’d encourage all businesses to make their staff aware of this learning opportunity.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Financial Support for Education, Early Years and Children’s Social Care

Adult education and apprenticeship funded training providers “may be eligible for support” in line with the Cabinet Office’s supplier relief rules that allow payment in advance of delivery, the Department for Education has said.

In new guidance, the DfE wrote:

“Where a provider receives adult education budget (AEB), or apprenticeship funding, as part of a direct contract for services with ESFA, and is at risk financially, they may be eligible for support (subject to meeting additional criteria) as part of DfE’s response to the Cabinet Office’s Procurement Policy Note 02/20.

“Support provided through that mechanism would count as public funding for the purposes of conditions covering the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”

The DfE’s guidance states that “further guidance on the operation of any supplier relief scheme for providers funded under a contract for services with ESFA will be published when available”.

Providers “should email ESFA.PPN220Queries@education.gov.uk to register their interest in the scheme”.

Full Guidance Link

Open Letter from DfE to Families with SEND
March 25, 2020
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@VickyFord MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families has written to the #SEND sector and all families and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to update them on the announcements and guidance issued by the Department over the past week as well as reassure them of the Department’s support at this time.

Dear colleagues,

This is an open letter distributed through as many of our partner organisations as possible. I would be grateful if you could circulate it as widely as possible to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and all others who support them.

This is an unprecedented, uncertain and testing time for all of us due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is particularly challenging for children and young people with SEND, their families, and those who work tirelessly to support and care for them.

This is why, over the past week, we have made announcements and issued guidance about how we will meet the needs of children and young people with SEND during this challenging time. As the Minister responsible for SEND, I wanted to write to let you know that we are committed to doing everything possible to support you during this difficult time.

We are working in partnership with many organisations, including the National Network for Parent Carer Forums and the Council for Disabled Children, to make sure we are focusing our efforts in the right places. In all our decisions, the needs of SEND children and young people and their families and carers, and safeguarding these vulnerable groups, are at the forefront of our minds.

The Government published guidance about supporting vulnerable children on 22 March. It includes a number of frequently asked questions and is available here.

We have also published new guidance that provides household isolation advice for children and young people who live in residential settings, and the staff that support them. This guidance is available here.

The guidance on supporting vulnerable children states that local authorities, nurseries, schools, special schools, colleges and other training providers should undertake a risk assessment to establish the individual needs of each child or young person with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

This assessment should incorporate the views of the child or young person and their parents. This will inform the decision about whether they should continue in school or college, or whether their needs can be met at home safely.

If needs are best met at schools or colleges, we will support their school or college to meet their needs, wherever possible. For those on SEN support, schools, colleges and local authorities have discretion to use the same risk judgement to decide whether home or school is the safest setting for these children.

It is, however, important that as many children as possible remain at home during this time in order to help reduce transmission rates.

On 19 March, the Government introduced new legislation into Parliament, in the form of the Coronavirus Bill (‘the Bill’), in response to the outbreak. Our overwhelming aim for SEND, through the Bill and the proposed changes to regulations that are to follow, is to balance the needs of this vulnerable group to receive the support they need with managing the demands on local authorities and health bodies to respond to this outbreak.

As a result, we have included in the Bill temporary emergency powers to enable us, where necessary, to modify the legal requirements on local authorities in fulfilling their duties in relation to EHC plans. In practice, this will mean that where a local authority is, because of the outbreak, unable, for example, to put in place stated provision, they will need to use their reasonable endeavours to do this, but won’t be penalised for failing to meet the existing duty as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

These emergency powers will only be exercised for the shortest period and where necessary, and will be regularly reviewed. We will also be seeking to amend regulations on the timescales for EHC plan processes where this is appropriate because of COVID19.

I want to reiterate that these decisions are not taken lightly but I believe strike the right balance in these difficult times. I encourage you to keep up to date by regularly checking the gov.uk webpages, and raise awareness of the DfE Coronavirus helpline we have established for local authorities, providers and parents to get information on the latest Government advice. The number is 0800 046 8687, and lines are open 8am-6pm (Monday – Friday), and 10am – 4pm (Saturday and Sunday).

I realise that the impact of these extraordinary circumstances on this group of children and young people can be particularly acute. This is why I have asked the Council for Disabled Children, in partnership with Contact, to ensure that their websites and forums regularly update both families and services on information, which is available to support them.

I have also asked them to collate any questions and queries from stakeholders so that we can maintain as many routes of contact as possible into Government to ensure our actions continue to be focused on prioritising where help is most needed.

The challenges we are now facing serve to further highlight the importance of ensuring the system of support for children and young people with SEND is as effective as possible in the future. Rest assured that completing our review of the SEND system remains a priority for me and for the Government.

In light of the current situation, we will think carefully about the right way and timescale to do this. Right now my focus, like yours, is on managing the current situation and keeping vulnerable children safe and supported. I know that by working together, we can ensure that children and young people with SEND receive the support they need during this difficult time.

Yours sincerely,

Vicky Ford MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families

DfE Launch New £14m Package of Support to Strengthen Leadership and Governance in Colleges – Sector Response
February 28, 2020
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Gavin Williamson launches Multi-million-pound fund to boost standards across the FE sector.

  • Almost £14 million package to strengthen leadership and governance in colleges across the country so more people can access high quality education and training.
  • FE leaders and governors to receive bespoke support and training to help them drive up standards.
  • Builds on government’s ambition to transform the FE sector and level up skills and opportunities up and down the country.

A multi-million pound fund to help boost standards of further education across the country has been launched by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson today (Thursday 27th February).

Almost £14 million will be invested to help improve leadership and governance across the further education sector so more people receive the best education and training possible. This latest move forms part of the government’s commitment to build the skilled workforce that businesses and the country needs to thrive by unlocking talent and levelling up skills and opportunities.

The investment announced today includes:

  • Up to £4.5 million will be invested in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes to support improved leadership and governance –  developed by The Education and Training Foundation in partnership with the Oxford Said Business School, The Chartered Institute of Accountants in England and Wales and The Association of Colleges. The programme will provide FE leaders and governors with tailored support in a range of areas including strategic planning, finance and working with employers to address local and national skills needs.
  • £200,000 for two Governance pilots – to test new and innovative approaches to boost the skills and improve the governance of college boards to make sure they achieve the best outcomes for students.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:  “Good leadership and governance are vital if we want the further education sector to continue to thrive and grow.

“The FE sector is already doing amazing work to unlock talent and opportunity up and down the country.

“This multi-million pound investment will empower even more FE leaders and governors to drive up standards so more students receive the high quality education and training they deserve.”

Sector Response

Richard Atkins, FE Commissioner said:

“I welcome the launch of this support offer to the governors and leaders of our FE Colleges. In order to be successful, colleges require excellent governance and leadership provided by well trained and well supported Chairs, governors, Principals, Clerks and leaders, so that learners can benefit from enrolling at great colleges. I am delighted that this offer will enable governors and leaders at all levels to access and share high quality training, development and support. 

“The College Collaboration Fund will be key to helping colleges to work together to develop and improve further. This expanded development programme will build upon what we already know works well in the sector. The governance review and recruitment pilots will help college governing bodies to operate, challenge and support as effectively as possible. My team and I see examples of excellent practice during our visits across the country, but we also see examples of where support is needed if standards of governance and leadership are to improve. I am pleased that we will now have this expanded range of development opportunities to offer to colleges where we see this as necessary.”

David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation said:

“Investing in the leadership of the Further Education and training sector is a vital aspect of the professional development support that helps it thrive. The announcement of these new programmes recognises that leadership comes from a number of places within institutions, from senior leaders to middle managers and from the governors to governance professionals. In doing so, it builds on the successful programmes already developed by the ETF with Department for Education funding in recent years, strengthening leadership capacity across the sector and, ultimately, delivering improved outcomes for learners.”