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Ofsted News – Issue 94 – September 2020
October 1, 2020


COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Press release: Ofsted visits to schools and colleges to begin this month – Ofsted will be visiting schools and further education and skills providers this autumn term.
Press release: Ofsted support for area SEND arrangements this autumn term – Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will start carrying out visits to local areas from October.
Interim phase: area SEND – An operational note for Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) and CQC inspectors carrying out interim visits to local areas regarding their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) arrangements from October 2020.
Complaints procedure – Updated to reflect changes to the ‘Complaints about Ofsted’ process.
Ofsted privacy notices – Updated the ‘How long we keep personal data’ section of the further education and skills, initial teacher education and schools privacy notices.
Ofsted pen portraits of HMIs – Updated HMI details for the South West region.

Press release: School governors and trustees say they are prepared for COVID impact – Ofsted and the National Governance Association (NGA) publish a study that shows that the business of school governance has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the report online.
Interim phase: maintained schools and academies – An operational note for inspectors carrying out interim visits to state-funded schools from 28 September 2020.
Interim phase: non-association independent schools – An operational note for inspectors carrying out inspections of non-association independent schools from 21 September 2020.
Inspectors talking to pupils on inspection – Guidance for inspectors on talking to pupils during school inspections.
Inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics in schools – Guidance for inspectors on inspecting teaching of the protected characteristics during school inspections.
Separation by sex: implications for inspections of mixed-sex/co-educational schools – Guidance for inspectors when they find separation by sex on an inspection.
Additional inspections of independent schools: handbook for inspectors – Updated for use from September 2020 to reflect Ofsted’s interim assurance phase and changes to post-inspection practice.
Inspecting non-association independent schools – Updated section ‘After the inspection’ with amended timescales and updated all leaflets on the page.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 August 2020. Also published a one-off publication of inspection outcomes from 2015 to 2019. It shows outcomes of inspections up to the point of the introduction of the education inspection framework in September 2019. Most of the data has been published previously in various publications over the years, but it has been collated in to a single file to make it easier to use for further analysis.
Non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2020.

Children’s social care
Inspecting local authority children’s services from 2018 – In the section on ILACS focused visits during the restart of routine inspection, we added information about identifying areas for priority action and two items to the information requested.
Fostering and adoption agency datasets – Published data as at 31 March 2020.

Further education and skills
Interim phase: further education and skills providers – An operational note for HMIs carrying out interim visits and new provider monitoring visits to further education and skills providers from 28 September 2020.
Press release: Ofsted seeks to make oversight of subcontractors more comprehensive and transparent – Ofsted has published new research looking at subcontractors in the further education and skills sector. You can read the report online.
Ofsted’s education blog: ‘We’re not here to make life difficult’: our further education and skills visits – Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Further Education and Skills, discusses our further education and skills pilot visits.
Welfare and duty of care in Armed Forces initial training – Ofsted’s annual report 2019 to 2020 on the effectiveness of welfare and duty of care for recruits and trainees in Armed Forces initial training.
Inspecting initial training for the Armed Forces – Ofsted guidance for inspectors about how to inspect initial training for the Armed Forces relating to welfare and duty of care.
Further education and skills inspections and outcomes: management information from September 2019 to August 2020 – Uploaded inspection data as at 31 August 2020.

Early years and childcare
Report a serious childcare incident – Added information about reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19 and any related closures.
Childcare: reporting children’s accidents and injuries – Added the requirement to notify Ofsted of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or children.
Education plans from September 2020 – Updated guide: Ofsted’s inspection of providers on the Childcare Register will resume from 16 September.
Carrying out Childcare Register inspections – Changes to the ‘After the inspection’ section to reflect new timescales.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 August 2020.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Published data on joiners and leavers in the childcare sector in August 2020.

Plan for Jobs DWP Touchbase Special – 10 July 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Plan for Jobs
The Chancellor has presented his ‘Plan for Jobs’ to outline how the government will boost job creation in the UK. During the Coronavirus pandemic DWP has provided a crucial safety net to record levels of claimants, ensuring our customers receive the support they need. We are now doubling the number of frontline Work Coaches to 27,000 by March 2021. These work coaches will support people looking for work including helping them pivot into new sectors and making sure they access any additional support they need including training and work experience. We have also announced a significant package of measures that builds on and bolsters the existing support offered by our jobcentres. In this special edition of Touchbase we’re highlighting key parts of the announcement. You can find out more on GOV.UK.  
New Kickstart Scheme to support young people in work
A £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will provide high quality, 6 month placements from Autumn this year. Funding available for each job placement will cover 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top up this wage.  The scheme will be focused on supporting young people who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment. Work Coaches will work with young people to ensure they access the best support package to meet their needs. Organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors will be able to apply to create high quality roles to be funded through this scheme. 
Youth Offer
We will expand the Youth Offer to support 18 to 24 year olds, this will include a 13-week programme and once completed participants will be encouraged to take up work related training or an apprenticeship. Further support will be provided through the introduction of young people’s hubs where young people can access wider support. These will be co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners. For those who need a bit more support, we will also expand the Youth Employability Coaches model. These coaches will focus on young people with more complex needs.  
Expanding the Work and Health Programme
The Work and Health Programme in England and Wales will be expanded to provide personalised light touch support for up to 6 months for those who have been unemployed for 3 months. Equivalent provision will also be put in place in Scotland. We will protect access to the Work and Health Programme for participants with disabilities and health conditions, and early access priority groups. We are also developing a new large-scale support offer, targeted at those who are out of work for longer periods and in need of support. 
£150 million to boost the Flexible Support Fund
This boost to the flexible support fund will allow jobcentres to put in place the right support for their community and to increase capacity of the Rapid Response Service that can be deployed for large local redundancies. The Flexible Support Fund allows us to provide funding directly to claimants and partners to target support locally and to address claimants’ specific barriers preventing them from returning to work or provide training. This can include purchasing support to meet one-off needs, for example funding travel to interview costs, equipment or clothing to start employment or paying for replacement adult or child care to enable someone to undertake training, attend interviews or start work. 
Sector-based work academies
We’re increasing participation in our sector-based work academies programme, aiming to support 40,000 jobseekers to get the right skills for the roles that are on offer. 
The sector-based work academy scheme offers training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview to those ready to start a job. We will establish bespoke opportunities, working with employers and training providers to support claimants to fill job vacancies and pivot into new careers. 
Other new measures announced
The Chancellor’s announcement included a number of other measures, including: Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan. A £111 million investment to triple the scale of traineeships in 2020-21 ensuring more young people have access to high quality training. Over a quarter of a million more young people to benefit from an extra £32 million investment in the National Careers Service. A Job Retention Bonus Scheme – a one-off £1,000 payment to employers for each furloughed employee that remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. You can read more about the Plan for Jobs 2020 on GOV.UK
Recommencement of debt recovery 
In March DWP temporarily paused the recovery of overpayments for three months. The change meant that customers saw an increase in the amount of money they received and allowed us to move a significant number of colleagues, to roles where they could support the payment of benefits to those people making new claims. The recommencement of both debt recovery action started on 6 July. Customers affected will be told of this change through letters or updates in their Universal Credit journals.  
Face to face assessment suspension to continue for health and disability benefits 
Face-to-face assessments suspended in March 2020 are to remain suspended, but kept under review following a consideration of the latest public health guidance. As measures are taken across the country to ease restrictions, some review and reassessment activity, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak, will gradually resume. We will shortly be re-starting review and renewal activity in Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance, starting with those claims which were already underway when this activity was suspended. Please encourage your audiences and members not to delay making a claim if they believe they need support, or hesitate to update the department about a change of circumstances. All services remain open and telephone and paper based assessments are in place where appropriate. More information  
DWP improves complaints handling 
 DWP is improving the way it handles complaints and making it simpler. The change means we can prioritise the most urgent issues and those involving vulnerable claimants. For more information about the new process visit GOV.UK
DWP Touchbase: CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL – 3 July 2020
July 7, 2020

Roundup of recent DWP announcements 

Expanding our service offer in jobcentres We are working with local managers to start expanding our service offer in jobcentres to help get Britain back into work. Work Coaches are calling claimants – no one needs to contact us. We don’t want to sanction anyone. These are difficult, uncertain times for many people and we want to do everything we can to help them find work or increase hours, where that is possible for them. No sanction will be used until the claimant has an up-to-date Claimant Commitment in place. After that, a sanction will only be used where a claimant has not provided good reason for meeting the agreed requirements in the Claimant Commitment. Claimants who are shielding, have childcare responsibilities because of COVID restrictions, etc. will have their Claimant Commitment tailored to reflect their circumstances and will not be asked to do anything unreasonable. 
Wirecard service update Following the lifting of restrictions placed on accounts provided by Wirecard, customers will now be able to use their pre-payment cards again. This means that if you receive payments of any kind from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), into accounts held by companies associated with Wirecard, they will continue to be paid into these accounts as normal. Those customers who have been impacted can find more information here
EU Settlement Scheme
There is still one year to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Around 3.3 million have already been granted status and there is plenty of support available. EEA citizens and their family members are encouraged to apply now.  
Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain
This week the Prime Minister announced a ‘New Deal’ which sets out the first steps in government plans to invest £5bn to accelerate infrastructure projects, fuelling jobs and economic recovery, that will benefit every corner of the country. 
Find out more   
Other government announcements
Detailed plans have been unveiled for all children and young people returning to full-time education from September. For the second phase of a major independent review into drug abuse, Dame Carol Black has launched a call for evidence and will engage with a wide range of stakeholders, hearing from service users and people with experience of drug addiction to build a detailed picture of treatment, recovery and prevention.  Transport will play a fundamental role in getting people back to work and restarting the country as sectors reopen. To help make sure journeys are safe the Department for Transport has published updated guidance for passengers and operators.  
DWP Touchbase: Edition 140
March 9, 2020

This edition of Touchbase includes information on:   

  • coronavirus 
  • Jobcentre Plus arrangements over Easter
  • changes to Universal Credit
  • support for domestic abuse
  • new services for Reducing Parental Conflict
  • a new Pension Credit campaign
  • an evaluation report for Automatic Enrolment
  • support for starting a business 

Access Touchbase HERE

Careers England Newsletter – October 2019: Issue 145
October 28, 2019

New website and email client
We are pleased to announce that our new website is now live. It provides a more user-friendly platform for pulling our resources together.  We will no longer be operating a log in section as the majority of our papers are public. We have also switched to Mailchimp to issue our member newsletter. If you have any questions or feedback about either the website or newsletter please get in touch.  

Gavin Williamson pledges support for technical education
The new secretary of state used the Conservative Party Conference to outline his support for apprenticeships, vocational and technical education; stating they were “just as important” as university. Williamson will establish a new skills and productivity board to provide strategic advice on skills and qualifications, and put £120 million into twenty new Institutes of Technology across the country. Read the speech in full.

Careers sector gears up for general election
Careers England is working with The CDI and The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) to put together a manifesto for career development ahead of a potential general election. It is based on principles of quality and longevity and we will be asking for all stakeholders for support once finalised. Watch this space for more information.   

Task group information

Our position paper developed by the personal guidance task group is now available online on our website. Please share the paper with your networks.
Look out for our next position paper on employer and community engagement which is currently in development. 

News from across the sector

AELP calls for creation of adult traineeships – TES

Unlawful practices and buck passing over special needs – BBC

Apprenticeship restrictions mean hundreds of millions of pounds of NHS funding going to waste – UNISON

Eton and Harrow use their contacts to help state pupils with careers advice – inews

Adult retraining scheme rolled out to new regions – Gov.uk

Career ambitions ‘already limited by age seven’ – BBC 

T Level campaign launched by government – Gov.uk

OECD says employers need to tackle ‘ingrained assumptions’ about jobs – Education and Employers

Information, consultations and resources

UK Career Development Awards 2020
The CDI has announced categories for the 2020 UK Career Development Awards, which take place next March. There are four personal achievement awards, three best practice awards and two research & technology awards. The awards will be presented following a reception and dinner at the Hilton Hotel, Leeds. All information and notes to entrants can be viewed here. 

Career Development NOS
CLD Standards Council Scotland in partnership with II Aspire have been granted a contract from Skills Development Scotland to carry out a review of the Career Development National Occupational Standards (NOS) which were last reviewed in 2014. As these standards are applicable across the United Kingdom, the CLD Standards Council Scotland and II Aspire will be working with a range of national and local organisations from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standards of performance individuals must achieve in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding required for roles, for most employment sectors including Career Development. Views are being sought on whether the current standards are fit for purpose or whether they require amending. The focus group will take place on 31st October in central London. Please email julie.carruth@iiaspire.co.uk for more information and to register your attendance.

Conferences, events and training

Annual Careers Summit – 12th Nov, London
The Careers Education & Guidance Summit, delivered in partnership with Westminster Briefing and Careers England, will bring together careers professionals from across the public and private sector to share key learnings and tackle the remaining obstacles as we move towards meeting the 2020 Careers Strategy goals. Book here.

CDI national conference 2019 – 2nd / 3rd Dec, Gateshead
Conference themes include the future of work, resilience and well-being, and digital skills for careers professionals. Book here.

Queen’s Speech: Workers’ Rights, Pensions and Immigration
October 16, 2019

Government announces commitment to the Good Work Plan, pensions dashboards framework and a new migration system, though it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law

The government will continue to commit to the proposals set out in the Good Work Plan, based on recommendations from RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor, it was announced in the Queen’s Speech yesterday (14 October).

“My government will take steps to make work fairer, introducing measures that will support those working hard,” the Queen said.

She added that this would ensure employment keeps pace with “modern ways of working” while improving productivity and giving workers access to “rights and protections”.

Briefing notes for the speech said that high UK employment suggests that the “flexible market is working”. However, critics of the gig economy have previously noted that while unemployment rates are low there is a lack of high-quality work across the job market.

On Twitter Taylor wrote: “There is a welcome political consensus around improving working lives. The genuine challenge is making that intention a reality in our complex and changing labour market.”

Julian Cox, head of employment at iLaw, said the announcement offers reassurance to those who are worried about workers’ rights post-Brexit. “With Brexit just around the corner there is a growing fear, whether founded or not, that future governments may undermine the rights of workers. But this commitment to the Good Work Plan seems to suggest otherwise,” he said.

Cox added that employers that use contractors should prepare for potential changes: “Based to some degree on the recommendations of the Taylor Review, this plan will seek to give some clarity to contingent workers engaged via the gig economy and agencies. This will have an impact on employers and those that engage the services of freelancers as well, so they should begin to prepare themselves for this in the near future, as and when the bill passes.”

Yesterday’s speech also outlined the pensions bill, which will create a legislative framework for pensions dashboards to enable people to access information on their pension pots in one place. As part of the bill the government said it would provide more options for employers to support employees, including saving collectively and sharing potential risks.

Pension regulators will also be given greater powers to sanction employers that do not take pension responsibilities seriously and that “recklessly risk” people’s pensions.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, welcomed the news that “critical pensions changes are a post-Brexit priority” and encouraged all political parties to support the bill.

“While it remains to be seen if the speech or its constituent bills will be approved by parliament, we call on other parties to support the pensions bill as pensions dashboards and added protections for defined benefit scheme members should have cross-party support,” he said.

“The aspect of the pensions bill of greatest and widest importance is that concerning pensions dashboards. Millions of individuals have multiple pensions in which they’ve built up benefits over their working lives and pensions dashboards will for the first time allow them to see all of these, online, at the touch of a button. This offers a huge opportunity to help millions of individuals better engage with their retirement planning, understanding if they are on track for the retirement they aspire to and, if not, to take action accordingly.”

Cameron added that state pensions must be included in the dashboard. 

“For many their state pension is a significant proportion, so while the Queen’s Speech did not refer to this it is vital state pensions are also included in pensions dashboards from day one,” he said.

The speech also addressed plans for a new migration system which will impact businesses hiring individuals from outside the UK in the future.

The government said that it remains committed to ensuring EU citizens currently working and living in the UK have the right to remain. It had previously pledged to end freedom of movement, and the announcement of yesterday’s immigration bill is the first legislative step in making that happen.

The speech provided no further details as to what the new points-based immigration system will look like. But it has been reported that home secretary Priti Patel is considering introducing rules that would favour skilled migrants choosing to take up work in less affluent areas of the UK, including parts of the north of England or certain coastal areas.

The Queen’s Speech lays out the bills that the government will be introducing in the parliamentary session, before the Commons starts to debate its contents and moves to a vote to approve it. However, as the government lacks a parliamentary majority it is unclear if any of the 26 bills will become law.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said the programme, which includes four bills carried over from the last session, demonstrated Brexit is not the limit of the government’s ambitions.

“The people of this country don’t just want us to sort out Brexit,” he said. “This optimistic and ambitious Queen’s Speech sets us on a course to make all that happen, and more besides.”

But shadow home secretary Diane Abbott described the plans as an “uncosted wish list that the government has no intention and no means to deliver” and called it “nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast”.

ESFA Reminds Providers it Will Take Action to Crack Down on Poor Sub-contracting Practice
October 3, 2019

ESFA Chief Executive writes to post-16 education and training providers to underline the strict sub-contractor rules

ESFA Chief Executive, Eileen Milner, has today (Thursday, 03 October 2019) written to education and training providers to remind them that the ESFA will take action where there is evidence any provider is not playing by its strict sub-contracted rules.

Under the rules, a sub-contractor can deliver education and training on behalf of a lead provider in receipt of ESFA funds. However, lead providers have a legal duty to make sure public funds are spent according to the ESFA’s sub-contracting rules, so that learners receive the best possible education or training. The majority of subcontracting is done well and in accordance with the rules.

In accepting ESFA or public funds, providers confirm they accept the terms and conditions of their funding agreement, and that they have a process in place to ensure that sub-contracted provision is delivered properly, securely and meets ESFA rules.

The letter builds on the action the ESFA has already taken this year to tighten its sub-contracting requirements.

This includes launching a review to improve subcontracting arrangements, more robust examination of data and information, holding individuals and organisations to full account, pursuing all avenues available and, where appropriate recovering public money.

Later this year, ESFA will also be seeking views from the sector to inform the ongoing review of sub-contracting.

More Than 10,000 Young People Attend Derbyshire’s Largest Careers Festival
October 1, 2019

More than 10,000 young people visited the Derbyshire Skills Festival this year – the largest careers event in the county.

This year’s Derbyshire Skills Festival included 3 events – 2 were held at Derby Arena and the other at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield.

Skills Fest 2019 edited

Young people and their parents and carers met representatives from colleges, sixth forms, apprenticeship providers, universities and employers.

Careers advisors and adult advisors from the National Careers Service were on hand to speak to young people about the options open to them.

There were also a number of ‘have-a-go’ sessions for young people to try out new experiences including 3D printing, massage therapy and simulation eye goggles and new to the Derby venue this year were talks about college, apprenticeships and university which proved popular with visitors.

abinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale who attended the festival said: 

“The festival has once again been a great success this year and it was great to meet so many enthusiastic young people eager to learn more about their training, further education, employment and career options.

“More than 10,000 visitors attended the festival over 3 very busy days in Chesterfield and Derby and I was inspired about the wealth of young talent and enthusiasm we have across the county as they look towards building a bright future.

“Deciding which path to take after school is a really big decision and the festival is a place where young people can explore lots of different routes and get all the information they need in one place.”

IEP Elections 2019 – Vote for your IEP Board Candidates
September 11, 2019

Institute of Employability Professionals Elections 2019

Deadline for voting closes at NOON on Friday 20th September

The Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP) is first and foremost a membership organisation. Its Members and Fellows can participate in a number of ways but it’s especially important to get involved in deciding who runs the IEP on a day to day basis, and sets its strategy. As you will probably know, that’s the IEP Board. You can read more about the make-up of the current Board here

Every year a number of Directors complete their term of office and stand down and IEP Members have the chance to stand for election as a Board Member; and to vote in the election as well.

This year there are [5] vacancies on the board and we have ten [10] candidates for you to choose from. You can vote for up to five[5] candidates in this election.IEP Membership

If you wish to become a Member of the IEP and acquire voting rights, please visit this page and register to join the Institute. 

Click here to read the Candidate’s Biographies, Election Statements and Register your Vote NOW

Careers England: Newsletter 143
August 27, 2019