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Responses: Chancellor Announces £400m Investment for 16-19 Year Olds’ Education
September 2, 2019
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Providers of 16-19 education such as further education and sixth form colleges will receive £400 million additional funding to train and teach our young people the skills they need for well-paid jobs in the modern economy, the Chancellor has announced.

The boost is the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010.

On a visit to the FE college in Bristol where he studied economics, maths and computer science, Chancellor Sajid Javid said:

Further education, like all our public services, is a lifeline of opportunity for our young people.

We’ll make a strong statement in backing it at this week’s Spending Round and I’ll continue to look at what more we can do to help, just as my FE college opened my horizons and set me on my way.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

As former FE students, the Chancellor and I both know first-hand how important the further education sector is so I’m really pleased that today that government is giving our sixth forms and colleges a major funding boost – the single biggest annual uplift since 2010.

This investment will make sure we can continue to develop world-class technical and vocational education to rival countries on the continent so we have a highly skilled and productive workforce for the future.

This includes protecting and increasing the base rate with funding worth £190 million to boost access to high quality courses for more than a million 16-19 year olds.

Colleges and school sixth forms will also get £120 million to help deliver expensive but crucial subjects such as engineering which lead to higher wages and, ultimately, a more productive economy.

There will be £35 million more for targeted interventions to support students on level 3 courses (A level equivalent) who failed GCSE Maths and English, so they can re-sit their exams in these critical subjects.

Colleges and further education providers will receive an extra £25 million to deliver T-levels. The new qualifications start rolling out in September 2020 and will transform vocational education with two-year courses in subjects as varied as accounting, digital production and onsite construction.

The advanced maths premium, which adds £600 to college budgets for every additional student who takes on A- and AS- level maths, is also funded with £10 million additional funding.

A new £20 million investment will also help the sector to continue to recruit and retain brilliant teachers and leaders, and provide more support to ensure high-quality teaching of T Levels.

The announcement forms part of the Spending Round so covers the financial year 2020-21.

The money announced today will be allocated across the 257 colleges in England, as well as other FE providers, including school sixth forms.

The Barnett formula for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be applied in the usual way with block grant amounts confirmed at the Spending Round.

Sector response to chancellor’s funding for 16-19 year olds’ education pledge

Sir Ian Diamond, Chair of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future said:

“Today’s announcement on increased funding in further education for 16 to 19 year olds in England is welcome news. It reflects recognition in Westminster and Whitehall that colleges are vital public assets which must be funded properly if they are to continue delivering for people and communities.  

“But the political attention cannot end here. We face key challenges, with changes in demography, the world of work, technology, climate and the UK’s place in the world, to name a few. It’s clear that colleges can and must play a significant role in meeting these challenges. This requires further serious policy attention and long-term thinking.

“That’s why we have brought together experts and leaders from across all four corners of the UK to ask the fundamental questions about the role and place of colleges in the future. We are working with colleagues across the education sector, business and beyond to put forward clear recommendations in a final report to be published next Spring. The Commission looks forward to building on today’s promising announcement to ensure colleges across the UK can play the critical role that they must in our communities and for our economy.”

Lawrence Barton, Managing Director, GB Training, said:

“There’s a certain irony that the day after the Government announces the appointment of a new finance Tsar to review the way the Department for Education monitors college financial management it announces plans for a multi-million-pound funding boost for further education colleges.

“Politicians need to learn that the only way they can truly get to grips with the financial mismanagement endemic within the college sector is by encouraging colleges to be more financially competitive and less dependent on state handouts.

“FE funding in England and Wales is so skewed in colleges favour — to the detriment of independent providers — that they’ve been overcome by complacency. Only by encouraging effective competition and weaning colleges off guaranteed funding grants will the Government get a handle on the financial mismanagement plaguing our country’s colleges and driving up teaching standards.”

Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges David Hughes said:

“Colleges have been overlooked and underfunded for far too long. Today’s announcement of an additional £400 million marks the first meaningful investment in further education for 16 to 19 year olds for more than ten years. It’s not enough to reverse the decade of cuts, nor to properly stabilise the sector for the future, but it is a good start. 

“I am delighted that the government has listened to college leaders, MPs, businesses, students and stakeholders, all of whom have made it clear that they want more investment in colleges. The announcement today will start to invest more in our young people with a long overdue increase in the base funding rate for 16- and 17-year olds. This will help support the world-class education and training which colleges provide to help our young people to succeed. 

“We believe that an announcement about funding to cover higher Teacher’s Pension Scheme costs will come separately and look forward to seeing the detail of that. Recent changes to pensions means colleges are locked into schemes which take a rising share of their budgets with no additional support in funding currently.

“Both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister have spoken regularly about the importance of our colleges, and the need to properly invest in them and today they have started to honour that commitment. However adult education was notably absent, with the number of adults in further education almost halving in the last decade, funding is urgently needed to boost opportunities to retrain and tackle skills shortages. 

“I am optimistic that more investment will follow next year when the spending review will be able to set out a longer term settlement to support thriving and vibrant colleges for the long term. We will continue to work with government, and campaign with partners to make sure that colleges continue to be a serious political, economic and social priority. That means long-term, sustainable funding, and a robust lifelong learning system. 

“Schools received a three-year commitment that allows them the chance to plan and deliver – we’ll be pushing government to do the same for colleges in next year’s spending review.”

Bill Watkin, Chief Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association said:

“This £400 million investment is good news – sixth form education that has been starved of resources over the past decade and today’s announcement provides a much needed boost to the 1.1 million 16 to 18 year olds in colleges and schools across England.

“Around half of this investment will be used to Raise the Rate – the government has obviously listened to the coalition of organisations and MPsand MPs behind the campaign to increase the base rate for sixth formers – and we regard this as a step in the right direction. We need to see more detail on all of today’s announcements, but it is clear that this is the first meaningful investment in mainstream sixth form education for a decade”.

Jo Grady, General Secretary, UCU said:

“Today’s funding announcement comes after months of tireless campaigning by trade unions and the further education sector. It is crucially important that colleges use this funding wisely; staff have borne the brunt of cuts in recent years and closing the £7,000 pay gap between school and college teachers must be the top priority for spending. 

“Any funding is to be welcomed, but we need to be clear that it falls well short of the £3bn needed to restore college budgets to their 2010 levels. It is particularly disappointing that there is no additional funding for adult education, which has seen its budget slashed by over 45% in real terms this decade. The government must dig deeper if it wants to ensure our colleges can deliver transformative education for all those who would benefit.”

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Government’s announcement on further education spending, said:

“Once again, this announcement falls woefully short of the Prime Minister’s promise to reverse the Tory cuts to education. This is just a tiny fraction of the amount that further education and sixth forms have lost under the last two Conservative governments. Nor has there been an extra penny for adult education, which has suffered even worse cuts.

“A Labour government will not only end the Tory cuts but provide free lifelong learning in further education colleges as part of our investment in a National Education Service.”

According to the IFS report ‘2018 Annual Report on Education Spending in England’, funding per student aged 16–18 has seen the biggest squeeze of all stages of education for young people in recent yearsSchool sixth forms have faced budget cuts of 21% per student since their peak in 2010–11, while further education and sixth-form college funding per student has fallen by about 8% over the same period.

Labour calculation, based on an analysis by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, has found that spending on further education and skills has fallen by £3.3 billion in real terms between 2010-11 and 2017-18. The cuts have been most severe in adult education, which has seen a real terms cut of nearly £1.7 billion, around 50% of its budget, and further education, which has faced a £1 billion cut that amounts to around 25% of its total budget. 

According to the EPI report “16-19 education funding trends and implications“, the financial health of 16-19 providers has significantly deteriorated since 2010/11: the proportion of those with in-year deficits has increased across all institutions, with a particularly large rise seen in sixth form colleges: a five-fold increase of 7 to 36 per cent from 2010/2011 to 2016/17. An increasing number of local authority schools with sixth forms are in financial difficulty – the proportion with cumulative deficits has risen significantly from 12 per cent of schools in 2010/11 to 22 per cent in 2017/18. In stark contrast, schools without sixth forms have only seen rises of 6 per cent to 9 per cent. Teacher wages in FE colleges are now around 17 per cent lower than for teachers in secondary schools.

The Raise the Rate campaign has found that over a third of schools and colleges (38%) have dropped STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) courses and that more than three quarters of schools and colleges (78%) have reduced or removed student support services or extra-curricular activities.

New Guide on the Further Education system in England
August 30, 2019
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The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has launched a new simple guide on the Further Education system in England.

The guide gives a clear explanation of what the Further Education (FE) sector is, what the different types of providers are in the sector and what opportunities the sector offers for potential learners, their parents, teachers and trainers, and employers.

The FE sector is a large, wide-ranging and significant pillar of the education system offering a range of education and training opportunities, including technical, academic and recreational courses.

The guide has been designed to give a basic overview of the FE sector to everyone whether they are a school-leaver, an adult returning to learning, a parent, policymaker, employer, education providers, a current practitioner or someone looking to start a career as a teacher or trainer.

The ETF developed the guide as part of its role as the government-backed, national workforce development body for the FE sector.

The guide is split into two sections:

  • Part One provides an outline of the different types of FE providers, followed by a summary of some approaches to learning that are prominent in the sector.
  • Part Two outlines some of the different types of qualifications available.

Access the guide by following the link below.

‘So what is the FE Sector?’

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

“Given how central Further Education is to the future of our country and how it forms one of the three central pillars of our education system, it is often been a challenge to explain it easily and simply. We felt this could no longer continue so set ourselves the task of producing a basic and clear guide which can be used by a multitude of different people and audiences as a starting point. “We are confident the guide provides the core information that anyone with an interest in our sector, from learners to leaders and practitioners to policy makers, will find useful.”

75% of Traineeships Lead to Apprenticeships or Jobs
June 26, 2019
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A new achievement rate measure will be introduced to boost transparency around traineeships, according to the government

Three-quarters of young people who complete a traineeship go onto start an apprenticeship, further study or get a job within 12 months, the Department for Education has said.

The number traineeships fell for the first time in 2017 and, at the time, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) urged the government to take action to save the programme.

Traineeships are an education and training programme aimed at helping 16- to 24-year-olds to prepare for an apprenticeship or work. They were launched by the coalition government in 2013.

The DfE has announced that a new achievement rate measure will be introduced for the academic year 2019-20 in a bid to boost transparency and highlight the progress of trainees.

The measure will help the government to monitor the effectiveness of the traineeship programme, and assist young people in making decisions about their futures.

In order to encourage more people into traineeships, the government is providing £20 million through the Adult Education Budget for further education and training providers.

‘A positive step’

Apprenticeship and skills minister Anne Milton said that traineeships were a great way of giving people of all ages and from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn new skills and go on to have successful careers.

“I’m thrilled that this report shows how traineeships are supporting young people to start their apprenticeship journey, get their first job or go to further study,” she added.

“This new measure we have launched today will also provide greater transparency and help young people make informed decisions about their next steps.”

Mark Dawe, AELP chief executive, said that the announcement was a positive step towards reinvigorating traineeships, and encouraging more young people to take advantage of the programme.

“AELP particularly welcomes the separate measurements of achievement confirming the programme’s original objectives of progression into an apprenticeship, job or further education.  

“In the light of this, we will be urging providers to seriously take a fresh look at traineeships with a view to increasing the number of opportunities available,” he said.

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: 

“It is important that we do not lose the stepping stone programmes that allow people to progress to the levels of competence that employers are seeking. These changes will help recognise the many positive outcomes from traineeships which colleges are helping to achieve,” he said.

ViewPoint: What Ofsted’s New Inspection Framework Means for FE by Billy Camden
May 14, 2019
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Ofsted has today published its new and final education inspection framework that will come into effect from September.

It follows a three-month public consultation, which prompted more than 15,000 responses – the highest number the education watchdog has ever received. Read more

5 Ways to Demonstrate Your College’s Positive Intent and Impact
May 8, 2019
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The following article is by  Anthony Horne – Emsi’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific.

One of the most common areas of discussion I am having with senior management in the Further Education sector right now is that Anthony Horneof “demonstrating positive intent and impact”.

This is perhaps unsurprising, since Ofsted have recently included sections on Intent and Impact in their proposed new Education Inspection Framework.

But with the spotlight on these themes, it is perhaps an opportune time to look at whether we can measure the outcomes of Intent and Impact in a tangible way.

The answer is we can, but what is particularly interesting is how many different angles of measuring Intent and Impact are highlighted by college leaders.

For example, here’s a sample of some of the comments I’ve heard over recent weeks from college principals, about what they would like to be able to measure: Read more

ViewPoint: ‘It is Time We Start Listening to Teenagers on Careers’
February 28, 2019
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Educators, employers, parents and the government must take note of teenagers’ views, writes Bev Jones, joint chief executive of the Career Colleges Trust.

New research published on 26th February 2019 suggests that nearly a third of teenagers in Britain are worried about “where their education is heading” and feel that the next few years may be a “waste of time” for them.

This is disappointing, particularly at a time when many industries are growing rapidly and new and exciting career opportunities are on offer for young people locally, nationally and internationally.

There is often talk about the skills gaps and the fact that young people are not prepared for the world of work – but is it any surprise when teens themselves feel that their education is focused primarily on league tables and academic grades? Read more

Qualifications – What Qualifications? Deregulation of Qualifications in England
November 21, 2018
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The following article is by Ann Gravells, Author and Education Consultant.

If you are a practitioner in the further education, training and skills’ sector, it can be confusing knowing which qualification you should hold.Ann Gravells, Author and Education Consultant

I say ‘should’ hold, but you might not need one since the deregulation of qualifications in England in 2013 (there are different requirements for the other nations).

It’s now the responsibility of the individual employer, college or university to make the decision as to what qualifications their staff should hold. However, there might be requirements to hold certain teaching and/or subject qualifications as part of the programme being taught and assessed.

Practitioners are ‘dual professionals’ i.e. they are a subject expert as well as a teacher, trainer, assessor or quality assurer.

Teachers and trainers

The most popular qualifications for teachers and trainers are the:

  • Level 3 Award in Education and Training (AET)
  • Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (CET)
  • Level 5 Diploma in Education (and Specialised Diploma) (DET).

Read more

National Retraining Scheme For Adults: £100 Million In The Chancellor’s Budget
October 31, 2018
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The following article was written by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE

The Chancellors’ Budget (October 2018) allocates £100 million for the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme (NRS).

This will include “a new careers guidance service with expert advice to help people identify work opportunities in their area, and state-of-the-art courses combining online learning with traditional classroom teaching to develop key transferable skills.”

I suspect this will focus on work with adults in the workplace. Lots of questions about how this might fit into the current careers landscape in England?

In 2012, the new all-age National Careers Service originally had a clear agenda to provide universal careers support services deep in local communities and businesses. The budget circa £105m was mostly for adult career guidance. Over the next three years, funding for area-based Prime Contractors working with priority groups is circa £45m.

Read more

UCAS: Advice for Parents and Guardians

UCAS’ aim is to help students make informed choices that are right for them, by guiding them through the entire higher education application process and beyond.

To support this, UCAS provides a wide range of valuable information and services for applicants, their parents, and teachers. Applicants can use www.ucas.com to find out how to get started, research their options, make their application, and track its progress. There’s information especially for parents at www.ucas.com/parents, including details of the application process, a host of helpful video guides, and a link to sign up for our monthly parent newsletters.

What is Which? University? Which? University is a website designed to help students make the right higher education decision for them, and is brought to you by the consumer champion Which?. It’s free, independent, takes no advertising, and brings together all the official facts and stats about degree courses, combined with unbiased expert advice and analysis.
FE,

Head to www.which.co.uk/university to explore the website and sign up for our free email alerts at www.which.co.uk/parentemails, packed with timely advice ahead of key decisions.

Sign up for the Parent Newsletter https://web.ucas.com/parents-signup

Download the 2018 Parent Guide UCAS Parent Guide 2018

NEW: Careers Strategy Advisory Support for Colleges

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

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

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

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

For more information Click Here