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75% of Traineeships Lead to Apprenticeships or Jobs
June 26, 2019

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.

The 3 Colleges to Open Centres for Excellence in SEND
June 21, 2019

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”.

Education Secretary Confirms T Level Roll-Out from September 2020
June 19, 2019

The second wave of FE providers announced to teach T Levels from 2021 – bringing the total to over 100.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds confirmed on 18th June that new T Level qualifications will become a reality from September 2020, as a second wave of further education providers are announced to deliver courses from 2021.

The move signals a major step forward in Mr Hinds’ 10-year ambition to overhaul technical education, and is further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to give more young people access to high-quality training opportunities so they can secure rewarding careers. Read more

Workshop for Potential VocTech Impact Applicants: Lincoln
June 9, 2019

The UFI Charitable Trust are looking to offer grants for innovative uses of digital technology that enable large numbers of adults to access and develop the skills they need for work.

They are running pre-application face to face workshops to hear more about funding and discuss applications with Ufi staff. You must log in to your Ufi account in order to register for a workshop.
Four-Letter Verdict on Colossal Europeasn Social Fund Blunder

In what one ESFA official is alleged to have called a “f*ck up of epic proportions”, all 80 training providers in receipt of around £300 million of European Social Funding are being investigated after funding claim “discrepancies” were discoveredEuropean Social Fund Logo.

As a result, contract compliance for the 2014 to 2020 ESF programme has been thrown into doubt.

In early April the ESFA wrote to providers with concerns that evidence was missing from learner files. FE Week has seen a copy of the ESF contract which states that where a learner is enrolled on to a course involving a regulated qualification, then the “evidence requirement” for a start payment is registration to an awarding body. Read more

£15 Million Investment to Help Keep Families Safely Together
May 24, 2019

Up to 40 new areas will benefit from £15 million to expand promising innovative approaches to keeping families safely togetherFamilies together

Children at risk of being taken into care are set to benefit from programmes that tackle the root cause of family problems, by strengthening the expert support available from social workers, addiction specialists and psychiatrists.

The new programme, Supporting Families; Investing in Practice, will help families work on issues together, including those impacted by domestic violence, substance misuse or addiction, in order to help create stability in the home for young people and prevent them being taken into care, where that is in their best interests. This is part of wider Government work to improve outcomes for children in need of support of a social worker, by creating home and school environments in which they can thrive.

Applications to the programmes can be made here.

Modelled on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and a programme known as Family Group Conferencing, the innovative new projects will be rolled out in up to 40 new council areas. The Government has today announced up to £15 million over the next year, following the emerging success of these existing programmes.

Read more

Education Secretary Announces £2.5m Boost to Careers Hubs in 20 Areas

The Secretary of State for Education has announced the expansion of a successful model helping to transformDamian Hinds meets pupils benefiting from a Careers Hub in Leicestershirecareers education around the country.

This follows news last year that careers support is improving across England and is now strongest in disadvantaged areas.

Last year, The Careers & Enterprise Company launched the first 20 Careers Hubs accross England. Each Hub brings together a group of up to 40 schools and colleges to improve careers support for young people in their area.

Schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs are already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education. Read more

DfE Launches Consultation on Improving SEND Funding Arrangements for Colleges

The Department for Education has today launched a consultation on how to improve funding arrangements for learners with high needsDfE launches consultation on improving SEND funding arrangements for colleges

The department is seeking views on what “may be adversely influencing local authorities, mainstream schools, colleges and other education providers” in their support for young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND).

“We welcome views on changes to the funding system that could help in getting the best value from the resources available,” the DfE said.

The evidence document said the government “understands the cost pressures facing both local authorities and post-16 providers as they seek to meet the needs and ambitions of young people, and the need for appropriate levels of funding”.

However, it hopes to gather views on whether there are other aspects of the financial arrangements that are acting as a barrier to young people accessing the support they need, “regardless of the amount of funding available”. Read more

£1.6m Boost to Provide Young People with Personalised Careers Guidance
May 7, 2019

Schools and colleges will benefit from a further £1.6m investment in personal careers guidance for young people – a vital part of careers education that enables students to set achievable goals for their future.

This is part of an overall £2.5m fund which was first announced by The Careers & Enterprise Company in November 2018 and will support thousands of young people through organisations such as Achieving for Children and the Association of Colleges.

The fund supports the development of innovative, cost effective models for personal careers guidance. The funded projects will be used to develop practical guidance and case studies to support best practice across all schools and colleges.

Personal careers guidance provides young people with dedicated time with a qualified career adviser, allowing them to identify their ambitions and what is important to them, to help individuals make informed decisions about their futures.

The government’s Careers Strategy launched last year highlights the importance of personal guidance in enabling schools and colleges to successfully and affordably deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework of guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges.

This year’s recipients include Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Learning Network and the University of Bath. Providers will be using the funding to invest in guidance that is delivered in 1:1 settings as well as via digital platforms such as video and SMS, and projects will consult widely with young people, careers leaders and parents. There will also be a strong focus on helping disadvantaged young people and those with a range of additional needs.

The funding will support:

  • the provision of personal guidance to young people
  • staff delivering personal guidance qualified to Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) level 6 or above to have access to relevant continuing professional development
  • staff delivering personal guidance at lower levels of qualification to be qualified to QCF level 6 or above through the bid
  • staff supporting guidance to have access to relevant training and development, which may include both unaccredited learning and qualifications at the relevant QCF level
  • the development of a pipeline of qualified career guidance professionals for the future.

A full list of recipients is available at the bottom of the page.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Personal guidance is a vital part of careers education. This funding will make sure even more young people are given the opportunity for high quality personal guidance. This work is a team effort as we work closely with career guidance professionals and careers organisations through the sector to maximise the investment, and show the impact that well-developed, sustainable personal career guidance programmes can have on young people.”

A selection of the organisations supported, and the programmes developed through this funding are summarised below.

Sussex Learning Network and Elev8Careers (£297,400)

This funding will ensure that over 5000 young people receive Personal Guidance which provides a young person with space to be heard and can also inspire and direct and support them to continue in some form of education or enter into employment. Personal Guidance will be delivered by qualified advisors in 1:1 settings, as well as via online conferencing, video, text, email etc. with additional careers information, advice and guidance available via social media channels for parents, teachers and young people.  Our programme seeks to support all young people to develop and realise their aspirations. We will also support careers staff to access their level 6 qualifications and deliver CPD to teaching staff to ensure they are more aware of the challenges young people encounter and are better able to advise and guide them to ensure they fulfil their potential.  In addition, a significant number of learners will also be able to access a suite of other interventions known to raise aspiration, improve retention and improve levels of attainment: undergraduate role models; mentoring; peer to peer project working; transition support; workshops with relevant alumni; coaching; subject support – specifically maths; grit and resilience.

Sarah Williams, Director of the Sussex Learning Network, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to reach out to many of our schools across Sussex and offer all of their learners direct personal guidance. We are certain this will massively help our young people make informed choices about their futures and help them to determine what pathways they wish to follow in their lives.”

Minsthorpe Community College (£191,148)

The Encompass Careers Alliance (ECA) aims at improving the already strong careers education that exists in the five cornerstone schools of the ECA in order to create a sustainable and scalable programme that any school can embrace. The intention is for this programme to become a blueprint that can be adopted by any school either as a stand alone or in a partnership. Each partner school will mentor a further five other schools, building an alliance of 30 schools all working together to provide quality, one-to-on careers guidance. This will be led by both Personal Guidance Professionals and upskilled teaching staff who will be trained through a cost effective CPD programme.

Ray Henshaw, Principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said: “Our improved education and skills system must be supported by high-quality careers provision. We know that young people who are uncertain or unrealistic about career ambitions at the age of 16 are three times more likely than their peers to spend significant periods out of education, employment or training. Good careers advice is particularly important for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may have less informal information, contacts and social capital on which to draw. The ECA promises to transform the advice that young people across the region receive and Minsthorpe is delighted to be at the cutting edge of such an innovative programme.”

4YPUK (£163,834)

Over the next 18 months, this research project will involve 10 partner schools and colleges to focus on evidencing high quality practice and models in place of delivering careers personal guidance services. The programme will consult widely with young people, careers leaders, parents and other partners to identify gaps in current delivery, and trial new delivery models. This will include upskilling staff to gain careers qualifications and expand the high-level personal guidance expertise available to young people. Further opportunities will be explored with The Careers & Enterprise Company, local authorities and wider partners to create a supportive careers community so that individual careers professionals based in a school have access to CPD.

Dee Thomas, Project Director 4YPUK, said: “The 4YPUK Careers team are delighted to have secured this Personal Guidance funding. We strongly believe that all young people deserve access to high quality personal careers guidance. This careers management programme will equip them with robust research and decision-making life skills to progress in their journey towards adulthood.”

University of Bath (£119,912)

The University of Bath will support six schools to develop an integrated, whole-school model of delivering cost-effective and targeted personal guidance, using the Careerpilot website and associated tools as key resources. All students in the pilot groups will be prepared for personal guidance through Careerpilot online workshops, access one-to-one professional personal guidance of varying intensity determined through a new, electronic Triage Tool and receive follow-up through school-tutor processes. Disadvantaged students will receive the most intensive and sustained personal guidance support. To build expertise within each school one member of staff will receive training and mentoring to achieve the Level 6 Diploma of Careers Guidance and Development. The project will be delivered in 6 schools, across 5 Local Authorities and 2 Career Hubs in the South West of England Area.

Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Bath, said: “The University of Bath, on behalf of a unique partnership of twenty universities, is delighted to have been awarded this funding so that the Careerpilot Team can develop a whole-school model of
delivering excellent, efficient and targeted personal guidance to young people. We hope that this will provide a model that can be applied more widely to support students make more informed choices about their opportunities for progression to further study or employment.”

EKC Group (£115,440)

This funding will help to ensure students with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) receive high quality, relevant advice and guidance on progression pathways. The careers education programme will be accessible and engaging for students with a wide variety of complex and profound needs, including Global Learning Delay. Delivered across a network of colleges, it will benefit more than 400 learners while also ensuring at least 40 teaching and careers advice staff are trained in new ways of providing this specialist support. The programme will also ensure the wider Further Education sector benefits from a range of resources and good practice material for other providers to base their programmes on.

Lauren Anning, Executive Director Student Experience and Wellbeing of EKC Group, said:“There are so many opportunities and pathways open to young people which means it is imperative they get the most bespoke advice and guidance possible. This funding will help ensure some of our most vulnerable learners get the specialist advice they need to achieve their progression goals. We will be leading the way, delivering an innovative new careers education programme that will also deliver a legacy of resources.”

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce (£36,356)

The programme will offer a unique partnership complementing network and industry contacts and knowledge with quality personal guidance delivery. The core delivery of the programme will build social mobility networks around targeted disadvantaged students in Key stage 4 and into Key stage 5. The programme will enable those students to access key influencers and employers in the local labour market. They will use the personal guidance process to interpret LMI and analyse the implications for personal pathway planning.

Andy Hibbitt, Education and Skills Director, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding that will enable us to extend our work with young disadvantaged students to help raise their career aspirations. By teaming up with local leaders and careers guidance professionals, we will deliver bespoke packages of support for each individual child to guide them on their career journey towards their first job. Through our extensive work in local primary and secondary schools, we are fully aware of the huge potential of Doncaster’s young people and this funding will go some way to providing opportunities and unlocking this potential.”

Career North Ltd (£35,075)

Career North Ltd will deliver The Focused and Achieving More from Education Programme in five schools. The programme will provide group guidance to all pupils in Year 7 and pupils will self action plan and request follow up personal guidance as necessary. Career North will contribute to emerging practice through early intervention and improving triage through pupil and tutor Career Champions. Staff will be trained and supported to facilitate earlier integration of careers within the curriculum and more robust referral processes. Young people will also be better prepared to receive personal and tailored guidance. Careers professionals teaching Group guidance will engage all pupils with SEND, looked after children and those at risk of disengaging,

Paul Scarborough, Headteacher Up Holland High School, said: “It was great news to hear that Career North has successfully tendered funding to build capacity in personal guidance through their FAME programme. We place great importance on providing all of our pupils with access to information about the full range of opportunities available to them at the end of Year 11 and the high quality personal guidance they receive enables them to make sense of it. Starting earlier at Key Stage 3 will increase the impact and reach of personal guidance and we are looking forward to the programme commencing with our new Year 7 pupils in September.”


Organisation Funding
Minsthorpe Community College




Sussex Learning Network


Career North Ltd


Derbyshire Education Business Partnership Ltd


Medway Youth Trust


Bedford Borough Council


Career Connect


Doncaster Chamber of Commerce


Aspire-igen Ltd


University of Bath


EKC Group


Westminster Kingsway College


ViewPoint: How a Holistic Package of Support Can Improve Students’ Outcomes
February 20, 2019
The following by TARA BLISS APPLETON Head of welfare and support, Saint Edmunds Society, Norwich was published by FEWEEK.


Building welfare support into post-16 provision is crucial to improving retention and achievements, says Tara Bliss-Appleton.

The Saint Edmunds Society has offered vocational training since 2012 to young people who have struggled in mainstream education, to help them to develop meaningful trade-specific skills that will open doors to further training and employment.

We soon realised, however, that skills training was not enough. Disengagement from mainstream education is often driven by personal circumstances such as permanent exclusion, bullying, family breakdown and sometimes substance misuse. Our students presented with a range of barriers to learning, including anxiety, low income, and limited literacy and numeracy skills.

Read more