Call us:

Contact Details

Aprils Government News


(Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Employers of young apprentices will no longer pay National Insurance contributions: Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25 years have been abolished. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employers-of-young-apprentices-will-no-longer-pay-national-insurance-contributions

Further education reform: update for colleges and training providers, March 2016: Nick Boles, Minister for Skills, wrote to all colleges and independent training providers updating them on the further education reform programme, including a brief on progress on 'Implementing the further education and skills reform programme'. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-education-reform-update-for-colleges-march-2016

National living wage (NLW): A Policy Paper which explains the national living wage (NLW) of £7.20 per hour for workers aged 25 and above, announced in the Summer Budget 2015, has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-living-wage-nlw

Apprenticeship levy: how it will work: A Guidance document has been published which explains who the levy affects, how much you will pay and what happens once the money has been paid. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-levy-how-it-will-work

New food and farming degree apprenticeships to boost innovation: Three new degree apprenticeships focused on Food Engineering, Food Science and Dairy Technology have been announced. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-food-and-farming-degree-apprenticeships-to-boost-innovation

Centres for Agricultural Innovation: Information and details on the Centres for Agricultural Innovation and how to contact them has been published. Their role is supporting the adoption, development and commercialisation of technology in the agriculture sector. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/centres-for-agricultural-innovation

Regional Growth Fund programmes guide: A Guidance document which explains how businesses, looking for funding of less than £1 million, can apply for support through Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programmes has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regional-growth-fund-programmes-guide

Technology boost for UK businesses: The EU Commission has published details on how EU businesses including those in the UK, can get better access to the technologies that will help them to modernise. This includes improving access to cloud computing and services, data analytics and the Internet of Things. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/technology-boost-for-uk-businesses

UK participation in Horizon 2020 and Framework Programme 7: Through these programmes organisations across Europe (including businesses and universities) are able to work together to apply for funding for research activities. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-participation-in-horizon-2020-and-framework-programme-7

Guidance for bodies seeking accreditation under the Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR) scheme: The scheme encourages investment in disadvantaged communities by giving tax relief to investors who back businesses and other enterprises in disadvantaged areas through investing in accredited CDFIs. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-investment-tax-relief-citr-accreditation-of-community-development-finance-institutions

Further education and skills: statistical first release: April Update: Further education and skills data reported to date for 2015 to 2016 - updated to include Qualification Achievement Rates for 2014 to 2015 has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held

FE data library: apprenticeships: April Update: This statistical data set provides information on apprenticeships through a number of reports broken down by starts, achievements, sector, framework, geography, gender, age and others. It is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships#history

Post-16 education and training: area reviews: April Update: Information and reports on the programme of area reviews of the post-16 education and training sector have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/post-16-education-and-training-area-reviews

(Department for Education)

2018 performance tables: technical and vocational qualifications: April Update: Updated lists of qualifications for reporting in the 2018 performance tables in the following categories: technical awards, technical certificates, tech levels and applied general qualifications have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2018-performance-tables-technical-and-vocational-qualifications

Timeline for sixth-form and further education colleges: mandatory: April Update: Updated guidance on what sixth-form and further education colleges must know to plan for the academic year ahead has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-timeline-sixth-form-colleges

Timeline for sixth-form and further education colleges: useful: April Update: Updated guidance on useful information to help sixth-form and further education colleges plan for the academic year ahead has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/useful-timelines-sixth-form-colleges

Level 2 and 3 attainment by young people aged 19 in 2015: Statistics showing the attainment of young people aged 19 in the 2014 to 2015 academic year have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/level-2-and-3-attainment-by-young-people-aged-19-in-2015

Statistics: 16 to 19 attainment: Statistics on the attainment of 16- to 19-year-olds in England, including exam results and performance tables have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-attainment-at-19-years

AS and A level maths and further maths: AS and A level maths subject content for teaching in schools from 2017 has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gce-as-and-a-level-mathematics and further maths at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gce-as-and-a-level-further-mathematics

Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation: Multi-agency guidelines on FGM for those with statutory duties to safeguard children and vulnerable adults has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/multi-agency-statutory-guidance-on-female-genital-mutilation

Academies Show 2016: educational excellence everywhere: Nicky Morgan speaks about her vision of all schools becoming academies at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/academies-show-2016-educational-excellence-everywhere

DfE consolidated annual report and accounts 2014 to 2015: A Report on the DfE's main achievements over the financial year from 2014 to 2015, along with the main risks and issues faced has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfe-consolidated-annual-report-and-accounts-2014-to-2015


News from the Professional Bodies

 Education and Training Foundation

The local impact of Higher Education delivered by FE colleges: New research commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation provides concrete evidence of the impact and reach of the higher education delivered by FE colleges. The research shows that just under 10% of HE undergraduates study in FE colleges and that college based HE: broadens access to higher education, yet differs from the provision offered by HEIs; recruits from the local area and with a focus on applied and vocational subjects; and local recruitment positions Colleges to address local economic needs. Further details at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/news/the-local-impact-of-higher-education-delivered-by-fe-colleges/

New benefits available to Society for Education and Training (SET) members: The Society for Education and Training (SET) today announced new benefits for its members available during the new 2016-17 membership year. Further details at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/news/new-benefits-available-to-society-for-education-and-training-set-members/

Events: AELP Webinar on Supply chains and subcontracting, AELP workshop on delivering effective traineeship programmes - Birmingham 12 May, AELP National Conference in June and Festival of Skills in July. Details at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/events/page/2/



Consultation: Setting the grade standards of new GCSEs in England: 2017 & 2018: Ofqual are consulting on setting grade standards for other new GCSEs following their decisions about the awarding of new GCSEs in English language, English literature and mathematics which will be first awarded in summer 2017. They are also consulting on a change to our previous decisions for English language, English literature and mathematics, about how grades 8 and 9 are set. The Consultation closes on 17 June and further details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/setting-the-grade-standards-of-new-gcses-in-england-2017-2018

Options for setting the grade 9 boundary in GCSEs: Research commissioned by Ofqual on the impact on different types of schools of different approaches to the award of grade 9 in new GCSEs has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/options-for-setting-the-grade-9-boundary-in-gcses

New A level and AS level qualifications: requirements and guidance: Rules, regulations and guidance for the reformed A levels and AS qualifications has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/new-a-level-and-as-level-qualifications-requirements-and-guidance

Year-on-year variability in school-level GCSE results: Ofqual has published research into the pattern of variability in the outcomes of school and college GCSE results as one way of understanding the extent of volatility in the system. The Report can be seen at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/year-on-year-variability-in-school-level-gcse-results

Presentation from Capita Post-16 conference: Ian Pursglove, Associate Director of Standards for Literacy and Numeracy Qualifications, presented at Capita's post-16 Conference. The presentation can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/presentation-from-capita-post-16-conference

Regulating use of calculators in new GCSEs, AS and A levels: Following a consultation Ofqual has published changes to our proposals to reflect consultation feedback: This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/regulating-use-of-calculators-in-new-gcses-as-and-a-levels


(Skills Funding Agency and Higher Education Funding Council for England)

2016 to 2017 funding allocations: The SFA has now issued provider allocations for the 2016 to 2017 funding year. This includes: maintaining contract values at 2015 to 2016 for the newly formed adult education budget; 19% increase on delivery to November 2015 for 19+ apprenticeships allocations; 3% increase for 16 to 18 apprenticeship allocations; 24% increase for SFA-funded 16 to 18 traineeship allocations and 29% increase on advanced learner loan facilities, from current commitments. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2016-to-2017-funding-allocations-positive-news-for-the-sector

Higher and degree apprenticeships: A factsheet which provides information for young people on the opportunities, progression and benefits of doing a higher or degree apprenticeship, has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-and-degree-apprenticeships

Apprenticeship grant: employer fact sheet: Guidance on the Apprenticeship grant for employers of 16 to 24 year olds, eligibility information and how to apply has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-grant-employer-fact-sheet

SFA and EFA: financial planning handbook and financial plan: Guidance on financial information that colleges are required to send every year to the Skills Funding Agency and Education Funding Agency has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-planning-handbook

Post-16 education and training institutions: transition grants for area reviews: Guidance on how to apply for transition grants to support significant changes following area review recommendations has been published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-16-education-and-training-institutions-transition-grants-for-area-reviews

SFA: payments and data: Information on ILR data collections for colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sfa-payments-and-data

SFA: advanced learner loans toolkit: A toolkit to support providers looking to create, establish or grow provision funded by advanced learner loans has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sfa-24-advanced-learning-loans-toolkit

Further education and skills: statistical first release: April Update: Further education and skills data reported to date for 2015 to 2016 - updated to include Qualification Achievement Rates for 2014 to 2015 - has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held#history

FE data library: apprenticeships: April Update: This statistical data set provides information on apprenticeships through a number of reports broken down by starts, achievements, sector, framework, geography, gender, age and others. The latest updates are at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships#history

Apprenticeship standards ready for delivery: April Update: An updated list of all the apprenticeship standards approved by the SFA that are ready for employers and training organisations to use has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standards-ready-for-delivery

SFA funding allocations to training providers: 2014 to 2015: Funding values for colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers with a contract for 2014 to 2015 has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sfa-funding-allocations-to-training-providers-2014-to-2015

HEFCE: HEFCE to manage new Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund: HEFCE has been asked by BIS to manage the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund. The fund will provide £8 million starting in academic year 2016-17 to help universities and colleges work with employers to develop new degree apprenticeships ready for delivery from academic year 2017-18. The SFA will receive a further £2 million to encourage more learners to take up degree apprenticeships. Further information at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2016/Name,107889,en.html


(West Midlands Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training)

Professional Exchange: WMCETT has won a bid to establish the West Midlands Learning Consortium which will provide opportunities for colleagues across the FE and skills sectors to attend free CPD events to engage with their peers and recognised specialists in a range of subject areas, with the intention of leaving with plans which can lead to organisational change. Dates have now been set for six of the eight planned events. The event at Loughborough College on Friday, April 22 was very successful and registrations are now open for the other events at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/wmcett/researchprojects/professional_exchange

Maths Resilience Courses: These excellent courses aim to introduce the ideas of mathematical resilience and their application in overcoming barriers to maths learning with a focus on specific teaching strategies. WMCETT is organising these and organisations around the country can sign up to host these one-day courses. Further details at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/wmcett/resources/maths_teaching_resources/resilience_courses

Policy Watch Published by The Pearson Centre, it has weekly updates on the latest educational initiatives and can be read at http://uk.pearson.com/home/policy-watch.html.

Skills Funding Agency: update: Update is the Skills Funding Agency’s weekly round-up of business-critical information and news for the further education sector. It is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/skills-funding-agency-update

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post a comment.