Alix Robertson

  • Skills minister the fixer promises to listen and 'make it work'

    The new skills minister has reassured the sector that her motivation in the role is “to make it work” rather than to introduce “new, bright ideas”, after what has been a “frustrating” and “bruising period” for many providers recently. Her new position would be “a job of delivery”, said Anne Milton as she delivered the

    8.39 Jun. 27th, 2017 | News

  • Achievement rates at Learndirect fall under minimum standards

    The nation’s largest FE provider has been badly shaken by the changes in the way achievement rates are calculated, recording a 7.3 per cent drop that puts it below the government’s minimum standards. Learndirect’s achievement rate tumbled from 65.1 per cent in 2014/15 to just 57.8 per cent last academic year, according to national data

    13.00 Jun. 24th, 2017 | News

  • NCG and others blame IT 'glitches' for achievement rates table absence

    Providers have blamed “data glitches” for their absence from the latest national achievement rate tables. The five colleges and one provider that make up Newcastle College Group are all absent from the 2015/16 tables published on June 15, as well as Croydon College and Middlesbrough council. The six NCG members were supposed to have their

    16.00 Jun. 23rd, 2017 | News

  • Festival of Skills: Apprenticeship starts ‘a quarter’ of what they were before May

    Members of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers have reported apprenticeship starts in May falling to around a quarter of what they were before the reforms kicked-in, according to the organisation’s boss. Mark Dawe gave eager listeners the latest on apprenticeships in a session at 2pm on the first day of the Festival of

    10.09 Jun. 23rd, 2017 | News

  • Festival of Skills: Start assessing as apprentices begin, providers told

    Providers need to assess new apprentices’ skills as soon as they begin training in order to establish a baseline for measuring progress, the education watchdog has said. Chris Jones [pictured above], Ofsted’s specialist adviser for apprenticeships, explained that the lack of qualifications within new apprenticeship standards has led to an “unintended consequence”: trainers will miss

    9.54 Jun. 23rd, 2017 | News

  • Government urged to do more to rescue struggling UTCs

    Far more needs to be done by the government to support its struggling University Technical Colleges programme, a new report by the National Foundation for Educational Research has warned. The document named ‘Behind the Headlines’ analysed the UTC programme so far, acknowledging that “the introduction of UTCs has been very challenging”. It identified six areas

    9.00 Jun. 22nd, 2017 | News

  • New skills minister Anne Milton speaking at AELP conference 2017

    The first major speech delivered to the sector by the new skills minister will be at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers conference next week. Anne Milton has still not been officially confirmed as Robert Halfon’s replacement for apprenticeships and skills minister by the Department for Education, as it is still determining details of

    12.20 Jun. 21st, 2017 | News

  • Who got what in Queen’s birthday honours for FE

    The principal of Weston College Group has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Dr Paul Phillips (pictured left), who joined Weston College in 2001, was made an OBE in 2011 and achieved an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted grade in 2014, has been recognised in the list published today. The keen wrestling fan, according

    22.30 Jun. 16th, 2017 | News

  • Judge and principal blast college nepotism scandal

    A senior manager at the country’s biggest college group was somehow permitted to interview and appoint her own husband to another top post, in a situation that a judge described as being “quite extraordinary”. Deni Chambers, the director of creative and digital industries at NCG, formed a panel with just one other colleague to award

    11.30 Jun. 16th, 2017 | News

  • Investigation into DfE handling of apprenticeship figures demanded by expert

    An independent expert in government statistics has called for an investigation after the Department for Education encouraged the use of “misleading” provider apprenticeship achievement rate data, rather than publish the revised figures. In February the DfE revised its figures for 2015/16, causing a fall of nearly five percentage points in recorded achievement rates, after it

    10.00 Jun. 16th, 2017 | News

  • Cash-strapped Harlow UTC looks to join academy trust

    Another university technical college in dire financial straits is planning to pause recruitment at 14 as it looks to join a multi-academy trust to survive. Sir Charles Kao UTC, a 14-19 institution in Harlow specialising in computing, science and engineering, is “100 pupils short of achieving a break-even position”, according to its income summary for

    10.30 Jun. 16th, 2017 | News