Expert Contributor

  • If the 10% apprenticeship co-investment is removed, it should be done selectively

    The 10 per cent apprenticeship contribution rule for non-levied employers remains a lively issue. It is frequently cited by training providers as a barrier to engagement, and the calls for its removal by leading sector bodies such as the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and others remain strident. An air of suppressed anticipation awaited

    5.00 Jul. 10th, 2018 | Opinion

  • If colleges are not careful, HE will muscle in on their territory

    The FE sector is already beleaguered, but market forces will soon see universities trying to carve themselves out a bigger slice of the pie, writes Ewart Keep A research project about to be published by the FE Trust for Leadership on the marketisation of further education points to the growing competition that colleges face from

    5.00 Jul. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • When does Ofsted inspect a newly merged college?

    Merging with another college is certainly not a way to dodge a visit from Ofsted, explains Paul Joyce, in response to FE Week’s criticism of the regulator’s move to suspend routine inspections for at least three years following a merger. College mergers have become much more commonplace in recent years. With this in mind, and

    15.37 Jul. 5th, 2018 | Opinion

  • If A-levels need multiple exam boards, why don't T-levels?

    The system that makes A-levels so revered would work just as effectively for the new technical exams, argues Rod Bristow The groundbreaking Copyright Act of 1710 was in its long form entitled “an Act for the Encouragement of Learning”. The idea behind it was simple, that by protecting the intellectual property developed by authors and

    5.00 Jul. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • How to support disabled learners with sport and physical activity

    For too long it has been too easy to marginalise disabled learners from the kind of sporting activity that we know they’d enjoy. Sam Perks has toured colleges in search of better practice.  Taking part in sport helps to improve your health. It increases happiness and self-esteem, and it reduces anxiety and stress. It enhances

    5.00 Jul. 1st, 2018 | Opinion

  • The FE commissioner is wrong: We should keep PROCAT open

    The first college incorporated in years has been told to merge to survive. This is the wrong decision, according to its erstwhile principal Neil Bates. The government continues with its much-needed reforms of technical education and skills at pace. In recent weeks, we have had the announcement of the 16 successful stage one bidders for

    9.15 Jun. 26th, 2018 | Opinion

  • It’s time to let FE providers award their own degrees

    Only nine colleges currently have the power to award degrees. Stephen Howlett believes this needs to the change for the good of the learners Rarely does a week pass without a story appearing in the media about the skills crisis facing industry in the UK. A recent report from the Lords’ economic affairs committee highlighted

    5.00 Jun. 27th, 2018 | Opinion

  • How the IfA assigns apprenticeship funding bands

    There’s plenty going on at the Institute for Apprenticeships at the moment, and its boss Sir Gerry Berragan is using the first instalment of his exclusive new column for FE Week to tell you all about it over the coming months The Institute is a “crown non-departmental public body”, putting employers at the heart of

    5.00 Jun. 18th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Stop fighting over the crumbs of the adult education budget!

    There’s no point in principals squabbling over the crumbs of the AEB, writes Ewart Keep, who wants the sector to take devolution much more seriously It has not taken long for some in FE to fall into the trap that central government set for localities when it decided to “devolve” the adult education budget (AEB).

    5.00 Jun. 12th, 2018 | Opinion

  • T-Levels: Reform should be a marathon not a sprint

    With the design consultations for the three early T-level routes continuing at breakneck speed, Julie Hyde makes the case for pumping the breaks Like many in the sector, my bank holiday weekend was spent digesting the latest developments in the government’s plans for T-levels. The ministerial direction last Thursday, setting out concerns about the feasibility of

    16.15 May. 30th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Don’t expect T-Levels to bring ‘parity of esteem’ overnight

    T-levels are possibly the best-designed new qualifications in decades, but it’ll take hard work to promote them as a pathway, explains Chris McLean Frequently in education we feel justified in telling the government it doesn’t understand what we need to improve teaching and learning. In FE in particular, we say that MPs don’t get what

    5.00 May. 28th, 2018 | Opinion