Gemma Gathercole

  • Ofqual's new app requires improvement

    Ofqual’s app is a step in the right direction. It’s a prototype, though, and several more steps will be needed to navigate the qualifications landscape, writes Gemma Gathercole When Ofqual tweeted from their ‘Shaping the qualifications landscape’ event, you’d be forgiven for rolling your eyes at another statement of how complicated the qualifications system is,

    5.00 Nov. 25th, 2017 | Opinion

  • What is the action plan for T-Levels?

    FE Week’s resident policy expert, Gemma Gathercole, dissects the DfE’s latest document… More than a year after the post-16 skills plan, and seven months on from the announcement of more funds to support its implementation, the DfE has published an update in the form of its T-levels action plan. But what does this action plan

    16.45 Oct. 12th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Government outlines single awarding organisation plan for prisons

    The Ministry of Justice intends to appoint single awarding organisations for seven areas of study, it has announced on the government tendering website. The areas of study are to be English, ESOL, maths, ICT, catering and hospitality, construction, and cleaning and facilities, which between them it claims cover 42 per cent of its learning delivery. These,

    18.28 Aug. 25th, 2017 | News

  • Explaining new GCSE grades and what this means for post-16 resits

    By this time on results day, we’re all now aware of the new style of numerical GCSE grading. But if you’re still getting your head around whether a 1 or a 9 is the best grade, or wondering what this means for students starting post-16 courses this September and who will be subject to the

    15.07 Aug. 24th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Institute for Apprenticeships remains the favourite option for EQA

    The Institute for Apprenticeships continues to be the dominant external quality assurance (EQA) provider of choice for most Trailblazer groups – even though it describes itself as the “option of last resort”. As a result, concerns are deepening across the sector that the government’s own EQA regulator is regulating itself, a situation that Graham Hasting-Evans, managing

    17.23 Aug. 21st, 2017 | News

  • Frontier Economics is right: the T-level tender approach is not viable

    Important new research carried out for the DfE demonstrates that a single awarding body for T-levels would have disastrous consequences – let’s hope the Department for Education listens, writes Gemma Gathercole It’s a rare moment, working in policy, when a government-published research report quite literally takes the words out of your mouth, but that was

    16.55 Jul. 20th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Did Brexit REALLY make a difference to the election outcome?

    The effect Brexit had on the results varies wildly from place to place and can’t be distilled into a simple conclusion, says Gemma Gathercole In the early hours after an election and before the results come in, you hear various commentators coming up with their own ideas about what has happened with the vote. In

    13.00 Jun. 9th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Are the party pledges for FE meaningless?

    Both Labour and the Lib Dems have made some pre-manifesto pledges on further education, but these should all be taken with a pinch of salt, says Gemma Gathercole The opening salvos of the election campaign have been fired and now we’re getting to the good stuff – well, at least for policy geeks like me.

    5.00 May. 13th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Panel debates end-point assessment and RoATP

    Concerns about quality and the impact of reforms on social mobility dominated the panel debate of FE and skills sector leaders at the Annual Apprenticeship Conference. Dame Asha Khemka DBE, principal of West Nottinghamshire College and a member of the board of the Institute for Apprenticeship, called for the sector to “work together to find

    18.00 Mar. 24th, 2017 | News

  • NAW Supplement 2017

    0.09 Mar. 10th, 2017 | Supplements

  • Hold on - there’s a hitch in the £500m promise

    Sunday morning politics show devotees will recognise that there’s usually a theme that underpins the headlines – be it a leak, an announcement, heaven forbid a scandal – but so infrequently is this theme directly related to the FE world. This weekend, FE was the story. And while all the talk of ‘T-levels’ was something

    9.02 Mar. 8th, 2017 | Opinion