Nick Linford

  • Ofqual publish final plans for exam alternatives this summer

    This afternoon, as promised, Ofqual has published final details for their “exceptional arrangements for awarding qualifications this summer”. Click here to read the announcement and download the accompanying documents. Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, Ofqual, said: “In the unprecedented circumstances we face this summer, these exceptional arrangements are the fairest way of making sure students have

    13.08 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • Exam boards seeking more than £16 million from DfE for Covid flexibility costs

    A “formal” request for more than £16 million to be “reimbursed”  has been submitted by awarding organisations (AOs) to the Department for Education to pay for extra resources needed to implement an alternative to summer exams, FE Week can reveal. The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), which represents over 100 AOs, has written to the

    12.02 May. 22nd, 2020 | News

  • ESFA reveals calculations for the furloughed apprentice wage top-up

    The Education and Skills Funding Agency has finally confirmed that the national minimum wage requirement for a furloughed apprentice applies to just the “training hours during the furlough period”. In an email from a senior manager in the funding policy team, seen by FE Week, an explanation with two worked examples is provided (see below

    7.43 May. 5th, 2020 | News

  • Monthly apprenticeships update: February starts fall 11%

    Apprenticeship starts for the month of February 2020 fell 11 per cent on the previous year, figures published this morning show (see below). The statisticians at the Department for Education said: “Apprenticeship starts reported to date have decreased to 198,600 from 214,200 in the first two quarters of 2018/19, a decrease of 7.3 per cent.”

    9.35 Apr. 30th, 2020 | News

  • HMRC publish furlough and training guidance for apprentices

    The government has finally confirmed that apprentices can continue with funded training when employers use the job retention scheme, subject to being paid the apprenticeship minimum wage “for all the time they spend training”. HMRC guidance published today (click here),  says: “Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can

    13.24 Apr. 4th, 2020 | News

  • Supplier relief: London deputy mayor reveals Covid-19 provider support

    Training providers in London are to receive “advance payments” to “support provision and recognise the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak”, the deputy mayor of the Greater London Assembly (GLA) has revealed this evening. The two letters signed by Jules Pipe (pictured), sent to providers with devolved adult education budget (AEB) and European Social Fund

    19.19 Mar. 31st, 2020 | News

  • Apprenticeship quango says less than half passing to be 'expected'

    The proportion of apprentices that last year passed the new style ‘standard’ has been revealed as just 46.6 per cent, something the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education said was to be “expected”. Figures (see below), published this morning by the Department for Education, show that many of the most popular standards had achievement rates

    10.36 Mar. 26th, 2020 | News

  • National apprenticeship achievement rates fall below 65%

    The overall achievement rate for apprenticeships fell last year by 2.2 percentage points to 64.7 per cent.  National achievement rate tables (NARTs) published this morning by the Department for Education reveal the fall comes after three stable years when just over two thirds of apprentices passed the course (see table above and click here for

    9.38 Mar. 26th, 2020 | News

  • FE minister writes to colleges about COVID-19 response

    This evening the apprenticeships and skills minister, Gillian Keegan, wrote to all FE and sixth form colleges in England. Read the letter in full below, or download it from here. Dear Colleagues, I wanted to take the time to write to you and thank you for all of your hard work and continued commitment during

    21.54 Mar. 20th, 2020 | News

  • Revealed: DfE finds small employers now account for just 27% of apprenticeship starts

    The Department for Education has this morning published “analysis looking at the impact of the introduction of the apprenticeship levy on employers engaging with apprenticeships”. The analysts found: “Apprenticeship starts have become more concentrated in large employers, since the introduction of the levy. “Apprenticeship starts were most likely to occur in large employers (those with

    9.37 Mar. 12th, 2020 | News

  • My notes ahead of select committee session on the apprenticeship levy

    The education select committee held their first session yesterday with what it called a “discussion around the complexity of the levy, its impact on smaller businesses (non-levy payers) and the use of the levy to fund higher level apprenticeships”. You can watch the session here. As one of the witnesses, I prepared some analysis and

    9.21 Mar. 11th, 2020 | Opinion