Nick Linford

  • Apprentice wage cheats crackdown

    Business Secretary Vince Cable has promised “tough new measures” to tackle employers who pay apprentices below the legal minimum, up 3p to £2.68 an hour from October. Dr Cable’s announcement came after a Low Pay Commission report indicated 27 per cent of all apprentices, and more than 40 per cent of apprentices aged 16 and

    22.33 Apr. 18th, 2013 | News

  • Agency backtracks on awards cull

    Plans to stop government funding for qualifications aimed at helping the unemployed have been shelved. The Skills Funding Agency had said it would stop paying for around 1,600 ‘awards’, prompting criticism that struggling learners could be among the hardest hit. Graham Hasting-Evans, managing director of the National Open College Network (NOCN) awarding body, told FE

    22.19 Apr. 18th, 2013 | News

  • FE commissioner’s powers need ‘consideration’

    Further education leaders have told of concerns about the proposed FE Commissioner’s two-week timescale for deciding the fate of struggling colleges. The Association of Colleges (AoC) and the University and College Union (UCU) have both said that the government’s plans for a powerful FE Commissioner needed further consideration. Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced the plans

    22.03 Apr. 18th, 2013 | News

  • The statistics tell the story

    The government wants an FE commissioner to step in when a college is deemed to be failing. Most colleges improve by themselves . . . so what role would he or she have, asks Joy Mercer In its  ‘Rigour and Responsiveness’ paper, the government suggests a new tough line on college failure, proposing the appointment

    22.07 Apr. 18th, 2013 | Opinion

  • Plea for equality on sixth-forms

    The head of the Association of Colleges (AoC) has called on Education Secretary Michael Gove to ensure schools opening a new sixth form have good or outstanding Ofsted grades. Martin Doel, the association’s chief executive, wrote to Mr Gove saying that as colleges needed either of Ofsted’s two top gradings to take on 14 to

    22.12 Apr. 18th, 2013 | News

  • Let’s have balance at the top, says FE

    The lack of female politicians responsible for FE has been criticised following a mini-reshuffle. The departure of Karen Buck, junior Shadow Minister for education, will leave no women in senior posts affecting the FE sector in either the Government or Opposition. Ms Buck, who spoke at the Assocation of Colleges annual conference in November, is becoming

    21.53 Apr. 18th, 2013 | News

  • New president for colleges' association

    The Association of Colleges has named Yorkshire principal Michele Sutton OBE as its new president (pictured). The Bradford College boss is due to take up the association role at the beginning of August when current president Maggie Galliers CBE steps down. “I am delighted to have been elected and look forward to taking up the

    13.54 Apr. 15th, 2013 | News

  • Award cull comes ‘with no warning’

    Surprise plans that could end government funding for around 1,600 qualifications might hit the job hopes of thousands of struggling learners, it has been claimed. Graham Hasting-Evans, managing director of the National Open College Network (NOCN) awarding body, said he feared unemployed students could see courses stopped as a result of the plans, which he

    20.50 Apr. 11th, 2013 | News

  • Colleges hit with Skills Funding Agency warnings

    Two of England’s biggest colleges have been slapped with notices of concern by the Skills Funding Agency following inadequate gradings from Ofsted. City of Liverpool College got grade fours in every one of the education watchdog’s headline fields last month, just four years after it was praised as outstanding. And, more recently, City of Bristol

    20.44 Apr. 11th, 2013 | News

  • National Careers Service boosts provision

    The National Careers Service (NCS) is to launch a range of services in 12 regions and is searching for contractors to take on the work. Tenders have been invited for an “enhanced” provision of the current service from April 1, 2014. The announcement comes as the service, launched by former Skills Minister John Hayes, celebrates

    20.38 Apr. 11th, 2013 | News

  • FE loans create shortfalls

    Some providers are facing funding shortfalls of up to £750,000 for adults with extra needs, claims the National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS). As part of the new 24+ advanced learner loans regime for those wanting to take up an FE course, providers were distributed  £50m over two years to cover extra needs

    20.22 Apr. 11th, 2013 | News