Nick Linford

  • Quality of apprenticeship policy suffers from ‘insufficient progress’

    Two years ago FE Week exposed thousands of apprentices on standards without any approved end-point-assessment organisations. At the time, a former director of the DfE described the situation as “diabolical”. The chief executive of the ESFA, responsible for recruiting the end-point assessment organisations, was given a ticking off by the education select committee and then

    9.30 Nov. 9th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Why is the sector celebrating greater dependence on the public purse?

    In the past, the government paid 50 per cent of the costs towards the training of apprentices aged 19 and over. This rose to 67 per cent during the trailblazer pilot, then it rose again to 90 per cent in May 2017 once the new system was rolled out across England. Now, to stimulate more

    10.30 Nov. 2nd, 2018 | Opinion

  • Colleges Week should be a celebration with three messages for the chancellor

    Having spent more than seven happy years working for a large college in South East London I have seen first-hand the vital role they play in the education ecosystem. So the Association of Colleges is to be applauded for rallying the further education sector at short notice to celebrate the work of colleges. It was

    11.03 Oct. 12th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Euroskills Budapest 2018

    9.53 Oct. 5th, 2018 | Supplements

  • DfE finds much needed apprenticeship monitoring cash

    When the ESFA published the list of providers on the apprenticeship register in March 2017 we reported that the entire sector was shocked. Hundreds of companies, many never having filed a set of accounts, had successfully applied to a register that would give them unlimited access to apprenticeship funding. In an interview with me the

    10.43 Sep. 21st, 2018 | Opinion

  • AELP leaps to defence of level two apprenticeships

    Low-level apprenticeships should not be rubbished by “commentators and policy makers”, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers has claimed in a new report. The body wants ministers to use government spending and post-18 education reviews as an opportunity to “reverse the sharp fall in level two apprenticeships since May 2017”. The apprenticeship levy is

    10.04 Jun. 15th, 2018 | News

  • Only lawyers are guaranteed to win in the T-level AO tender

    With all eyes on the 52 providers taking care of wave one of the T-level delivery in 2020, the process to decide which awarding organisations will get their custom might seem like a comparative sideshow. In fact, removing providers’ choice of awarding organisations is not only controversial, it is where legal challenge seems most inevitable,

    10.03 Jun. 8th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Nursing apprenticeships 'too expensive', warning for MPs

    Nursing degree apprenticeships are too expensive and fraught with difficulties for widespread roll-out, senior figures from the NHS are expected to warn MPs. The Education Committee is dedicating a special session at 10.15am this morning – which can be viewed here – to what more can be done to get more people signing up for

    10.08 Jun. 5th, 2018 | News

  • T-level full roll-out delayed until 2023, DfE confirms

    The full roll-out of T-levels has been delayed until September 2023 after concerns were raised about the planned pace of the scheme. However, the T-level pilot, which will involve up to 52 colleges delivering courses in digital (digital production, design and development), childcare and education and construction (design, surveying and planning), will still begin from September

    0.00 May. 27th, 2018 | News

  • Is pushing ahead with T-levels fair on young people?

    The top civil servant at the DfE, responsible for the “feasibility of public spending” has concluded that T-levels need delaying for a second year. Jonathan Slater’s formal “ministerial direction” means the civil service feels the need to tell the National Audit Office, the Treasury and the Public Accounts Committee there are “feasibility and consequential value-for-money

    10.30 May. 25th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Devolution means cutting courses to pay for more pen-pushers

    There’s a degree of inevitability about watching local government top-slicing FE funding as part of the devolution agenda. The DfE’s “protection” of the adult education budget at £1.5 billion per year will end when the mayoral combined authorities get their hands on the money from August 2019. We now know the mayor of London, Sadiq

    9.35 May. 18th, 2018 | Opinion