Paul Offord

  • 3aaa inspection ‘incomplete’ as whistleblowing sparks review

    An investigation is being carried out by government officials into apprenticeship giant Aspire Achieve Advance, after claims made by a whistleblower. FE Week revealed last week that Ofsted’s latest inspection of 3aaa – which holds the largest ESFA apprenticeship allocation – had been declared “incomplete” following intervention from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. We can

    9.57 Jul. 6th, 2018 | News

  • National Audit Office reviewing apprenticeship reforms progress

    A follow-up review of apprenticeships has been launched by the National Audit Office, which will focus on whether the reform programme is delivering value for money. The NAO is requesting submissions, with a key theme being whether the Department for Education is ensuring that the system is not being abused by stakeholders. This comes after

    18.23 Jul. 4th, 2018 | News

  • Massive subcontracting top-slices finally revealed

    Subcontracting top-slices exceeded £100 million last year, and 28 per cent of prime providers were charging more than 20 percent, FE Week can reveal. The long-overdue subcontracting figures for 2016/17 have finally been published by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. FE Week’s analysis of the data has shown that just under a third of

    10.08 Jul. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • Leaders missed significant teaching weaknesses at 'inadequate' UTC

    A university technical college has been rated inadequate across the board, in an Ofsted report that warned leaders and governors were unaware of “significant” teaching weaknesses for years. Health Futures UTC, in West Bromwich, became the ninth UTC to be rated grade four when the report was published yesterday. It was quickly followed this morning

    11.18 Jul. 4th, 2018 | News

  • Ninth UTC closure announced

    Another university technical college will close next year, taking the total to nine. UTC@Harbourside, based in Newhaven in East Sussex, has announced it will close in August 2019 after failing to recruit enough pupils to become “financially stable”. The announcement comes ahead of the UTC’s first Ofsted report, which is due out on Wednesday. The

    12.00 Jul. 2nd, 2018 | News

  • Secrecy surrounds Ofsted’s decision to declare its 3aaa inspection ‘incomplete’

    Ofsted’s latest inspection of Aspire Achieve Advance – which holds the largest ESFA apprenticeship allocation – is “incomplete” following intervention from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. The inspectorate had at first confirmed on June 20 that it had inspected the provider, which is commonly known as 3aaa, in May and that nothing was amiss.

    20.39 Jun. 28th, 2018 | News

  • AoC announces Julie Nerney as next chair

    The Association of Colleges has announced Julie Nerney as its next chair of the board. She will take over when Carole Stott MBE steps down at the end of the year. Ms Nerney is currently chair of the board of governors at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, having previously led the City College Brighton and Hove

    13.21 Jun. 29th, 2018 | News

  • Ofsted should renege on its merger deal

    “Big isn’t always beautiful” is something of an understatement coming from Ofsted in the context of FE providers. The biggest private training provider, Learndirect, was awarded a grade four last year and in recent weeks the biggest college group, NCG, slumped to a grade three. Despite this, the average size of colleges, far from shrinking

    11.00 Jun. 29th, 2018 | Opinion

  • AoC criticises new public sector register of providers

    A second register for apprenticeship training providers is being created for the public sector, and the Association of Colleges is furious that its members must pay to reap the benefits. The apprenticeship dynamic purchasing system has been launched by ESPO, which describes itself as a public sector-owned “professional buying organisation”. Providers must register before they

    10.07 Jun. 29th, 2018 | News

  • Unions write to AOC to justify 5 per cent national pay claim

    Trade unions have written to the Association of Colleges to spell out exactly why they have resubmitted a claim for a raise of five per cent for the next academic year. They originally made the request at a meeting at the start of May, but the AoC said it would not consider a claim while

    11.40 Jun. 27th, 2018 | News

  • Staff at Lowestoft SFC out on the first of six strike days over merger

    Staff at Lowestoft Sixth-Form College have walked out on the first of six days of strike action protesting a planned merger. The industrial action involves 20 of the SFC’s 70 staff, and is being led by NASUWT. Further strikes are planned for July 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12. A spokesperson for the teachers’ union

    10.36 Jun. 27th, 2018 | News