FE Week receives many questions about government announcements. This week we sought a number of clarifications from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on your behalf.

No change in rates

The national funding rates will not change in 2012/13, according to BIS.

The investment strategy ‘New Challenges, New Chances’ makes no reference to funding rates, but a BIS spokesperson has confirmed “they have stayed the same”.

The BIS spokesperson also confi rmed that the large employer discount will remain at 25 per cent.

The apprenticeship rate for learners aged 25 and above will also remain at 20 per cent less than the rate for 19 to 24 year-olds.

Colleges dissolving

Colleges can now dissolve themselves as part of new freedoms given to the FE sector by government.

BIS has told FE Week that this is “a new power for colleges” and that “colleges may decide that they wish to adopt an alternative organisational form and/or form new partnerships with other providers to meet the needs of learners, employers and their broader communities. Such proposals could lead to dissolution of the current corporation.”

Permission from the Secretary of State will no longer be required.

Bursary details soon

New details about the bursary scheme for FE teachers and trainers undertaking ITT will be announced next Spring, the government has announced.

John Hayes MP unveiled the new bursaries at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference, and said it would ensure FE teachers are “the best in the world”.

A BIS spokesperson told FE Week: “Arrangements for future bursaries are being discussed with the sector first.

“We anticipate further details in spring 2012.”

What’s in a name?

The government is conducting a review into how they can protect the “terminology and titles” of FE colleges.

A BIS spokesperson told FE Week that “colleges need to apply to the Department for approval for the name of a college corporation against published criteria”, and that the government
is not against a college rebranding themselves without the word ‘college’ in its name.

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