The popular level 7 senior leader apprenticeship will have its funding slashed by 22 per cent when a revised version is made available in March and its controversial MBA component is axed.

In a blog post published this afternoon, the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education announced that the revision of the standard is now complete following a request for it to be reviewed by education secretary Gavin Williamson last February.

The funding band for the standard had previously sat at £18,000, but will now be lowered to £14,000 when it is launched for new starts on 29 March 2021.

Funding has been cut owing to changes in the content of the apprenticeship. Today’s blog confirmed the “removal of the Masters qualification as a mandated part of the apprenticeship”.

However, it made clear that an employer “would still be free to use such a qualification to deliver the apprenticeship, so long as it aligns to the knowledge, skills and behaviours” that apprentices learn, as previously reported by FE Week.

“Apart from registration and certification costs, these would still be fundable under the levy up to the funding band limit,” the IfATE said.

The institute added: “The knowledge, skills and behaviours apprentices must learn as part of the apprenticeship standard and end-point assessment have been brought right up to date and the apprenticeship continues to align to Institute of Leadership and Management and Chartered Management Institute professional recognition.

“We are confident that this impressive training programme will serve the employers, apprentices and the wider economy well for years to come.”

The MBA component of the programme was set for the chop after Williamson said he was “unconvinced” it provides value for money.

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