• Colleges 'deeply concerned' about £650m non-levy tender

    The Education and Skills Funding Agency was accused of plunging the relaunched non-levy apprenticeship funding tender process into chaos last night, as new “clarifications” and document updates were sent out. David Hughes reflects on college concerns below. Colleges are very frustrated and deeply concerned about the timing and the details of this procurement. Concerned because

    11.12 Sep. 1st, 2017 | Opinion

  • EXCLUSIVE: DfE's decision to defend small school sixth form cost £76,000 in fees

    A legal challenge brought against the government by the Association of Colleges over the opening of a small-school sixth form last year has cost the tax payer over £75,000, FE Week can reveal.  According to a Freedom of Information we submitted to the Department for Education in July, it paid out a huge £60,000 for

    17.10 Aug. 21st, 2017 | News

  • Association of Colleges restructure plans approved

    The Association of Colleges has approved restructuring plans designed to help prevent a £1 million overspend in 2017/18 – which include terminating long-running agreements with associate bodies to run three regional offices. Word first emerged of a consultation on proposed changes in early February, when chief executive David Hughes discussed a revamp of membership fees,

    10.00 Jul. 8th, 2017 | News

  • Colleges in dark over data reporting rule

    Many colleges aren’t managing to fulfil their legal duties to publish 16-to-18 performance data – apparently because they don’t know they’re required to. The Department for Education decreed last year that, from March 2017, all providers – including colleges and sixth form colleges – had to publish five new ‘headline accountability measures’ on their websites.

    14.37 Jun. 23rd, 2017 | News

  • Glacial progress exposed for colleges’ apprentice delivery

    Colleges deliver just one in five apprenticeships last year, meaning virtually no progress has been made in the 18 months since they were told to get more involved by the minister at the time. This figure, based on FE Week analysis of data obtained by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers through a freedom

    0.01 May. 19th, 2017 | News

  • Breaking: AoC manifesto calls for employer levy funding restrictions

    The Association of Colleges’ manifesto has called for new levy funding restrictions on employers. The document was unveiled this afternoon by the AoC, led by chief executive David Hughes (pictured). Of key interest is the commitment to “reduce the proportion of the levy available to employers to 75 per cent”. It added the “available resources”

    16.53 May. 10th, 2017 | News

  • Decision to retain forced maths and English GCSE resits ‘extremely’ disappointing

    A government move to continue insisting on widespread GCSE maths and English resits – through the heavily criticised condition of funding rule – has left sector bosses “extremely disappointed”. All 16 to 18-year-old students with a near-pass (previously grade D, now grade three) GCSE in the subjects have since August 2015 had to continue studying

    12.35 Apr. 10th, 2017 | News

  • Ofsted boss commits to more 'positive and purposeful' approach to FE

    Ofsted’s new chief inspector was vowed to “reset” the relationship between the education watchdog and colleges, in her first speech to the FE sector since taking over from Sir Michael Wilshaw in January. Amanda Spielman struck a more conciliatory tone than her controversial predecessor at the AoC Ofsted conference this morning in London. But while

    10.29 Mar. 17th, 2017 | News

  • College governors brand SFA's new apprenticeship contracts 'ludicrous'

    College governors have branded the SFA’s new apprenticeship contractual arrangements “ludicrous” during a heated discussion at the AoC’s Governance Summit. There is due to be a shift from contracts between the SFA and colleges to legal agreements between colleges and employers – which will amount to “a commercial relationship” with employers – according to Keith

    11.00 Mar. 3rd, 2017 | News

  • AoC: Membership fees overhaul consultation to avoid £1 million overspend

    A consultation on the future of the Association of Colleges has set out plans for an overhaul of membership fees, to help prevent a £1 million overspend on its 2017/18 budget. The document was unveiled this morning as AoC chief executive David Hughes admitted to FE Week that it needs to reform to balance the books –

    11.30 Feb. 1st, 2017 | News

  • Scammers target colleges during AoC conference

    FE colleges have been targeted by a spate of attempted frauds in the past few weeks – including several attempting to capitalise on the fact principals were attending the recent Association of Colleges’ annual conference. Finance officials at four FE colleges have all received emails purporting to be from their bosses, and asking for transfers

    16.00 Nov. 25th, 2016 | News