• DfE launches consultation on fully-funded digital functional skills qualifications

    The Department for Education is calling for views on the content for new digital functional skills qualifications that will become available for first teaching and free of charge from August 2021. They will replace the existing functional skills qualifications (FSQs) in ICT, which will stop being available from July 2021. The legacy ICT qualifications are

    12.15 May. 16th, 2019 | News

  • DfE consults on extending teacher pension survivor rights to civil and same-sex partners

    The Department for Education has launched a consultation into plans to extend survivor benefits under the teachers’ pension scheme to civil and same-sex partners. The change, one of three proposed to the scheme, comes after the Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the husband of former cavalry officer John Walker was entitled to the same

    11.45 May. 15th, 2019 | News

  • Awarding bodies may call for new independent funding approval process citing ‘lack of transparency’

    Awarding organisations are considering calling on the government to create an independent process for qualification funding approvals in a bid to stop decisions being driven by short-term political goals. Their representative association, the Federation of Awarding Bodies, has floated the idea of setting up an “Independent Commission for Qualification and Apprenticeship Funding Approvals”. The federation

    10.30 May. 10th, 2019 | News

  • English and maths GCSE resit policy helping tens of thousands

    The policy requiring students to continue studying English and maths if they fail the subjects at GCSEs at age 16 continues to bear fruit, as revealed in FE Week’s analysis of the government’s latest attainment figures. The controversial “condition of funding” policy, introduced in 2014, means that colleges must help students who narrowly failed to

    9.34 May. 3rd, 2019 | News

  • DfE launches consultation on improving SEND funding arrangements for colleges

    The Department for Education has today launched a consultation on how to improve funding arrangements for learners with high needs. The department is seeking views on what “may be adversely influencing local authorities, mainstream schools, colleges and other education providers” in their support for young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). “We welcome

    16.37 May. 3rd, 2019 | News

  • English and math GCSE resit policy is proving successful but remains misunderstood

    As we report this week, the latest DfE attainment figures reveal that since the introduction of the ‘condition of funding’ rule there has been a massive increase in those at first failing, but subsequently achieving English and maths GCSE by the time they are 19. In fact, calling it a massive increase is probably an

    10.35 May. 3rd, 2019 | Opinion

  • Former college staff get a chance to challenge FE Commissioner reports

    Former employees or governors criticised in FE commissioner reports can now read and challenge the report before it is published. Updated guidance on FE commissioner visits, released in April, explains how reports written by Richard Atkins’ team will shared ahead of publication. FE Week understands that Department for Education officials changed the policy on legal

    11.01 May. 3rd, 2019 | News

  • New DfE Skills Index shows significant decline since 2012

    The overall added-value of the FE and skills system in England has fallen from a baseline of 100 in 2012 to just 73, new government data shows. The Department for Education today published for the first time a ‘Skills Index’, which shows how the aggregate value of the skills supplied by apprenticeships and classroom-based learning

    12.02 Apr. 29th, 2019 | News

  • As the wheels fall off plans for the first PhD level apprenticeship, have employers been ejected from the driving seat?

    This week we reveal that an Institute for Apprenticeships sub-committee (that includes four board members) refused to approve the first PhD level 8 apprenticeship. Instead, they asked the full board to rule whether a PhD level is even “in the spirit of apprenticeship policy”. Four months on and the board is still in discussions with

    10.37 Apr. 26th, 2019 | Opinion

  • DfE slammed for refusal to investigate defunct Manchester UTC as paperwork fails to materialise

    Auditors were unable to properly scrutinise the finances of a failed University Technical College because important data was missing, but the government chose not to investigate this issue. Accounts for the Greater Manchester UTC for 2016-17, finally published last month and over a year late, reveal that auditors gave a rare “disclaimer of opinion” on

    11.00 Apr. 26th, 2019 | News

  • DfE department responsible for apprenticeship policy has hardly any apprentices

    The division responsible for running and promoting apprenticeships within the Department for Education employs the lowest proportion of apprentices across the whole department. Of the 519 people working within the DfE’s Higher and Further Education office, fewer than 10, which is less than 1 per cent, are apprentices. It is not clear the exact number

    18.00 Mar. 11th, 2019 | News