• Government warns colleges as email ‘phishing’ scams inflict financial losses

    FE colleges and other “educational institutions” are being warned about new cyber-attacks which have already claimed some victims and resulted in financial losses. The latest Education and Skills Funding Agency update, published today, contains information about a “phishing” scam – where a fraudster disguises as a trustworthy source in an electronic communication to trick people

    13.25 Jun. 26th, 2019 | News

  • Apprenticeship register reapplication process branded a ‘farce’ by provider

    An Ofsted grade two provider has hit out at the government’s “farcical” process for reapplying to the register of apprenticeship training providers, after its bid was rejected on a technicality. According to the guidelines, providers can be exempt from filling out some parts of the application if they have received a short Ofsted inspection confirming

    12.00 Jun. 21st, 2019 | News

  • Traineeships – remember them? Well, they could be in for a welcome boost

    Something of a surprise this week from the Department for Education – a press release about traineeships in which the skills minister, Anne Milton, was “thrilled”. The surprise for me wasn’t the good news – that research found the majority of the first trainees in 2014 progressed into work or further training. The surprise was

    9.30 Jun. 21st, 2019 | Opinion

  • DfE begins search for provider of £80m T-level support programme

    The government is on the hunt for an organisation to design and deliver the second phase of a professional development offer for teachers delivering T-levels. A tender for a contract valued between £40 million and £82 million was launched by the Department for Education today, which set out plans for the work to start from

    13.08 Jun. 19th, 2019 | News

  • Revealed: The 3 colleges that will share £1.2m to open centres for excellence in SEND

    Three colleges have been chosen to open centres for excellence in special educational needs and disabilities. City College Norwich, Derby College and Weston College will each share a slice of £1.2 million to provide support for leaders, managers and practitioners who wish to put learners with SEND at the heart of their organisation. Selected by

    10.58 Jun. 19th, 2019 | News

  • It is easy to conclude that the DfE are not serious about apprenticeship quality

    This week we report that the Department for Education will announce that the Office for Students, not Ofsted, will inspect the quality of all level 6 and 7 apprenticeships. It comes after FE Week exposed the fact that thousands of apprentices were at providers where Ofsted had to exclude them from inspection because they were

    9.30 Jun. 7th, 2019 | Opinion

  • Four-letter verdict on colossal European Social Fund blunder

    In what one ESFA official is alleged to have called a “f*ck up of epic proportions”, all 80 training providers in receipt of around £300 million of European Social Funding are being investigated after funding claim “discrepancies” were discovered. As a result, contract compliance for the 2014 to 2020 ESF programme has been thrown into

    11.00 Jun. 7th, 2019 | News

  • Revealed: The 17 colleges to share £2.5m in final strategic improvement funding round

    The names of final colleges set to share grants through a government fund designed to support struggling colleges have been announced. Skills minister Anne Milton today revealed that 17 colleges will share £2.5million in the third and last round of the strategic college improvement fund that was introduced in October 2017. The winners are: SCIF

    0.01 Jun. 6th, 2019 | News

  • Statistics watchdog ‘content’ with DfE including unreliable data in achievement rate tables

    The country’s national statistics regulator has given the DfE achievement rate data a clean bill of health but called for greater transparency. FE Week reported last month the 2017/18 national achievement rate tables included a list of more than 30 apprenticeship providers with data the DfE had admitted was unreliable. The DfE said at the

    12.41 May. 24th, 2019 | News

  • T-level students in rural areas still at disadvantage, despite DfE ‘tinkering’

    The flexibilities added to the controversial industry placement in T-levels are “helpful” but they still leave rural counties at a “distinct disadvantage”, according to a principal involved in the pilots of the programme. Last week the government launched a “package of support” to encourage more employers to offer the 315-hour minimum placements that students will

    12.00 May. 24th, 2019 | News

  • DfE's double standards over level 2 business admin apprenticeship

    The Department for Education has been accused of double standards after it launched a recruitment drive for level 2 business administration apprentices on frameworks while refusing to approve an equivalent standard. Old-style apprenticeship frameworks will be fully switched off next year and replaced with standards, which the government constantly lauds as being of “higher quality”.

    11.00 May. 24th, 2019 | News