New Guidance; Transitional Protection For Specialist Provision

In response to issues raised by Further Education institutions and specialist providers the Department for Education has introduced transitional protection for specialist provision to cope with reduced students placed in specialist provision.

The government will offer a level of protection for specialist provision in independent specialist providers (ISPs) and in eligible further education (FE) institutions over the next academic years.

“The purpose of transitional protection is to protect specialist provision for students with high-cost low-incidence high needs. It will be only be paid in instances where the numbers of high needs places commissioned by local authorities in the 2013 to 2014 academic year are fewer than in the 2012 to 2013 academic year. We have consulted with Natspec and AoC in developing our approach to transitional protection for institutions that may be affected by such reductions.”

Read the full report and guidance here >

Tor Macleod 08:29

SFA To Pay Up To £900 Per Work Placement

funding work placements

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has announced funding rates from £500 to £900 for work placements within the Governments new traineeship programme.

“Young people in Britain deserve the chance to work and get on in life which is why we're introducing traineeships to help them get on the first rung of the ladder,” said Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.

“Employers value real experience which is why I am delighted that more than 100 businesses have come forward. I now want to urge more employers – no matter what size – to sign up to the programme and make the most of the talents of our young people.”

Colleges, training providers and subcontractors are eligible to claim funding for learners complying with existing funding eligibility rules where providers can show that there is reasonable chance of the young person being ready for employment, or an Apprenticeship within 6 months of starting their traineeships. Progression to a job or an apprenticeship will also result in a 20% achievement payment trigger.

To claim this funding colleges and training providers need to monitor the learner journey to prove they have met learning aims by recording a learning delivery monitoring code against all learning aims. Providers will need to evidence interventions including records of exit interviews and formal feedback as well as recording progression routes and outcomes.

For on this story and see slides from the SFA webinar on Traineeships on Feweek >

To find out how technology can be used to record the learner journey, track outcomes and for contract reporting contact Macleod Associates today or read about our Workpepper learner management software here.

Tor Macleod 15:47

Talent Matters - 6 Challenges to the UK Skills System

Education and Skills

The Labour Party have made recommendations to improve the UK skills system. The Skills Taskforce Interim Report highlights 6 problematic areas within the UK skills system as:

  1. The divide between vocational & academic education.
  2. Low levels of employer evolvement in the skills system.
  3. A fragmented education system.
  4. The need for a new vision for further education.
  5. The lack of high quality apprenticeships.
  6. Poor quality advice to navigate the transition between education and work.

Responses from the FE Sector

The 157 Group

"We are pleased that the Labour party has placed what is refers to as the 'damaging divide between vocational and academic education' at the heart of its thinking, as we have long argued that those who are successful in both work and life have a balance of theoretical and applied skill, and our education system should reflect this."

"Today's report presents a vision where FE colleges, such as those represented by the 157 Group, remain central to the provision of education and training, and recognises the broad and extensive work going on in colleges to develop those in every part of society, including for young people, for those who are employed, and for those who are unemployed or in need of a career change. We applaud the report's emphasis on the importance of further education for adults and for learning throughout life." -Lynne Sedgmore, Executive Director (read full response)

The AoC (Association of Colleges)

" [The report] sets out the problems caused by a funding system which restricts the courses colleges can deliver; the prevalence of competition between institutions rather than collaboration and the low levels of employer involvement in the skills system

“Colleges have excellent links with industry, working closely with big names such as Land Rover, Rolls Royce and EDF Energy, and devise bespoke training programmes in response to particular training needs. We note the comments about staff secondments to industry; there’s been significant investment in Teach First for schools and we’d like to see similar investment in College teacher training and support the opportunity for employers to get further involved in the delivery of skills to young people and for college staff to be seconded to industry." - Gill Clipson, Deputy Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges (read full response)

UCU - University College Union

"We agree that college lecturers should have the opportunity to spend more time in industry, but there has to be mechanisms in place to ensure employers are fully committed to providing that support."

'We desperately need better options for our young people. Record numbers of them are not working or training and politicians are right to look to education to solve the problem. However, improvements will not be achieved by simply expecting more of our excellent further education workforce and cannot be done on the cheap.

"Further education has a well-qualified, hard-working, professional workforce and the Labour Party needs to support it with commitments to invest to raise the nation's skills.' - Sally Hunt,  General Secretary, UCU (read full response)

Read the full report The Skills Taskforce Interim Report: Talent Matters-why England needs a new approach to skills pdf

TorMacleod 15:57

A New Streamlined Funding System for Adult Skills and the Need for Destination Tracking


Details of  changes to the way that adult training is funded and delivered published by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

The new streamlined funding system focuses on 4 guiding principles; fairness, transparency, protecting public funds and recognising the diverse needs of adults.

The Government has continued its focus on training that contributes true value to learners and the local community. As mentioned in our previous blog 'The Missing Link Between Education and Employment' training providers will be judged based on their ability to secure job outcomes, respond to the needs of the local area and help learners to overcome barriers to work.

Funding will follow the learner journey

destination trackingIn the new system funding will distributed over the learner journey from starting to achieving their learning aims. As 'funding will directly link to retention and achievement' destination tracking and the capability to report on job outcome will become increasingly important.

Changes will come into effect this August and the report urges providers and colleges to prepare.

"Any providers who have not already started analysing their current patterns of delivery in the light of the changes for the 2013/2014 funding year should urgently do so." 

Macleod Associates Unity (now Workpepper - Sept 2013) system is already being used by training providers to track and report on the learner journey. Contact us to find out how destination tracking can be used to monitor and evidence job outcomes.

Read the full update: A New Streamlined Funding System for Adult Skills pdf

Tor Macleod 15:26

The Missing Link Between Education & Employment

As we prepare for the coming academic year the Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Business Innovation & Skills have commented on where the funding landscape is heading. There has been, and will continue to be a lot of talk about the importance of education which leads to employment outcomes...
Tor Macleod 16:27


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