Hello and welcome back to the new look Skills Forward newsletter after our summer break. The new academic year is now well underway and it’s no secret that we’re facing more change and challenge in the sector and country as a whole. At Skills Forward, we’ve reformed for the reform and we’re looking forward to working with all of you over the coming year. We now have more dedicated experts in our team than ever and we’re ready to support you in continuing to do great things for your learners!
Change is an inevitable and unavoidable part of life and work and the past year has seen a huge change in the English and maths arena as the Functional Skills reform came to fruition with the reformed qualifications now available for teaching and delivery.
Since the last newsletter, we have had a new Prime Minister (who briefly referenced education, notably levelling up school funding and supporting FE in his inaugural Conference speech as Prime Minister), a new Education Secretary who last week announced plans for vocational training, and we have also seen many other funding announcements across the sector:
- An additional £10 million will be released by the Treasury to teach English to those who speak it as a second language.
- Research by the Learning and Work Institute found adult participation in education has fallen to a record low.
- Introduction of another data field for logging apprentices’ off-the-job training hours to individual learner records (ILR) from next August.
- Gavin Williamson has confirmed his backing for FE with announcements about technical education, Institutes of Technology and a new Skills and Productivity Board.
- Ofqual has released updated guidance on the Functional Skills invigilation rules – please find a link below for further information:
The latest skills reform means changes for providers as well as learners, and it will undoubtedly be a time of difficulty getting to grips with the new qualification specifications and changes in regulation. Thankfully, there is lots of support on offer for providers with materials, training and resources from NCFE as well as Skills Forward’s updated diagnostics to ensure that learners are supported from the very beginning of their journey for these new qualifications. Look out for more information over the coming weeks regarding our CPD offer for frontline delivery teams.
We know that more change is on the horizon in the sector with the huge education reform of T Levels.. T Levels signify a big change in technical education as they will become one of the main choices for students post-16, alongside A levels and apprenticeships. They will offer learners a mixture of classroom learning and industry placement with the first 3 routes being delivered from September 2020. It was also recently announced that NCFE has been awarded delivery partner contracts for 5 new T Levels in Digital Business Services, Digital Support Services, Health, Healthcare Science, and Science, from September 2021 which is fantastic news.
As you know, we’re proud to be part of the NCFE Group with a shared vision of promoting and advancing learning for all, regardless of an individual’s starting point. We have the aim of supporting success in English and maths but also those vital employability skills to get learners into work.
If you’d like to find out more about the variety of solutions we have on offer that can support with Functional Skills, GCSE and employability then please visit our website or get in touch with our team by contacting 0300 102 1023