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Adult Education Budget (AEB)

By Kievah Wallace, PR and Social Media Officer, Wednesday 16 May 2018

At NCFE, we believe that lifelong learning is hugely important and we encourage our customers to make the most of their adult education budget (AEB) funding. There was a £63m underspend in the AEB in the last academic year and we’d like to see this reduce considerably this year. One way you can utilise AEB funding is by supporting your staff’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Investing and upskilling staff is of huge benefit to your workforce but also your learners and customers. CPD qualifications can help people working in education develop their career, improve understanding in key sector areas and substantiate knowledge against Ofsted related themes. Learners can study at a time and place convenient for them and are supported through the qualification by an industry expert assessor. More and more providers are using these as ways to further advance relationships with adult learners and employers while fully utilising their AEB allocation.

Selecting the evidence

By Esme Winch, Managing Director, Wednesday 16 May 2018

Rob Halfon is a busy man. It’s been less than a year since his nomination and election as Chair of the Education Select Committee, and during this time year he’s launched 12 separate inquiries into various aspects of the Department for Education’s workload. The latest call for evidence is looking at Schools and college funding. This an opportunity for the sector to feedback your experience of the introduction of the national funding formula for schools, as well as the current spending review process, the mechanism by which government currently sets funding levels for schools.

Technical Award receives endorsement from the Society of Operations Engineers

By Rachel Hopkins, Marketing Officer, Wednesday 16 May 2018

We’re delighted to announce that our Level 1 / 2 Technical Award in Engineering has received endorsement from the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE). SOE is a professional membership organisation representing and supporting around 14,000 individuals and companies within the transport, plant and engineer surveying industries. Alongside their engineering operations, they encourage best practice and Continuing Professional Development among their membership. Their reputation and credibility within the industry adds further weight to the endorsement of our qualification.

Do Applied Generals prepare learners for the workplace better than A Levels?

By Rachel Hopkins, Marketing Officer, Tuesday 15 May 2018

The recent publication of the results of Ofqual’s annual survey, ‘Perceptions of qualifications in England: wave 16’, has found that Applied Generals are thought to better prepare learners for the workplace when compared to GCSE and A-Level qualifications.  The document sets out the results of Ofqual's annual survey, which looks at head teachers’, teachers’, students’, parents’, the general public’s, employers’ and Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) perceptions and confidence in qualifications in England. For the first time, this included Applied Generals, alongside A levels and GCSEs.

A perfect fit – case study with River Tees Multi Academy Trust PRU

By Rachel Hopkins, Marketing Officer, Tuesday 15 May 2018

Tom Rhatigan discusses his experience of delivering V Certs, including the Level 1 and Level 2 certificates in Health and Fitness, and how the qualification has allowed his pupils to find their strengths and excel. River Tees High is an Alternative Provision Academy and part of the River Tees Multi Academy Trust. As an AP Academy, our pupils have often faced difficulties and challenges, which have meant that they can no longer attend mainstream school. It’s important that all children get access to education and schools like ours are able to adapt our environment to suit the needs of pupils who come to us. For example: smaller class sizes of 10 – 12 and specialist support, where appropriate, for SEND pupils.

NCFE joins the Joint Council for Qualifications

By Kievah Wallace, PR and Social Media Officer, Tuesday 15 May 2018

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve joined the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a membership body which comprises the eight, now nine, largest providers of qualifications in the UK. JCQ undertakes a wide range of activities on behalf of its members including consulting with stakeholders, government departments, teacher unions, professional associations, and further and higher education. JCQ publishes advice, guidance and regulations for delivering examinations assessments.

Mental Health Awareness Week: Supporting students manage their mental wellbeing and exam work load

By Louise Geddis-Regan, Innovation Marketing Officer, Monday 14 May 2018

In the run up to Mental Health Awareness Week we have been running our 12 Days of Exam Wellbeing campaign to encourage students, parents and teachers to prioritise mental wellbeing during exam periods. The anxieties of exam pressure can mean that this time of year is incredibly stressful for young people. It’s increasingly important that we support students develop coping strategies to help them tackle their exam stress and equip them with better life long skills to look after their mental health.  Focusing on achieving a better balance during exam preparations, this infographic illustrates a series of tips we have designed to help students improve their mental wellbeing during exams. 

City Regions and FE: not much power and even less responsibility

By Mick Fletcher, FE Policy Analyst, Monday 14 May 2018

One of the reasons that FE policy making in England is in such a mess may be the repeated failure of those in power to clearly define terms.  I’ve written in a previous NCFE blog (June 2017) about the lack of any shared understanding, still less a clear definition, of what is meant by technical education. A similar charge can be laid against the so-called “Review of Post-18 Education and Funding”; despite its title it’s really only about higher education and misses out whole chunks of post-18 FE and adult provision both in and outside colleges. This faulty labelling may explain why there is no apparent connection between the review and the ongoing discussions on how best to devolve much of the adult FE budget to eight city regions – a decision apparently taken some time ago in a parallel universe.  One might have thought that some of the problems that the post-18 review tries to wrestle with – how to make provision more accessible to all, for example, or how to develop more of the skills that employers need – could be addressed through seriously ambitious devolution.  The devolution ship has already sailed however and it’s clear that local government is not allowed anywhere near higher education (the ‘wide range’ of interested parties to be consulted in the post-18 review is defined as ‘students, employers and institutions’!)

Recent history should be a warning against changing the apprenticeship levy

By Nick Linford, Writing exclusively for NCFE, Tuesday 01 May 2018

The ongoing slump in apprenticeship starts since the apprenticeship levy was introduced has emboldened the lobbyists, and those with vested interests. They know that as the manifesto commitment to three million starts by 2020 creeps further out of reach, the government may listen to calls for policy changes that would remove “barriers”.

My week of work experience at NCFE

By Joe Hindmoor, Guest Blogger, Tuesday 24 April 2018

Last week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do some work experience at NCFE. I’m currently studying A-Level Sociology, Politics and BTEC Applied Law at Durham Sixth Form Centre. I spent two and a half days with the Policy team followed by two and a half days with the Marketing team.  I really enjoyed my time with the teams and feel that I learned a lot about the type of work that is done in these areas. On my first day, I was given an ICT induction and taught how the systems work within the office. As this was my first time in an office setting, it was quite interesting to see how technology is used in a large scale office. Afterwards, Paul Turner from the Policy Team showed me around the office and introduced me to the different teams. I found it very interesting to get an overview of how many different teams contribute to making the company successful.


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