FE News Update - 19 June 2019

newsbanner20Online levy access close for small employers

Non-levy paying small to medium size enterprises have a three week-window (it closes on July 5) to sign up to a test trial of a new phase of the national online apprenticeship service that will give them easier access to levy funds, reports FE Week. To take part in the trial, run by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, small employers have to have at least one apprentice starting within the period August to October this year.

Mass university attendance undermines vocational routes, says David Lammy

England is not one of the best countries to be born in if you are not academic, according to Labour MP and former higher education minister David Lammy. In an interview with the Guardian, Lammy says a lack of quality routes into vocational education asks questions of the current emphasis on mass participation of young people in university education. He says that the lack of opportunities for those not attending university include missing out on meeting and understanding their peers from different geographical regions, a factor that can lead to big divides on questions that have been raised by Brexit such as class, the postcode lottery and feelings of not being listened to. His views reflect Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s new emphasis on promoting social justice for all rather than social mobility through university for just a few. 


Four OBEs for college leaders in birthday honours

Four OBEs were awarded to FE leaders in the Queen’s recent birthday honours: Dr Julie Mills; chief executive of Milton Keynes College; Dr Dwain Neil, board member, Capital City Colleges Group;
Pablo Lloyd, until recently chief executive of Activate Enterprises; and Ken Thomson, principal and chief executive of Forth Valley College.


Webinar eases entry to AoC Beacon Awards

This year marks the Association of Colleges’ 25th annual Beacon Awards that recognise the best and most innovative practice among UK FE colleges. To make applications easier and to offer advice on how to enter a successful application, a webinar (held live on June 19) will be available to download on demand, complete with an online form to register entries. The eight categories this year are mental health and wellbeing; international; careers and enterprise; college engagement with employers; excellence in real-world learning; effective use of digital technology in FE; social action and student engagement; and support for students. Entries must be in by noon on July 8.


Time and confidence key factors in FE teachers’ use of technology

Further Education’s use of technology in teaching and learning is widespread but its full potential is yet to be realised, according to two reports, the 2019 Teacher Digital Perspectives Survey and the 2019 Learner Digital Perspectives Survey, published last week by the Education and Training Foundation. The reports found staff in general FE colleges are more likely than those in sixth form colleges to employ technology in a variety of ways in their teaching, in helping learners build up workplace skills, and for self-development. Key stumbling blocks hampering greater use of technology included not having the right hardware/software, lack of time to create digital content, and teachers’ general lack of confidence in their own digital skills.

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