FE News Update - 2 April 2019

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Rules get tougher on college insolvency

The government has issued guidelines on how struggling colleges will be affected by the insolvency regime effective from this month, reports FE Week. Early intervention measures will apply to any college facing the risk of insolvency within the next two years or experiencing 'significant cash-flow pressures’. Formal intervention procedures will be set in place if any college asks for emergency funding, if cash-flow problems escalate or if they are unable to comply with debt-recovery arrangements, such as the inability to repay government loans on time. Proven financial mismanagement and/or significant fraud will also trigger formal intervention. In addition, the guidelines spell out measures and indicators to identify struggling colleges earlier.

College of the future?

Finding a future vision for the FE sector is the brief of a new independent commission that will meet five times this year, reports TES. The commission, chaired by Edinburgh College chair Sir Ian Diamond, will also hold a series of roundtables, workshops and public meetings and produce its final recommendations in a report due out by spring next year. The commission is made up of a mix of 16 FE, industrial, union and media representatives from across the four home nations.

FE role in reducing knife attacks

Knife crime could be reduced by colleges organising free evening (and weekend) courses primarily to prevent a rush of students spilling out onto the streets from 4pm-7pm, TES reports. It says research by the British Medical Journal shows stabbings are most likely to happen among young people making their way home from college or school. Putting on activities to stagger the exodus would reduce the likelihood of confrontations. The London South East Colleges group has taken up the idea, putting on free activities in safe spaces. College heads are calling on the government to fund such activities in line with its moves to reduce growing knife attacks and fatalities

Leeds manufacturers to throw doors open 

Leeds-based manufacturers are gearing up to host up to 10,000 young people from across the city region during the 2019 Leeds Manufacturing Festival in October, reports FE News. With more than 1,800 manufacturers staffed by 26,000 employees in the UK’s third largest manufacturing base, festival organisers want to dispel the myth that the sector can no longer offer a viable career option to young people. Many companies will be throwing open their workplaces at a time when demand for work placements generated by apprenticeships (and future T-level courses) has rarely, if ever, been higher.    

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