The government has said no to a pay rise for FE college teachers and other staff following the recent 1.5-3.5% pay rise for schoolteachers, reports TES. The sector will have to wait until a spending review due in 2019 before extra funding is considered, according to skills minister Anne Milton. She says in an explanatory letter to the Association of Colleges (AoC) that the DfE is continuing to take a wider look at the sector and that the differences between schools and colleges require separate ways of determining pay.
* In response to the government’s refusal to raise college staff, a ballot has been issued by the University and College Union to its members for possible strike action that could happen in late October, reports FE Week.
The government’s refusal to increase FE funding has led to a tougher campaigning stance by the Association of Colleges (AoC), reports FE Week. Chief executive David Hughes says he is angry, frustrated and deeply disappointed over the government’s refusal to close the average £7,000 gap between college and school teachers - which is set to widen. As a result, the AoC is giving itself a much louder voice, planning an initial action week beginning on October 15. Hughes says the association would be “making a lot more noise” and doing all it can to get student, staff and employers to promote the cause of colleges and highlight what a vital role they play, particularly in filling the growing skills gap being created by Brexit.
Maths GCSE resit passes are down almost 3% to under 25% on last year’s results, while English passes have risen by 1.9% to 33%, FE Week reports. The AoC says five consecutive years of poor results from forced resits prove the policy has failed and that teachers should be allowed to use their professional judgement to decide what maths and English qualifications best suit individual students. Catherine Sezen, AoC senior policy manager, writes in TES that data shows the resit policy is "still failing 70% of students taking English resits and over 80% retaking maths”.
Signs are that the government is no longer committing to its target of 3m apprenticeship starts by 2020, reports FE Week. At a recent Downing Street lobby briefing, constant questioning about whether the target would be met reportedly drew an evasive government response. As early as May, after regular reports of falls in expected start levels, skills minister Anne Milton said that she wouldn’t sacrifice the quality of apprenticeships just to meet a set target.