Tuesday, 2 July 2013

July 2nd Functional Skills Newsletter

July 2nd - the Functional Skills newsletter
This week, we have summarised the possible effect of the spending review and put this into the wider context of a significant drop in apprenticeship starts.  With thanks to EMSkills, we have a link to the latest funding guidance including the guidance on QCF progression Qualifications for 19+ adults. 
Plus we have been asked to let readers know there are opportunities for Functional Skills Assessors with CL Partners, so we have, and finally we have updated links to all the webinar recordings - now the most popular method of viewing our webinars.
As always, your comments and thoughts are appreciated - let us know what you'd like us to cover in the newsletter by emailing the editor - jwells@guroo.co.uk
As always, your comments and thoughts are appreciated - let us know what you'd like us to cover in the newsletter by emailing the editor - jwells@guroo.co.uk

A new streamline funding system for adults

The introduction of QCF "Progression Qualifications" for adults with low credit values has caused some confusion in the funding arena.
The SFA guidance has been updated to include 1 and 2 credit awards in English and maths worth respectively £50 and £100 for 19+ learners.  The full document can be downloaded here.
And many thanks to EMSKills, for they have produced a very simple one page guide to funding shown below.  If you'd like it in A4 format, just click here to access this.
EM Skills provide this information in good faith but do not accept any responsibility for decisions taken. (This information is correct at the time of writing)

Spending review brings possible gain now but pain later
The spending review and recent announcements from the various departments about current spending brought a mixed bag of news this week.  The TES reported that "New figures for the first nine months of the 2012-13 academic year show a 6 per cent drop in overall apprenticeship starts compared with the previous year, and more worryingly a 13 per cent drop in starts for 16- to 18-year-olds."   
In the spending review, for the curriculum year 2015/16, the BIS Department funding is being cut by 6% and that means that the FE and Skills sector will see around £260m taken from their budgets.  That's the bad news and compared to the Education Department (ring fenced budgets) it certainly appears bad, but the general opinion from comments such as FE News is that it could have been worse.
Why - well spending on 19+ Apprenticeships is being maintained in real terms.  Matthew Hancock (Minister for Skills) said "In tough times, this is a positive outcome for skills with funding for 19+ apprenticeships protected and the extension of traineeships to those between 19 and 24".  But he added that funding for the 16-19 sector will be reformed to "improve value for money".
FE Week has full details of the extension of traineeships to the 19-24 sector.
Wednesday Webinar at 4.00pm
"Exam practice" is Wednesday's webinar with Jonathan Wells.
Last time we ran a webinar on exam practice it was really popular on playback.  We've implemented many of the changes and suggestions so this week, we'll have a further look at exam practice using English and ICT as examples this time.   
So this week's webinar is a brief look at how this is developing and comments and suggestions will be most welcome.  "Exam Practice" is aimed at both customers and those thinking of becoming customers. As always we find that many more people enjoy coming back for the recording afterwards, but if you'd like to be live, just drop an email to info@guroo.co.uk
Join us on Wednesday at 4pm.
All previous webinars are recorded and available anytime for playback - login as a guest and the password is password.  Simply click on the links below and don’t forget, if you’d like to have your own 1:1 webinar looking at how Guroo can help you support Functional Skills, just call us on 0191 305 5045 or email info@guroo.co.uk and we’ll take it from there.

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