Friday, 15 April 2016

Newsletter 15/4 edition 219

Edition 219 - Friday April 15th 2016

What a busy week it's been, we have been absolutely delighted with the response to the "Upgrade to SkillsBuilder" item that this week we've added a video about this.

We've also noted a distinct upturn in the interest in e-portfolios, so we thought that adding an article about the generic benefits of using an e-portfolio would be very appropriate at this time of year.

And a follow-on the House of Common committee on social mobility was an article written by myself and published on linkedin. It received a warm response so we provide a link in the article below.

And finally, a regular link to the ForSkills YouTube Channel - click to subscribe. 60,000+ views, 100+ videos, growing subscriber list, and it's all free, what's not to like?.

As always, feel free to contact Jonathan Wells, the editor of this newsletter on 0191 3055045 or
e-Portfolios - do they really save providers time and money?
Recent research indicates that around 25% of large providers still use paper based portfolios to manage their (often very significant) apprenticeship programmes.

And of those that do, a significant proportion are using first generation systems supplied by their awarding organisation that help reduce paper, but lack the "any time, any place, any device" that today's generation of systems such as SkillsPortfolio have as standard using "app" based technology.

Providers using the latest systems report that improvements in assessors efficiency of 10% and reductions in their travel costs of up to 20% are common and that's before an overall improvement in data tracking and associated compliance improvement for Ofsted outcomes, SFA funding reporting and IV/EV audit.

If you'd like to see how the ForSkills Go App works within SkillsPortfolio, click here for a short video explanation.
Upgrading to SkillsBuilder - new video
There has been such a good response to the article last week that explained the SkillsBuilder upgrade plan that we've now added a video that explains more about the process and benefits.

The SkillsBuilder upgrade plan removes all the cost and uncertainty of change. As if getting access to the best maths and English solution from the best support team, wasn't enough, the plan includes:
  • Transfer of unused bksb subscription or credits FREE OF CHARGE
  • Free training for your tutors and admin staff
  • Free branding to make your SkillsBuilder site "your own"
  • Free integration into existing MIS systems.
There are some sensible and reasonable T&Cs but most existing bksb® customers will qualify. Simply get in touch here to register your interest and we'll be in touch.

All trademarks acknowledged.
Survey results
And don't forget that the 2016 Survey of Post-16 maths and English use has now been published.

The survey is the largest independent survey in the sector and over the 5 years has received more than 1200 responses.

Click here to download a copy of the published report.
House of Lords Committee on Social Mobility - more

Last week we linked to several articles reporting on the Committee findings. There was lots of comment about the findings, especially the idea that learners aged 14 should be given a choice at school instead of all being forced down a GCSE route irrespective of ability or learner need.

Further adding to the positive comment about the findings, Jonathan Wells published a linked in article here.

Read the BBC report here.
FE Week also carries an article
Radio 4 Today programme have an interview at 6.50am

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