Friday, 10 June 2016

Edition 226 newsletter


Where are traineeships heading? News that less than 10% of 19-24 year olds who complete a traineeship, subsequently progress to an apprenticeship is putting the programme under threat with calls for a review of the programme.

After three years of reform, says Baroness Wolf in her evidence to the Commons committee on education & skills. She suggested that the focus on numbers was holding back reform of the process.

Students aged 16-18 with a grade D GCSE on study programmes will have two more chances to re-sit their "old style" GCSE in 2016/17 after the SFA confirmed an additional re-sit window for June 2017. Students who are genuinely on courses to progress their skills will continue to be funded, but those simply re-sitting exams will not.

The impact of the levy will affect SMEs too. The government is introducing a new Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017, which will affect larger businesses and require smaller firms to make upfront cash payments for training. Under government proposals, any smaller company with around 110 or fewer staff, who don’t pay the levy, will find themselves having to pay thousands of pounds up front for each apprentice they take on to cover the cost of accredited training.

Schools are worried too about the new maths GCSE. Half way through the teaching programme for the new cohort, Professor Anne Watson has said "that while the eventual plan is for a “more numerate population” her “expectation is that first of all there is likely to be a mess due to the scale and pace of the imposed change.”

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