Spotlight on FE: August 2017
Students get their A-Level results and GCSE results
On 17th August, students across the country collected their A-Level results. 97.9% of the 2017 results were within the overall UK pass rate, while there was an increase in the percentage of entries awarded A* or A.
The 24th August saw GCSE students collecting their results, with 51,257 grade 9s awarded. Post-16 attainment for a standard pass in English has risen from 24.4% last year, to 31.1% in England.
Ofsted Annual Report identifies need to strengthen leadership capacity
Ofsted’s 2015/16 annual report has specified leadership capacity as an area to improve for FE colleges, after finding that a large majority of those previously requiring improvement or were inadequate did not become good. Overall, there has been a six percentage point decline in the proportion of good or outstanding general further education colleges – contrasting with the 89% of sixth form colleges and independent learning providers, including employer providers, which are now good or outstanding. Other challenges for post-16 education as identified by Ofsted included the current programme of area reviews being limited by not including all post-16 providers
Learndirect deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted
Learndirect, the country’s largest FE provider has lost a High Court bid to suppress an Ofsted report from being published in which it was called ‘inadequate.’
The report has now been published and shows criticisms pf Learndirect’s management of apprentices, citing their failure to deliver on “their entitlement to off-the-job learning”.
Learndirect argued in court that inspectors from Ofsted were “predetermined” in their negative response to their apprenticeship provision and also said that Ofsted’s sample of apprentices was not large enough to be an accurate reflection of the company’s size. The Department for Education has now pulled its contracts and funding, worth £158m in the year to July 2017.
Source: FE Week, The Guardian
New Chief Executive announced for the Education and Skills Funding Agency
Eileen Milner has been announced as the new Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), as announced by the Department for Education.
Eileen will replace Peter Lauener at the end of November 2017 and will take up membership of the DfE board, reporting to the DfE’s Principal Accounting Officer and to Parliament for the stewardship of these funds.
Eileen has a background in education and has considerable experience at a senior level at the Care Quality Commission.