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The Team Further Education Ofsted Apprenticeships Higher Education Wider Issues
The Team Welcome to our summer update designed for anyone operating within the further and higher education sectors.
We always welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you would like to see any topics or issues discussed in future updates. The internal audit team Paul Goddard , Head of Internal Audit 01473 267000 firstname.lastname@example.org Leisyen Keane , Risk and Assurance Manager 01473 267000 email@example.com.
In this edition we review some of the hottest topics being discussed in the sector over the past few months and highlight what we consider to be those issues which will impact higher and further establishments in the coming months. Our team of internal audit and risk specialists regularly work with governing bodies and management teams to create an objective assessment of the unique risks and exposures facing individual organisations and provide practical examples how organisations in the HE and FE sector can enhance their operations thorough better governance and mitigation of risks. If there is anything in our summer update that you would like to discuss further, or if you have any questions on internal audit, risk management or insurance, please contact one of our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Joint Audit Code of Practice (JACOP) (June 2016) The version of JACOP relevant for accounting periods ending on or after 31st July 2016 has been published and can be accessed via the following hyperlink: https://www.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/532201/ JACOP_2016.pdf
Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans and SEN Statements (June 2016) The total number of statements and EHC plans has continued to increase. The Department for Education found that there were 74,210 statutory EHC plans and 182,105 statements maintained by local authorities at January 2016, which has increased year on year since 2010. This increase is greater than the previous year and is likely to be due to the age range covered by EHC plans. Of the total 256,315 EHC plans and SEN statements, 24,655 were new EHC plans and 3,270 were new statements made during 2015. Between January 2015 and January 2016, there were 42,005 transfers from SEN statements to EHC plans.
Developing an insolvency regime for further education and sixth-form sector (July 2016) Insolvency procedures for colleges are being proposed in line with procedures given to companies under the Insolvency Act 1986. The insolvency regime would protect learners from disruption to their courses, assist with the rehabilitation of a college where possible and provide procedures for a college should they become insolvent. Furthermore the proposal includes a Special Administration Regime to ensure continuity of service. A consultation seeking comments regarding this proposal is currently taking place, with a deadline of 5 August 2016.
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Howwell are further education and skills providers implementing the ‘Prevent’ duty? (July 2016) The Chief Inspector commissioned Her Majesty’s Inspectors to undertake a survey into how well ‘Prevent’ has been implemented within further education from the time when it was put in place in September 2015. The survey focused on key matters outlined in the ‘Prevent’ duty guidance. The findings were based on survey visits to 37 further education and skills providers and findings from 46 full inspections or monitoring visits between November 2015 and May 2016.
The key findings specific to further education and sixth formcolleges were as follows: 22 of the 37 providers visited had implemented the ‘Prevent’ duty well. General further education and sixth form colleges were the most successful. Leaders at the general further education and sixth form colleges visited were the most successful at implementing all aspects of the ‘Prevent’ duty. The majority had formed strong partnerships with external agencies and stakeholders. Most risk assessments and action plans were of good quality.
The Key findings of the survey were as follows:
• Thirteen providers had been slow in putting the duty into practice. • Two of the eight independent learning providers visited had not implemented any aspect of the ‘Prevent’ duty. • Partnership working was often not effective. • Local authorities had often not worked with providers to build partnership or share information effectively. • Independent learning providers’ arrangements for sharing information were ineffective. • The quality of staff training was ineffective in a third of the providers visited. These providers tended to be over-reliant on staff completing online training packages for ‘Prevent’. • Some senior leaders did not pass on information about strategic developments with external partners to their middle managers. • Leaders in nearly half the providers visited did not adequately protect learners from the risk of radicalisation and extremism when using IT systems. • Vetting and monitoring of external speakers were inadequate in around a quarter of the providers. • The quality of risk assessments and action plans to reduce the risk of radicalisation and extremism was poor in eleven of the providers. • Two independent learning providers had no risk assessments in place at all. Of the other nine providers, most adopted a ‘tick-box’ approach to risk assessment rather than conducting a comprehensive evaluation of risks.
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Skills Funding Agency Moving towards the full devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (March 2016) As part of the transition to the
How legacy GCSEs and IGCSEs in English, English Literature and mathematics will be funded in 2016 to 2017 (June 2016) available in November 2016 and Summer 2017 for legacy GCSEs in English, English Literature and Mathematics. For academic year 2016 to 2017, the EFA and SFA will fund leaners aged 16 or over who meet Ofqual’s criteria. Learners who are only sitting exams will not be funded. If new learners are being enrolled onto the legacy GCSEs, it must be ensured that they can achieve the qualification in one year. Learners aged 16 or over who are to study or continue to study IGCSEs in English and Maths and Level 1/2 Certificates, will continue to be funded. After 1 August 2017, these qualifications will no longer be approved for learners to study or continue to study under the 16 to 18 English and Maths condition of funding, and English and Maths legal entitlements. On 23 March 2016 Ofqual announced that resits will be
removed. The delivery of a qualification is only required if a learner exercises their legal entitlement to a first full Level 2 or Level 3 and/or English and Maths. Qualifications delivered as part of local flexibility are not required to enter a formal approval process. Qualifications used must be selected from the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) since these qualifications are eligible for funding through local flexibility.
completely local-driven skills system, greater flexibility has been introduced. This means that local areas, colleges and other training organisations will be able to decide the most appropriate training provision in response to local needs, which may or may not include qualifications. Therefore the requirement for all delivery funded by the SFA to be in the form of a qualification has been Area Review Update (March - July 2016) The Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) are to jointly publish documents relating to the area reviews in the near future. These documents include: • The first reports from the individual area reviews within Wave 1. • Implementation guidance. • Due Diligence framework and appendices. • Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Local Authority guidance. In March 2016 an updated area review guidance was released. The updated guidance is more comprehensive and includes the outcomes from the first area reviews as well as further information regarding grants. The updated guidance also includes information regarding the option for sixth form colleges to convert to academies.
2014/15 College Accounts and Benchmarking
On 6 May 2016 the Association of Colleges updated and released the combined database of SFA and EFA college finance records, for years ending 31 July 2015, 31 July 2014 and 31 July 2013. The database also includes voluntary benchmarking information.
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Financial Sanctions for inappropriately assigning students to A-level courses (April 2016) During a Parliamentary sub-committee meeting (April 27 2016), Nick Boles, Skills Minister at the time, warned that Sixth Form Colleges could received financial sanctions if students are inappropriately assigned to A-level courses. Although schools and colleges currently receive 17.5 per cent less funding for students who repeat an A-level year, there is no financial sanction for students dropping out and transferring elsewhere. Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders provided a negative response and expressed that funding within the education sector is sufficiently “tight and complex”. Bill Watkin, chief executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, stated that after a 2013 Ofsted report found that three quarters of schools failed to equally promote vocational options, the Skills Minister’s comment was not a surprise. A Department for Education spokesperson said the department was “looking to examine” the incentives to schools for students to complete a full programme.
Ofsted is considering campus grades after area review (July 2016) Times Educational Supplement (TES) has reported that Ofsted is considering campus grades rather than grading colleges at corporation level, which is the current practice. This change is being considered in response to the likelihood of a smaller number of larger colleges, due to the area reviews. It is anticipated that colleges will be more likely to operate across several geographical locations and the suggestion is an attempt to improve local accountability.
Next Ofsted Chief Inspector (July 2016) The Education Secretary has announced that Ms. Amanda Spielman has been appointed as the next Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Service and Skills (HMCI). Ms. Spielman will take over from Sir Michael Wilshaw once his term of appointment has ended at the end of 2016.
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Digital Apprenticeship Service (July 2016) The Department of Business,
Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are in the process of delivering a new digital apprenticeship service with the intent of increasing the quality and number of apprenticeships. The first strand of the service will go live in August 2016 with the intention of the complete service going live in April 2017. The service will enable employers to: • Hire apprentices. • Select the most appropriate training for their apprentices. • Find the most suitable training provider. • Understanding what funding is available, including whether the Apprenticeship Levy applies to them and Manage their training costs.
Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education Sainsbury Review (April 2016) This review proposes to introduce a system of technical education with 15 new ‘pathfinder’ routes, four of which will be delivered via apprenticeships. The proposed reforms will enable students to decide whether they want to take an academic or technical pathway, once they have completed their GCSEs. It is intended that the first route will be in practice by September 2019 and will be a two year college based programme aimed at people aged 16 and over as well as prospective students aged 19+. It is planned that all 15 routes will be fully implemented by 2022. The Post-16 Skills Plan reported that the Institute for Apprenticeships will be fully functioning by April 2017 and will be renamed Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in April 2018. The review states that due to the lack of technical education, there is now a serious skills shortage within the UK. To combat this major problem the report sets out four key features that must be put in place in order to achieve a labour market-orientated system of technical education: • Industry experts must specify the knowledge and skills, and methods of assessment for each qualification. • The system should provide young people with clear educational routes which lead to employment in specific occupations. • Short, flexible bridging provisions should be developed to enable individuals who believe they have made the wrong decision to move between the academic and technical education options in either direction, and to support adults returning to study. • Individuals who are not ready to access a technical education route at age 16 (or older if their education has been delayed) should be offered a flexible transition year tailored to their prior attainment and aspirations. The report outlines 34 recommendations that must be implemented in order to reform technical education for the long term. The Government has accepted all of the recommendations within the Post-16 Skills Plan.
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Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Higher Education: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice (May 2016) Proposal to change the higher education landscape
• Increasing access and success rates in higher education for those individuals that are disadvantaged, or are within under-represented groups. • Establishing new safeguards to protect students and the sector’s reputation, using a risk-based approach to regulation. • Introducing a range of reforms to create flexibility so that providers can award their own degrees. This will also allow high quality new providers to start up, achieve degree awarding powers, and secure university title status more quickly, after three years of operation.
618 responses have been received. Overall there was broad support for the overall policy objectives and the focus on teaching excellence, widening participation and putting students at the heart of the system was largely supported. Within areas such as the Teaching Excellence Framework, ongoing consultation with stakeholders throughout the transition to the new arrangements was regarded as important. There was a strong recurring message within the responses of the need to ensure that the value of the UK degree and its world class reputation must be retained. University fees to rise (July 2016) BBC News has reported that all universities will be able to charge a new upper limit on tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017. This increase could also apply to students who have already started their courses. Universities are not allowed to charge over the current limit of £9,000 per year until the change has been formally agreed by government.
The white paper sets out a range of reforms to the higher education and research system and builds on the proposals stated within the earlier green paper. In certain cases these plans are subject to Parliamentary approval. • The introduction of a Teaching Excellence Framework that aims to link teaching funding to quality, in order to deliver better value for money for students, employers and taxpayers. • Establishing the Office for Students (OFS) as the new regulator for all higher education providers.
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Improving the quality of social work education (July 2016) The Department for Education has released a paper declaring how the government will reform children’s social care in England over the next five years. The need for high calibre students to enter social work, taught through a curriculum based on the knowledge and skills needed to work with the most vulnerable children and families was announced, after it was fond only 65% of students qualifying from social work programmes had entered the profession six months after completing their course. During the last Parliament two new successful fast-track entry routes; Frontline and Step Up have been established and developed. Both programmes have been popular with students and employers and it has been anticipated that approximately 30% of new child and family social workers will come from fast-track routes, and up to 40% by 2020. The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) report Boys to Men: The underachievement of youngmen in higher education – and how to start tackling it (May 2016) The report found that the proportion of male entrants to UK higher education institutions is at its lowest; 94,000 fewer men had applied for higher education up to the mid-January 2016 UCAS deadline. Evidence within the report reveals that boys are performing worse across primary, secondary and higher education and apprenticeships. The report forecasts that the gap between males and females will exceed the gap between rich and poor within a decade. In 2015, 51 per cent of young women on free school meals were more likely to enter higher education, whilst only 8.9 per cent of white men on free school meals entered higher education. However although 80 per cent of higher education institutions have more female students, only two higher education institutions have targets for recruiting more male students
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Cyber security FireEye 2016 Trend Report (February 2016) The report found that eight per cent of all cyber attacks occurred within the Education sector. Furthermore only 47 per cent of all cyber attacks are discovered internally. This emphasises the need to ensure an incident response plan is in place and that all relevant members of staff receive appropriate training to recognise hoax emails and report breaches.
Government Changes (July 2016) There now seems to be some stability and direction in Government. The new Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening and the new Skills and Apprentices Minister, Robert Halfon are keen to engage with Association of Colleges (AoC). It was stated by the AoC that both the Secretary of State for Education and the Skills and Apprentices Minister view colleges as being at the centre of delivering Government’s intentions in terms of technical education, apprenticeships, English and Maths, social inclusion and opportunity.
Machinery of Government changes An explanatory note has been released to explain the machinery of Government changes around the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The note confirms that DfE will take over all elements of education, children’s services and skills. It will inherit responsibilities including: • Delivery of 3 million new apprenticeship starts in England by 2020. • Delivery of the Apprenticeship Levy. • Implementation of new technical routes to skilled employment. • Area reviews • Improvements to adult further education in England. • Introducing a new regulatory framework for higher education.
Fraud alert (May - June 2016)
The EFA has sent out an alert warning schools and colleges of a scam involving Portakabin Ltd. Portakabin Ltd has advised that certain customers may be receiving a fraudulent letter regarding a change to their bank account details. If such a letter has been received, all instructions should be ignored. A fraudulent fax requesting CHAPS payments has also been sent to a college after scammers were able to find the college’s bank details, as they are in the public domain. Fraudsters have also been found scamming email address of principals, sending emails to staff members and requesting payments to be made. FE Week reported that the scam was foiled when the director of finance services queried the email with the principal.
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