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About Schools Week

Schools Week

Schools Week is read widely by headteachers, governors, business managers and the education leaders of the future. Established in 2014, our weekly print newspaper is now read by around 22,000 education managers and sector stakeholders, and 1.4 million unique users visited our website in 2015-16. We have quickly become the “go-to” news source for reliable education journalism, with a formidable reputation for hard-hitting investigations, breaking news and expert analysis.

About FE Week

FE Week

FE Week is the premier news source for the further education, apprenticeships and skills sector, with a reputation for breaking news, investigations and expert analysis that is second to none. Our weekly newspaper is read by over 10,000 education managers and sector stakeholders and over 75,000 people access our website on a monthly basis. Trust is essential, and our readers know that FE Week provides an unrivalled platform for sharing accurate, timely information.

In the News

Academy facing closure over ‘crippling’ £21 million PFI costs

A struggling academy is facing closure because of “crippling” PFI repayments – with the council set to pick up the outstanding £21 million debt. The government has agreed “in principle” to close The Kingsway Academy, in Wirral, following two-year discussions over its viability. Northern Schools Trust, which took on the academy in 2014, said low pupil numbers and rising private finance initiative repayments, currently costing more than £600,000 per year, mean the school is “unviable and potentially not able to pay its bills”. This is nothing to do with the quality of the education being provided Extensive investigations by Schools Week previously revealed how schools were being pushed into financial ruin by soaring debts owed to the private firms that funded their buildings. Schools make repayments through councils that signed up to the PFI deals to build or refurbish schools. Contracts normally run for around 25-years, and rise each year – whether or not schools lose funding because pupil numbers drop. Nigel Ward, chief executive of the Northern Schools Trust, said: “This is nothing to do with the quality of the education being provided but to do with a shortage of pupils at the top end of the Wirral and...

Durand Academy Trust to have funding terminated in 12 months

South London’s controversial Durand Academy will have its funding agreement terminated and be handed to a new sponsor in 12 months, the head of the Education Funding Agency has said. Peter Lauener, the EFA’s chief executive, has written to Sir Greg Martin, chair of the Durand Academy Trust, to confirm that its funding will be cut off on June 29, 2018. This means that a new sponsor will be found by government officials for the Lambeth school, and its existing trustees will be dismissed. It follows a long period of negotiation between the government and the school, which was given a final warning last autumn after it refused to sever ties with Martin, its former highly-paid executive headteacher. Lauener said the funding termination follows “repeated and significant breaches” of the academy’s agreement that “have not and will not be remedied to my satisfaction”. The trust was told last July to address concerns over finances and potential conflicts of interest and sever ties with Martin, who has previously faced criticism from MPs after it emerged he was paid more than £400,000 in salary from the school and management fees from a company which ran leisure facilities on its site. Schools Week revealed last September...

AEB contracts extended as tender results delayed further

The delay to results for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) tender will last until the end of July, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has said this afternoon. Independent learning providers had been told last October that they would need to re-tender for around £110m of the Adult Education Budget for 2017/18. The tender took place between January and February of this year, with the expectation the results would be shared on the 19 May.  Since then, providers have been desperate to know if they will have any funding from August. The ESFA finally changed their “in due course” response this afternoon, saying that tender results will now be shared with applicants “at the end of July”, and in the meantime 2016/17 contracts will be extended “for a three-month period, until 31st October 2017.” The ESFA message to relevant providers said in full: “Following our earlier messages issued on 9th May and 13th June regarding the impact of the General Election on our planned communications, please note that notifications of contract award will now be made at the end July 2017. “As a result, the ESFA will now be extending the existing 2016/2017 contracts for Adult Education Budget (AEB) services for a three-month period,...

Area review ignored as central London set for second mega-college merger

A London college that had been set for a ground-breaking partnership with an adult learning provider has announced plans for an alternative merger. Kensington and Chelsea College emerged from the central London area review with a recommendation to merge with City Literary Institute, a specialist designated institution. But today (June 28) the college announced it plans to join forces with Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College instead, with a planned merger date of 2018. Michelle Sutton, interim principal at KCC, described the college’s new partner as “very strong, well-respected and successful”. “This announcement is the result of a long and careful process to ensure the best future for students of all ages in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, ensuring good provision in the borough while at the same time drawing on the resources of a larger organisation,” she said. Garry Phillips, EHWLC principal, said he was “truly excited” about the benefits of the merger for “both students and businesses in the area”. The opportunities offered by the merged colleges “will prepare students for the very best chance of career success, help secure the future of further education across London and make a significant contribution to the economic development...