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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

Conservatives promise new routes to becoming a teacher

Schools could get additional funding to train their teaching assistants up to degree level using a new apprenticeship route announced in the Conservative manifesto. The party has pledged to ensure TAs are able to “become qualified teachers via a degree apprenticeship route”, a move which would give schools access to funding from the apprenticeship levy to train them up to level six, which is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. At present, the highest level a TA can reach through an apprenticeship is level three, equivalent to A-level, though training providers envisage a new route which would allow them to become an “advanced learning support practitioner” or similar. However, there is confusion over whether those who complete the new route, but who do not already have a university degree, will be allowed to progress onto a new, separate higher-level teaching apprenticeship with qualified teacher status that’s still being planned by ministers and school leaders. It’s about bridging that gap, so TAs don’t get stuck at level three According to National Schools Training, an apprenticeship provider for schools in England which is involved in developing the new teaching standard, training providers are looking for ways to “bridge the gap” between TAs and...

Investigation: DfE ‘hid’ damaging Lord Nash academy cost emails

The Department for Education has attempted to hide internal emails showing Lord Nash’s intention to massage the presentation of figures that reveal the spiralling costs of rebrokering academies. The investigation reveals potentially damaging revelations about the academies minister – a well-known Conservative party donor – that the government tried to “suppress”, just weeks before the general election. In recent years the number of schools transferring from one academy trust to another has rocketed – from 26 in 2014, to 134 last year. On previous figures, available to the end of 2014, the average cost to the taxpayer of a transfer was £131,000 per school, which takes the annual total to an estimated £17 million. But Schools Week was refused figures on the costs of transferring academies in the past year, as the department claimed it planned to publish them in the future. We asked under Freedom of Information laws for any documents proving there was a genuine intention to publish the costs. At first, the department provided a document that said the minister was “asked to consider whether to proactively publish information on the cost of rebrokering academies”. After pushback, the department sent two further emails from last year that...

Merger of two London colleges agreed

Two London colleges have finally agreed to merge, more than 18 months after the link between them was first proposed. The College of North West London and City of Westminster College will join forces this summer to become United Colleges Group. The decision was taken at their individual corporation meetings on May 17 and 24 respectively, after independent due diligence reports and responses from the consultation period were approved. The colleges are expected to finalise the legal merger on August 1, 2017, though this is currently subject to final approval from education secretary Justine Greening. In 2016, City of Westminster College took part in the central London area review, while the College of North West London was in the west London review. The merger was recommended through both reviews. City of Westminster College and the College of North West London were both rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, in 2013 and 2015 respectively. As part of the merger plans, a shadow board, led by chair designate Tony Johnston, has also been approved, and arrangements to appoint members are in progress. Mr Johnston served on the College of North West London Corporation for two years, including as chair for the past four months. Outside...

Ofsted watch: Three providers drop to ‘requires improvement’

It’s been a largely disappointing week, as all three published full FE and skills inspection reports resulted in a drop from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’. “Significant weaknesses” in its 16 to 19 study programmes and apprenticeships, were among the factors contributing to Northampton College’s slide to grade three, in a report published May 23 but based on an inspection April. Quality of these programmes was found to be “not yet good enough” as “actions taken by leaders and managers” had “not yet had sufficient impact”, the report said. Inspectors noted that “many teaching, learning and assessment activities” on study programmes “do not challenge and motivate learners to make good progress” and that these learners “develop their knowledge and understanding too slowly”. But provision for both adult learners and those with high needs was found to be good. Adult learners “develop their knowledge, personal and employability skills well” while learners with high needs “develop good skills for independent living and employment”, the report said. Independent training provider Focus Training Limited was given grade three across the board in a report published May 22, and based on an inspection in late April. The proportion of learner completing their courses on time at the...