In this week’s TES Further, Janette Thompson, an FE practitioner and the daughter of two refugees, writes why she is now flying the flag for "British values" (article free for subscribers). After at first feeling that the "values" were entirely negative, she soon realised – by devoting her time to investigating them, and by seeing her colleagues doing the same – that something inspirational had been created. "I was truly inspired by the way that teachers, in their ever-ingenious way, had taken something and squeezed the very best out of it," she writes.
TES reporter Julia Belgutay highlights concerns that the switch to a new system for funding apprentices could lead to “shocking and prevalent examples of fraud” unless robust safeguards are put in place. Experts have warned that the apprenticeship levy could open the doors to unscrupulous employers willing to use questionable work-arounds to access public funding.
Meanwhile, an exclusive Association of Colleges survey, in partnership with TES, shows that the vast majority of colleges are not given full access to young people in local schools to inform them about the opportunities on offer. Only 11 per cent of principals reported that they had had comprehensive access to most students, while 89 per cent either had mixed or limited access to local school pupils to inform them about education and training pathways.
In his editorial, Stephen Exley writes that a tipping point has been reached in the preparations for the apprenticeship levy. Business leaders are concerned that the levy’s strict deadline of April 2017 may not give employers enough time to prepare for its implementation. He concludes that it's more important to get the levy right than for it to be rolled out in April 2017 as planned.
This week's FErret (article free for subscribers) points out why the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills could perhaps do with a new proofreader – and reveals that the Church of England wants to see the apprenticeship levy spent on training up a new generation of vicars. You can read our previous story on this issue here.
A shot in the dark
This week Matt Garvey, managing director of West Berkshire Training Consortium, explains why he fears that the apprenticeship levy is gambling with FE’s future. He writes that the levy may have some unintended consequences (article free for subscribers) – such as increasing subcontracting and putting some commerical providers out of business.
Meanwhile, Paul Warren, a learning support assistant, says that the time has come for FE practitioners to seize the digital agenda (article free for subscribers), and offers his tips on how you can take control of your digital practice. Perhaps you’ll be happy to hear that one of them is to watch more YouTube videos.
A matter of faith
Last, but by no means least, TES' resident reverend, Kate Bottley, writes about the Prevent strategy (article free for subscribers). She says that her faith – which grew from her conversion experience at school – was the best thing that ever happened to her. However, she worries that if a student these days had the same experience, it might provoke their teacher to phone the police. She says that in our culture of fearing faith we will disempower young people from expressing their beliefs with pride.
All this and much, much more in this week’s TES Further.
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