FE news at a glance

1st August 2014 at 01:00

College pays tribute to late principal

MidKent College has paid tribute to its "much-loved" principal Sue McLeod, who died at the age of 53 last week. Chief executive Stephen Grix described Ms McLeod, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour last month, as an "exceptional leader" who inspired staff and students. "Her energy, enthusiasm and ability to motivate others will be sorely missed," he said. "We have lost a very dear friend and a great principal." Ms McLeod, a former travel and tourism lecturer, joined MidKent College in 1993 and last September became its first female principal.

MPs to scrutinise work-based learning

The government's apprenticeship and traineeship policies are set to come under the spotlight of the Commons Education Select Committee. The cross-party group of MPs wants to find out how effective the work-based learning programmes for 16- to 19-year-olds are, whether they meet the needs of employers and if they give young people what they need to find a job. The committee will explore the impact of recent funding changes on the programmes, and whether the government's investment represents good value for money. It will also look at what can be done to improve employer engagement with apprenticeships and how to encourage more young people on to the programmes.

Walsall joins European push to end gang culture

A West Midlands further education college is taking part in a new European project designed to stop the rise of gang culture. Walsall College is a partner in the EUGANGS scheme, which over the next three years will create specialist training for professionals working with young people who are in gangs or at risk of joining one. At the end of the initiative, a new qualification for those working in gang and youth crime will be rolled out across Europe.

Welsh grants incentivise FE teacher training

The Welsh government has announced a series of financial incentives for postgraduate FE teacher training courses in 2014-15. A grant of pound;3,000 will be made available to students training to teach Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects in FE, as well as literacy, numeracy and Welsh. Students starting other full-time postgraduate initial teacher training courses will be eligible for a pound;1,000 grant. Welsh education minister Huw Lewis said the incentives targeted the government's highest recruitment priorities and would help to attract top-quality students to train as FE teachers in Wales.

Have your say on new English and maths GCSEs

Adult education body Niace has been asked by the government to lead a consultation into the implementation of new GCSEs in maths and English. The qualifications will become the level 2 national standard for students in 16-19 education by September 2017 and for adults by 2020. Niace wants to hear from a range of providers across the learning and skills sector about what systems need to be in place to support young adults, adult learners, trainees and apprentices to achieve the new GCSEs. The deadline for submissions is 30 September and Niace is hosting consultation seminars in Sheffield on 4 September, Leicester on 9 September and London on 16 September.

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