News at a glance
National Careers Service launched
The new National Careers Service (NCS) was launched last week to a cautious welcome. Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, warned that its website and helpline should be backed up with "impartial, face-to-face guidance from a qualified professional". "The Department for Education's statutory guidance commits schools to a minimal level of provision without adequate resources, support or funding," he added. Neil Bentley, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said that the NCS "must have a programme of continuous engagement with businesses" so that its advice remains relevant.
Jobs at risk at West Anglia college
Around 60 jobs face the axe at the College of West Anglia's campuses in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. The college also plans to close a residential centre for students with learning difficulties and reduce the number of courses it offers in order to save #163;1.6 million. But it insists that 28 new jobs will be created as a result of the restructuring process. "Further staffing cuts are also likely next year and in subsequent years. The financial outlook for future years remains unpromising," the consultation document said. Nearby Huntingdonshire Regional College has announced it is to close its St Neots campus in Cambridgeshire.
Connecting cultures through dance
A delegation of Chinese ministers and performers will visit the Midlands later this month as part of a project organised by Stratford-upon-Avon College and City College Coventry. A traditional Chinese dragon dance will be performed during the visit, alongside a showcase of western dance by students and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. "The purpose is to deepen the understanding between the two cultures," a spokeswoman for the two colleges said.
FE and 14-16 funding may be aligned
FE and sixth-form colleges could soon be funded on the same basis as schools for 14-16 learners. The Department for Education is looking to fund FE colleges using a "simplified local funding formulae". "With effect from 2013 and following Professor Alison Wolf's review of vocational education, FE and sixth-form colleges will be able to make full-time provision for 14- to 16-year-olds. We need to ensure that there is a fair and effective means of funding this," the DfE consultation document said.
Cornwall College expands HE options
Cornwall College is expanding its higher education offering. After being awarded 240 extra places for September by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, it is extending its range of foundation degrees, higher national diplomas and higher national certificates. New subjects across five of its seven campuses will include games design and health and communities studies.