In this week’s TES Further: How will the apprenticeship levy be delivered on time?

Also: How social media is connecting up classrooms and the demise of studio schools

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Phase play

As the apprenticeship levy looms ever nearer, Ferret has learned (article free for subscribers) that a phased introduction could well be the government's best bet if it wants to hit its planned start date of April 2017. This would involve a new system initially applying to levy-payers only, with the old funding framework initially being retained for non-levy payers during an interim period...

From French fries to FE funding 

Julia Belgutay has been busy looking into the thorny issue of whether colleges should have degree-awarding powers. This follows the decision by Teesside University to stop validating the degrees offered by its 10 partner colleges. Also in the magazine, Julia profiles apprenticeship supremo Sue Husband, and traces her meteoric rise from McDonalds crew member to becoming the Skills Funding Agency’s director of apprenticeships and delivery service.

Connecting continents

Scott Hayden, a lecturer at Basingstoke College of Technology, has written about how the power of social media has connected his college to a school in America. By using networks like Periscope and Twitter, his students are now able to connect with a class from the opposite side of the world, and discuss everything from lessons to moral questions.

Corporate colours

TES resident reverend Kate Bottley is worrying this week that physical learning environments do not celebrate the diverse skills of an FE college. From grey college doors to sterile professionalism, she ponders whether FE institutions are unintentionally turning learners into “compliant customers who don’t challenge the staus quo”.

Radical changes

Two studio schools in Hertfordshire (which offer provision for 14- to 19-year-olds) are to effectively with their parent college after facing "real challenges". FE editor Stephen Exley ponders whether these institutions have an almighty challenge on their hands from the start. The break at 16 is so deeply ingrained into our collective consciousness, he argues, that a radical overhaul of the education system is the only way to shift these enterprising institutions from the margins to the mainstream.

FE-ighter pilot

Terry Jones, principal and chief executive of Peterborough Regional College, has written about how he went from flying fighter planes to leading an FE college. His is a newcomer’s perspective to the sector, and with fresh eyes he takes us over what he believes a military background can bring to his new role.

An inspector calls

Last but by no means least is Paul Joyce, Ofsted’s deputy director for FE and skills. In the first of his new regular columns, he writes about how Ofsted inspects FE colleges and what to expect if an inspector comes knocking on your college’s door.

All this and much, much more in this week’s TES Further.

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