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Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Improved grading calculators for V Certs

Following feedback from centres we’ve made an improvement to the grading calculators for some of our qualifications.

Paul Turner
Paul Turner
Futures Leader

The Evolution of Skills Devolution


Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Stewart Foster
Stewart Foster
Managing Director of Awarding

What does the new Budget mean for Technical Education?

The much anticipated Autumn Budget was pitched as one of the major political set pieces ahead of the government setting out its vision for a post-brexit Britain.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Celebrating success with NCFE Apprenticeship Services

NCFE is partnered to work with over 130 training providers, colleges and employers in the UK, including companies like Virgin Trains and Greggs, to deliver EPA across a range of apprenticeship standards

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Can You Fix My Laptop? (And 8 Other Things To Stop Saying To Developers)

We sat down with our devs and testers at NCFE to ask them about the worst things they’re frequently asked when people find out what their job is.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

170 years of people


Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Do you speak our language? We’re recruiting for tech talent in the north east

We’ve got some good news here at NCFE – we’re hiring! We’re looking to recruit a number of full stack software developers at all levels to join the growing team at our Quorum Business Park office in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Paul Turner
Paul Turner
Futures Leader

Say hello to the bands

In May 2018, the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) announced, at the request of the DfE, that it would be reviewing the funding bands for 31 apprenticeship standards. This caught a few in the sector by surprise and it was hoped this would be an objective review which recognised the real costs of delivering the new standards.

Mick Fletcher
Mick Fletcher
FE Policy Analyst

To lose one college principal may be seen as misfortune. To lose three seems like carelessness.

Somehow ‘canaries in the coalmine’ doesn’t seem the right term to use for the high achieving Principals of major colleges but there is no doubt that the departure in quick succession of the leaders of three of the largest colleges in England is a clear signal that there are a number of issues in the current unstable world of FE.

Stewart Foster
Stewart Foster
Managing Director of Awarding

Pleased to meet you

As the year moves rapidly forward, so too does life at NCFE and I’d like to begin by saying hello to each and every one of you.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Update from party conferences


Crawford Knott
Crawford Knott
Guest blogger - Managing Director at Hawk Training

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Louise Geddis-Regan
Louise Geddis-Regan
Innovation Marketing Officer

World Mental Health Day: Encouraging learners to practice self-compassion

Self-compassion may not typically be a term that learners are familiar with when it comes to tackling stress and anxiety, especially concerning academic performance. However, existing reports and research have started to investigate the role of self-compassion as an intervention for stress and anxiety specifically for young people.

Kristina Gray
Kristina Gray
Marketing Officer

English and maths for all?


Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Not all heroes wear capes!

We’re celebrating National Customer Service Week and today’s theme is ‘recognition’.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Celebrating Customer Service success


Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

NCFE 2018 budget submission


Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

NCFE Apprenticeship Services appoints new Managing Director

We’re delighted to welcome David Gallagher as the new Managing Director of NCFE Apprenticeship Services.

Mick Fletcher
Mick Fletcher
FE Policy Analyst

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Taking care of learner well-being


Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Short changed as the seasons change

We’re at the beginning of an interesting year. Ahead of the budget in autumn that will set out the government’s spending profile, we already have sight of the challenges we face in the forthcoming session.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Sex and Relationships Education consultation

Over the summer, the government launched the latest round of consultation on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England. Unlike a lot of consultations recently, there’s a lengthy response period, with a call for comments and evidence being submitted by the 7 November.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

White paper Skills Plan mismatch


Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

William Gammack
William Gammack
Apprentice PA to Directors

Life as an apprentice

William Gammack, Apprentice PA at NCFE, shares his outlook on life as an apprentice, including why he chose to take an apprenticeship and his experience so far at NCFE with the support of leading training provider, Learning Curve Group.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Benjamin Atkinson
Benjamin Atkinson
Guest Blogger – The Skills Network

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

The more things change…


Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Theory of devolution


Benjamin Atkinson
Benjamin Atkinson
Guest Blogger – The Skills Network

Louise Geddis-Regan
Louise Geddis-Regan
Innovation Marketing Officer

GoCalm Case Study


Benjamin Atkinson
Benjamin Atkinson
Guest Blogger – The Skills Network

Benjamin Atkinson
Benjamin Atkinson
Guest Blogger – The Skills Network

Benjamin Atkinson
Benjamin Atkinson
Guest Blogger – The Skills Network

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Steven Skedge
Steven Skedge
Senior Software Developer - Guest Blogger

Mick Fletcher
Mick Fletcher
FE Policy Analyst

Leave it a year? The minister thinks so

Politicians get a lot of stick for talking in platitudes or avoiding direct answers to difficult questions, so we should therefore be especially grateful when one strays off message and gives an honest reaction to a genuine issue.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

The end is near


Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

10% levy rule change


Michael Lemin
Michael Lemin
Policy and Research Manager

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Update from the Department for Education

At the time of writing, we’re still waiting for the outcomes of the third round of submissions for the Department for Education (DfE). We had hoped to let you know these results before the end of the summer term, however, this news looks like it will come after schools break up.

Paul Turner
Paul Turner
Futures Leader

A register too far?

At the end of June, it was announced that a new register for apprenticeship providers would be opened in July 2018. Its purpose? To require providers to register before they can bid for apprenticeship training contracts with public sector employers across the UK.

Crawford Knott
Crawford Knott
Guest blogger - Managing Director at Hawk Training

Apprenticeships Reforms - where are the SMEs?

New guest blogger, Crawford Knott, Managing Director at Hawk Training, shares his thoughts on the apprenticeship reforms.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

NCFE qualification helps Derwentside College put mental health first

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 was bigger than ever, a great sign of the changing attitudes to mental health and a step towards a healthier future free of stigma and judgement towards mental health issues.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Changes to apprenticeship funding bands

From the 1 August this year, we’ll have an amended apprenticeship funding regime for new starts on apprenticeship frameworks and standards.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

T Levels are go

The much-awaited T Level consultation response arrived over the late May bank holiday weekend and, after months of silence on the issue, we now have a clearer idea of the policy and how and when it will be implemented.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Devolution

NCFE Policy Leader, Andrew Gladstone-Heighton, breaks down recent announcements and events regarding Technical Education in the north and south of the country.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

The desire to succeed

It’s been an extremely busy couple of weeks for the NCFE Schools team culminating in us successfully resubmitting our combined Level 1 /2 Tech Awards to the DfE for consideration of inclusion into the 2020 Performance Tables.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Highly Commended: Joe Armstrong – V Cert Aspiration Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Joe Armstrong, a learner at North Chadderton School, has been highly commended in our V Cert Aspiration Awards.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Highly Commended: Nicholas Earl-Phillipps – V Cert Aspiration Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Nicholas Earl-Phillipps, a learner at Bitterne Park School has been highly commended in our V Cert Aspiration Awards.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Farnborough Academy case study – V Cert Aspiration Awards

We’re delighted to announce that Farnborough Academy in Nottingham have been highly commended as part of our V Cert Aspiration Awards.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

V Cert Aspiration Awards – Pupil of the Year announced

2018 marked our first V Cert Aspiration Awards, recognising achievements by pupils with big aspirations. The scheme was launched to recognise learners who are using V Certs to help them reach their goals and make positive improvements to their life.

Mick Fletcher
Mick Fletcher
FE Policy Analyst

Are T Levels trained on the wrong target?

A great deal of attention has rightly been focused on the long-awaited government response to the T Level consultation issued in November 2017. Much less notice has been taken of another document, also published by DfE in May and snappily titled ‘Post-16 education: highest level of achievement by age 25 (England)’.

Josh Dixon
Josh Dixon
Managing Director, YourCode Recruitment Group

A million pieces to a million pounds

4 years ago, I left my second high school with no qualifications, a lack of direction and no ambition. Fast track 4 years later to May 2018, I’m now the Founding Investor and Director of Weeduu.co and YourCode Recruitment Group. The last few years have been interesting for me, and now understanding the various routes within education and how some students in the mainstream system can be neglected, I realise how lucky I was to not get caught up in the net.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Selecting the evidence

Rob Halfon is a busy man. It’s been less than a year since his nomination and election as Chair of the Education Select Committee, and during this time year he’s launched 12 separate inquiries into various aspects of the Department for Education’s workload.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Adult Education Budget (AEB)

At NCFE, we believe that lifelong learning is hugely important and we encourage our customers to make the most of their adult education budget (AEB) funding. There was a £63m underspend in the AEB in the last academic year and we’d like to see this reduce considerably this year.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Technical Award receives endorsement from the Society of Operations Engineers

We’re delighted to announce that our Level 1 / 2 Technical Award in Engineering has received endorsement from the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Do Applied Generals prepare learners for the workplace better than A Levels?

The recent publication of the results of Ofqual’s annual survey, ‘Perceptions of qualifications in England: wave 16’, has found that Applied Generals are thought to better prepare learners for the workplace when compared to GCSE and A-Level qualifications.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

A perfect fit – case study with River Tees Multi Academy Trust PRU

Tom Rhatigan discusses his experience of delivering V Certs, including the Level 1 and Level 2 certificates in Health and Fitness, and how the qualification has allowed his pupils to find their strengths and excel.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

NCFE joins the Joint Council for Qualifications

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve joined the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a membership body which comprises the eight, now nine, largest providers of qualifications in the UK.

Louise Geddis-Regan
Louise Geddis-Regan
Innovation Marketing Officer

Mental Health Awareness Week: Supporting students manage their mental wellbeing and exam work load

In the run up to Mental Health Awareness Week we have been running our 12 Days of Exam Wellbeing campaign to encourage students, parents and teachers to prioritise mental wellbeing during exam periods.

Nick Linford
Nick Linford
Writing exclusively For NCFE

Recent history should be a warning against changing the apprenticeship levy

The ongoing slump in apprenticeship starts since the apprenticeship levy was introduced has emboldened the lobbyists, and those with vested interests.

Joe Hindmoor
Joe Hindmoor
Guest Blogger

My week of work experience at NCFE

Last week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do some work experience at NCFE. I’m currently studying A-Level Sociology, Politics and BTEC Applied Law at Durham Sixth Form Centre. I spent two and a half days with the Policy team followed by two and a half days with the Marketing team. I really enjoyed my time with the teams and feel that I learned a lot about the type of work that is done in these areas.

Louise Geddis-Regan
Louise Geddis-Regan
Innovation Marketing Officer

Stress Awareness Month

With Stress Awareness Month now underway, the NCFE Innovation team have been reflecting on the complex relationship between stress and technology. Undeniably, our hyper-connectivity with technology often fuels stress and is a regular culprit in the media for our struggle to relieve stress. However, we’ve been reviewing how we can harness the power of technology to help prevent and better manage our stress levels.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Focus on schools funding

Following the publication of the Education and Policy Institute’s report on schools funding, it was reassuring that this report, once again, allowed this issue to become a focus of the media.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Rules out… for Easter

Having eagerly awaited the latest version of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) Funding rules, we were delighted to see them published before the Easter break.

Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Andrew Gladstone-Heighton
Policy Leader

Fixing the foundations

NCFE Policy Leader, Andrew Gladstone-Heighton examines skills growth and replacement in a post-Brexit economy in his newly published paper.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

NCFE apprenticeships – let’s get to work

The Department for Education (DfE) has halted turning off apprenticeship frameworks, saying that they won’t withdraw any further frameworks until 2020. This is welcome news from the DfE, after months of concern that reforms around content, procurement and funding are being rolled out too fast. It’s encouraging to see that the DfE are willing to hit the pause button and allow providers to choose what they see fit for their learners.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

SEND pupils losing out on school places

Recent press attention surrounding the lack of appropriate provision in schools for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) pupils has highlighted a complex issue which seems to lack a solution for inclusivity for many children.

David Redden
David Redden
External Quality Assurance Officer

Functional Skills reform

Functional Skills qualifications are changing and as an active member of the FAB Functional Skills Working Group, we want to keep you up to date with the latest developments.

Allie Bennett
Allie Bennett
Marketing Excutive

NCFE Community Time Bank – giving back and making a difference

In September, Stakeholder and Partnership Development Manager at NCFE, Warren Cresswell, started volunteering at his local primary school, Little Heath Primary School in Hertfordshire, as part of NCFE’s Community Time Bank.

Rachel Hopkins
Rachel Hopkins
Marketing Officer

Stress Awareness Month: recognising the signs of stress

Christine Bennett is a practicing counsellor with an MSc. in Counselling Studies and extensive experience in recognising stress and trauma. In this article, Christine looks at the physical signs of stress which may manifest in yourself or your pupils, allowing you to approach and manage the situation.

Josh Dixon
Josh Dixon
Managing Director, YourCode Recruitment Group

Guest blog from Josh Dixon, Managing Director, YourCode Recruitment Group

We love hearing about how technical education can change people’s lives so when we met Josh Dixon, Managing Director at YourCode Recruitment Group, we just had to share his story.

Neil Stocking
Neil Stocking
Vice Principle: Highcrest Academy

School focus: Highcrest Academy

Neil Stocking, Vice Principle of one of our Champion Schools, Highcrest Academy, gives his thoughts on how teaching has changed over the years, the challenges he faces on a daily basis at Highcrest Academy, which many schools will relate to and the ways in which the school overcomes these challenges:

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

We love it when a plan comes together.

I’m delighted to share the positive news that our new model for combined level V Cert qualifications has been received extremely well by the Department for Education (DfE). In their latest update to the published list of approved qualifications, our redeveloped Health and Fitness qualification is the first V Cert of this kind to appear on the list for the 2020 performance tables. This news gives us further confidence in this new model and the next round of submissions.

Esme Winch
Esme Winch
Managing Director

Shaping the new National Retraining Scheme

Last week, NCFE and Campaign for Learning were delighted to publish our second white paper of 2018 entitled ‘Shaping the new National Retraining Scheme’. Written by Dr Susan Pember, the paper assesses the current and emerging needs a National Retraining Scheme should address. These include longer working lives, rising automation, and the potential retraining needs of millions of atypical workers, especially the 15% of adults who are self-employed.

kathryn Bradbeer
kathryn Bradbeer
Work Experience Student

Is social media causing depression amongst young people?

In response to a recent BBC report regarding the link between social media and mental health issues amongst young people, NCFE work experience student Kathryn Bradbeer, 17, explores the issue further.

Louise Geddis-Regan
Louise Geddis-Regan
Innovation Marketing Officer

International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day, 2018. The year of #Vote100. Today has a lot of resonance.

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

Supporting apprenticeships, creating opportunities.

We’re passionate about apprenticeships and are really getting behind National Apprenticeship Week. This year's theme looks at what apprenticeships mean to individuals, employers, communities and the wider economy, and we'll be sharing our stories and experiences all week!

Kievah Wallace
Kievah Wallace
PR and Social Media Officer

NCFE appointed as end-point assessment organisation for Virgin Trains

We’re really pleased to be working with Virgin Trains as their end-point assessment (EPA) organisation.

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