Newsletter and bids 21 2021
This week more news and views and bids, grants and funds. We go out to over 3,000 people and organisations every week and today have a BUMPER EDITION of 55 pages.
Full details of all bids and grants can be downloaded from the link below:
Our sponsor for 2020 is Bolt, a dedicated FE and Training Provider recruitment specialist.
Bolt are committed to supporting the training & education sector at this time. Check out the range of resources they have available at https://boltjobs.com/covid-19-support/
They are currently engaged on searches across senior roles in operations and sales so do reach out to Alex on email@example.com if you would like to find out more. They also have some great learning designers on their books if you are looking for input on transitioning to online delivery.
Bolt has a 100% fill rate when working on a retained basis, if you’re serious about hiring to grow your business email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok items this week which maybe important to you:
Item 1 Due to Bank Holiday I am booked solid on Tuesday and Wednesday for on line meetings with clients.
Item 2 If you are looking to downsize in South East London or North London and have large premises then please let me know and must have good travel links looking for 3,500-5000sqft training space
Item 3 Looking for ROTO organisation looking to sell details to me please.
Item 5 The Institute is supporting a new temporary flexibility that will enable apprentices to take end point assessment (EPA) ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualifications (FSQ) later on in the summer.
With immediate effect as of today [May 22nd] and during the Covid-19 crisis we are permitting the re-sequencing of the EPA process to enable gateway to be passed and EPA to be taken before the FSQ calculated result is received. click here for further information https://www.epaodirectory.com/blogs/new-end-point-assessment-flexibility-for-calculated-functional-skills-qualifications-22nd-may
Item 6 A “formal” request for more than £16 million pounds to be “reimbursed” has been submitted by awarding organisations (AOs) to the Department for Education to pay for extra resources needed to implement an alternative to summer exams, FE Week can reveal.
The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), which represents over 100 AOs, has written to the DfE director of professional and technical education with estimates of the “additional costs associated with implementing two of the Secretary of State’s directions to Ofqual, issued on 31 March (General Qualifications) and 9 April (Vocational Technical Qualifications) respectively.”
Item 7 Gillian Keegan has ruled out an extension to the switch-off date for starts on old-style apprenticeships, known as frameworks, after “comprehensive, careful consideration” of sector-wide concerns. Conversations between the skills minister and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education about a possible delay had been taking place as the July 31 end-date draws nearer. Numerous training providers and college leaders have warned they would have to pause recruitment of apprentices in some areas, such as stonemasonry, if there was no extension as there is no new apprenticeship standard that would be ready for delivery in August. Covid-19 has also disrupted the switchover.
Rob Nitsch, the institute’s chief operating officer, first revealed the talks were happening during an Association of Colleges webcast last month in which he agreed that extending the date would “make sense”. Read more at https://feweek.co.uk/2020/05/22/minister-rules-out-delay-to-framework-switch-off-after-careful-consideration/
Item 8 The Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group (RR3) has set up a special interest group (SIG) on probation, to provide a formal avenue to channel voluntary sector advice to HMPPS, ahead of the planned implementation of a reformed probation model. The first meeting of the SIG brought together voluntary sector leaders with officials to discuss the latest plans and timelines for the Dynamic Framework. The group recommended that the qualification phase for the Dynamic Framework could be launched, but that Clinks and the wider sector must have a clear role in determining voluntary sector readiness before the full call-off competition is conducted. The Ministry of Justice has since announced it will launch the dynamic framework competition in June and market warming materials are now available.
The RR3 is a formal advisory group to the government coordinated and chaired by Clinks. Read our blog and a summary note of the meeting here
Item 9 Information: subcontracting declarations
In accordance with the funding rules, providers are required to make a revised declaration through MYESF as and when any of their subcontracting relationships or values change, where these revisions relate to the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 for the delivery of any apprenticeship non-levy and levy funded provision, and for 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 for all other adult, or 16 to 19 programme (noting schools and academies are exempt) funded delivery. We know that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on some providers’ ability to do this but would like to encourage those that have not made a return since 23 October to do so where they can. Please note that if you do not subcontract you are still required to make a nil return. This can be done on the Manage your education skills funding (MYESF) service. https://skillsfunding.service.gov.uk/
The current declarations relate to the following periods:
1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 for the delivery of any apprenticeship non-levy and levy funded provision and for; 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 for all other adult education,
16 to 19 programme for the year from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020 (noting schools and academies are exempt) funded delivery We will use ESFA Update to communicate the next declaration window in due course, and this will include a final deadline for submitting this round of declarations.
Item 10 Data Protection with Home working and also with Zoom and other formats Privacy has been a key focus for several recent discussions relating to COVID-19. Here’s our quick tour of a few things we’ve been keeping an eye on. As the UK went into lockdown, organisations have had to quickly find solutions to new challenges. New situations mean new decisions have had to be made which could impact on the privacy of their employees, or indeed the wider public. This doesn’t just effect organisations in health or social care sectors, who are handling patient and medical data, but also others which handle less sensitive data that still has the potential to cause harm. The ICO has published fresh content and support via its blog. They flagged up 3 key privacy considerations for Covid-19: protecting the public interest, enabling responsible data sharing and monitoring intrusive and disruptive technology. So, what can we all do to protect the privacy and uphold the data rights of individuals at this challenging time?
Homeworking: Lots of us are working from home. As we started to use video conferencing tools in our droves, Zoom came under scrutiny when its settings, designed for ease of use more than for privacy, allowed people to ‘bomb’ into an open Zoom meeting. This led to a rather speedy privacy upgrade to fix the problem. Homeworking using a company laptop which is encrypted might not present a major privacy problem, but what about those who work from home use their own devices to access work emails or to get onto the network? You might consider, for example, ‘Have we got sufficient information security in place?’ and ‘Should we remind staff about our Acceptable Use Policy?’
Sharing data: If you are asked to share data with public health or other government authorities, in most situations it is likely to be best to share the data in an anonymised form, so that specific individuals cannot be identified. Using anonymised data means the sharing will fall outside the scope of data protection rules. Some have asked ‘Is it OK to tell staff if someone has contracted the virus?’
The ICO says that you should keep staff informed about cases in your organisation, however, you probably don’t need to name individuals and you shouldn’t provide more information than necessary. In general, the identities of individuals to whom the medical data belongs (e.g. suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases) should only be revealed if there really is a compelling justification for doing so. Minimising the collection of COVID-19 data: In certain situations, it might be necessary to process the location data of individuals in new ways, e.g. to track the spread of infection. The Government COVID-19 app has attracted a lot of scrutiny. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) suggests such tracking “could be considered proportional under exceptional circumstances,” although it “should be subject to enhanced scrutiny and safeguards to ensure the respect of data protection principles”.
The EDPB says this should include ensuring proportionality and limits on data retention. They go on to say, “The least intrusive solutions should always be preferred.” Thanks to IAPP for highlighting this. Ensuring transparent: A lot of information is being made publicly available about the actions which governments and other organisations are taking to tackle the spread of infection. Co-ordination of information has been actively encouraged. Businesses which receive a request to share personal data with government agencies relating to the pandemic (i.e. data which is not anonymised) must, if they plan to share data, communicate this to its data subjects. And when sharing data, just as for other processing tasks, businesses should confirm the following:
- the purposes of the processing
- the relevant lawful basis
- whether you plan to share COVID-19 data with government or other parties
- how long you intend to retain the data
This also ties in with GDPR Article 30 requirements to keep Records of Processing Activities, which must include any data sharing activities.
What next?: The current situation is very fluid and changing daily. But I think we can expect that the privacy of individuals will continue to attract much scrutiny and debate as this awful pandemic plays out.
Item 11 News from Pearson Cindy Rampersaud Senior Vice-President, BTEC and Apprenticeships: Following on from our previous communication on 24 April 2020, we wanted to let you know that Ofqual has now published the outcomes for its consultation on the arrangements for delivering results for vocational, technical and other general qualifications in summer 2020.
What this means for you and your learners
Ofqual’s Extraordinary Regulatory Framework (ERF) is now live and can be viewed here. You can also see Ofqual’s news story here, which includes links to important information including: consultation decisions, analysis of the consultation, updated information for the Head of Centre and FAQs.
You can use Ofqual’s ‘Summer 2020 Qualification Explainer Tool’ on their statistics web page to search for a specific vocational, technical or other general qualification to find out how results will be generated for most learners (i.e. whether it follows a calculated/adapted/delayed assessment approach).
As the proposals in Ofqual’s consultation are now approved, this means we can finalise our proposed approaches to awarding results this summer. You can access the following here:
Guidance on the calculated results approach for Functional Skills
Guidance on the adapted assessment approach for competency-based/apprenticeship related qualifications.
Equalities responsibilities: In its published outcomes, Ofqual has recognised the importance of ensuring non-bias in Centre Assessment Grades during this time and has provided additional guidance to Awarding Organisations and Heads of Centres to support this. Where relevant we have also made references in our guidance in recognition of this. If you need support or guidance please do contact our sector specialists, whose details are here.
ppeals for vocational and technical qualifications: Ofqual has issued further guidance to highlight issues to consider when handling appeals this summer, and has stated it expects the approach to align to that for GCSE/AS and A Level. We will be reviewing what the consultation outcomes mean for our current appeals process for vocational and technical qualifications and we will be issuing you with further guidance as soon as we can. Autumn assessment opportunity for vocational and technical qualifications. Ofqual has stated that where Awarding Organisations normally have an autumn assessment opportunity, they should continue to do so. They have also stated that there should be an autumn assessment opportunity where there is sufficient demand, or where it would be unfair not to. Most of our externally assessed units are available either on-demand, or in the January and May/June series, therefore we do not anticipate making additional opportunities available. We will revisit this based on Ofqual’s guidance, and whether there is sufficient demand. We will keep you updated. As ever, I’ll continue to keep you updated on the latest updates as they become available.
Please continue to visit our dedicated support pages to keep up to date on the latest news and you once again for your patience and collaboration during this unprecedented time.
Item 12 Jobs this week Vacancies on the jobs board this week include: Stronger Voice Project Co-ordinator with Clinks [London], Deputy Financial Controller with Imagine Independence [Liverpool], Chief Executive Officer with Hibiscus Initiatives [London], HR Advisor – North with Humankind [Bowburn], Community ETE Worker with St. Giles Trust [Lowestoft], Practitioner with The Lucy Faithfull Foundation [Worcestershire or Surrey], Criminal Justice Recovery Worker with EDP Drug & Alcohol Services [Exeter], Manager Kenward Trust Residential Resettlement Service with Kenward Trust [Kent & East Sussex].
Item 13 The government is committed to doing whatever it takes to support businesses and individuals through the coronavirus pandemic and the following webinars have the information, guidance and tips to help you to support your clients. There are a limited number of spaces, so save your place now.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS): This webinar covers the aim of the scheme, who can apply, how much may be claimed, applying for the scheme, what happens after applications are made, and other support available.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – how to make a claim: This webinar provides an overview of who can claim, how to claim, what’s needed to make a claim, what happens after applications are made, and other support available.
These webinars are very popular, so we’ll do our best to answer your questions or signpost you to useful guidance. We will bring you the most up-to-date information to keep you fully informed of changes as they develop. Get help. Protect your business. Save jobs.
Yours sincerely Jim Harra Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary – HMRC
Tip 1 Watch great shows for free from Royal Albert Home. Like 30th of May Indie heroes Kaiser Chiefs will deliver an exclusive set as part of the Royal Albert Home sessions.
From all of us from me Steve and fellow Director Lisa and all the team have a great week and keep training Non-Executive Director at Six Companies and MD of EEVT Ltd
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