Newsletter and bids 27 2019

 In bids

Dear Members.

This week more news and views and bids, grants and funds in conjunction with our sponsors Net Security Training Ltd. You can contact Richard at and We are going 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:


The Education and Skills Funding Agency has “shocked” hundreds of providers by requiring thousands of subcontracting contracts to be rewritten just four weeks before the new academic year. The agency is demanding that all subcontracting contracts, for both adult education budget and apprenticeship funding, include for the first time a “list of individually itemised, specific costs for managing the subcontractor”.

In addition to listing the services, the contract must include “how each cost contributes to delivering high-quality training” and “how each specific cost is reasonable and proportionate to delivery of the subcontracted teaching or learning”. These costs are typically referred to as a management fee or “top-slice” and have proven controversial for many years. Nearly all providers currently charge their subcontractor a percentage of the funding, with some colleges still charging in excess of 30 per cent.

The ESFA committed to considering a per cent cap last year, but this new rule, requiring costs to be listed, appears to be a different solution and could force providers into a very different pricing model. Training providers have reacted angrily to the requirement, which appeared this afternoon (July 4) in a new version of the funding rules for 2019-20. Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, said: “We proposed a 20 per cent cap solution to end extortionate subcontracting management fees. But once again, a simple solution has been ignored and instead, this immensely bureaucratic process appears both out of the blue and shockingly late in the day.

“The ESFA should implement a percentage cap and bin this complicated rule of listing and justifying management services immediately, before thousands of providers spend even more scarce resources with lawyers and accountants rewriting contacts or worse, start looking for obvious loopholes.”


Also, many providers told you have passed ROATP!! Then told you have not yet applied. Then you tell them you have and passed, and they say sorry!


 CLINKS MEMBER’S EVENT: bringing together young people

IARS International Institute is holding its International Conference 16th-17th July, London, from free]. The event, entitled ‘European youth leading the way for employment & education’ will bring together young people, decision-makers and scholars to debate solutions, identify best practices and create much-needed networking opportunities. It will focus on projects aimed at alternative pathways for self-sustainability (day 1) and youth entrepreneurship (day 2). Young people attending or being involved in the conference will receive a YouthPass Certificate.

Find out more here


 One London Provider looking to sell shares and looking at a Hub

AY Group Community Services CIC (AY CIC) is a not for profit organisation which is planning to provide a Hub where people of all ages, cultures and abilities are encouraged to use the community facilities offered. The aim is to provide community cohesion and wellbeing.  The CEO, Mr Danny Barnes, is a dynamic and commercially minded leader who is actively researching all avenues of funding, local support and service users.  He believes passionately, that the area of East London is in desperate need of Community Hubs to provide a safe, secure and pro-active set of services.  The aim is to provide services that will promote social enterprise, training services, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities within in the local area.

The hub is looking at providing a cellular office opportunity designed to offer a “place to work” and a “place to learn”.  The service will be affordable and will provide a positive environment in which all age groups can work, learn and participate in business and social opportunities.  The preferred arrangement will be a Co-Working model.  This model will offer space for multiple occupiers in one communal space with seating on a first come first serve basis, although, occasionally there will be dedicated space.  This model is typically used by one person or a small start-up Business.

In addition to office space, the hub will provide an array of services including a Coffee Bar.  The CEO, Mr Danny Barnes is currently in discussion with a Branded Franchise and is hoping to secure a Franchisee status in order to offer an attractive Café’ which can be enjoyed by all the service users of the hub.

Once the hub has secured a long – term lease and has a more permanent home to operate from, it is anticipated that there will be some dedicated space to offer a function room.  The room can be let on a day, hourly or half day basis and will be adequate enough to be used for Weddings, Family Celebrations and Conferencing.  It is anticipated that appropriate licencing will be secured before offering such services.Contact


ESFA Action: we’re turning off the Hub soon – get prepared now

With the Hub being retired for the 2019 to 2020 academic year, now’s the time to get familiar with the new service you’ll use to submit data to the ESFA.

Here’s what we recommend you do:

1. Start using the new service to submit data now

You can use Submit Learner Data now for your R11 ILR submission.

We will copy your data across to the Hub so your information will be available there as usual.

Please compare your reports in both systems and let us know if anything doesn’t seem right in the new system (see point 1.3 below). But for now, the Hub’s reports are the official reports until the Hub is turned off.

2. Check out known issues While the Hub is still running alongside Submit Learner Data, we are continuing to refine and perfect the service based on the way providers use it.

You can see a running list of issues we are working on in the Submit Learner Data Known Issues document (6th document in the list).

3. Let us know if you experience something that’s not recorded on the Known Issues document We are working hard to make Submit Learner Data work better for you than the Hub ever did. But your input is key to us achieving this.

If you experience something that’s doesn’t seem right when using Submit Learner Data, let us know by contacting the Service Desk.


Apprenticeships should be seen as an opportunity to improve social mobility, increase productivity and develop a skilled workforce, according to a report backed by former education secretary Justine Greening MP.

The Skills Tap report, published by water supplier Severn Trent and campaign group the Social Mobility Pledge, states that apprenticeships help support people from all backgrounds into a rewarding career, especially young people from “cold spot” areas where opportunities are less readily available. It claims that the social mobility benefits of apprenticeships become evident when looking at their salary outcomes. According to government figures, level 2 apprenticeships have the salary potential of between £48,000 and £74,000; between £77,000 and £117,000 for level 3; and £150,000 or more for those completing an apprenticeship at level 4 over their lifetime.

Skill Tap’s report states that offering apprenticeships has helped Severn Trent improve social mobility in Coventry, where it is headquartered. Many areas of the city are in the bottom half of the government’s social mobility index, which the report says gives it potential to improve outcomes for young people.  According to government figures, 83% of apprentices say it has improved their career prospects.

 Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield said: “We see apprenticeships as a crucial part of the solution to better social mobility. A third of the nation’s social mobility cold spots are in the communities we serve, so we have a great chance to make a real difference and create opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

“Apprenticeships are vitally important to help young people get experience in the workplace, learn new skills, while earning and contributing to the workplace. It’s our responsibility to do more, to help those in society that need these chances in life.”

Greening, who founded the Social Mobility Pledge, said it was vital that the UK adopted a lifelong learning approach to meet future skills needs.

“Severn Trent is a great example of a company that totally gets that. It was inspiring to see how they can transform lives for the better and to meet some of the people who began their career as apprentices and have worked their way up,” she said.

Severn Trent will offer 13 different apprenticeship programmes in 2019/20, ranging from technicians to roles at higher apprenticeship level


The Department for Education is still worried that Ofsted’s new inspection regime could cause workload for schools and teachers.

The inspectorate is introducing its new framework, which puts more focus on curriculum and less on data, in September.

Last year, education secretary Damian Hinds warned that plans to overhaul the framework needed to be balanced against the effect it would have on teacher workload, although he later described the fact it addresses workload as “a hugely positive step forward”.

Ofsted: Threat over school data demands on teachers

Warning: ‘Ofsted’s new framework will ramp up workload’

Opinion: Ofsted’s new framework – one step forward, two steps back

Now, the head of the DfE’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy team has said that while the framework has “a lot of good intentions and sounds good”, there will be a “really big implementation challenge”.

Speaking at a Westminster Education Forum conference today, Emma Hubball raised the concerns during a section of her speech about teacher workload.

She told the event that the DfE has been working closely with Ofsted to ensure the new framework “helps this problem rather than hinders it”.

She said: “We think there is some promising stuff in the new framework in terms of commitments they have made not to demand internal data tracking systems, and to look at things that we think schools also think are really, really important, and also their commitment to look unfavourably on schools that have excessively high workloads.

“We are clear that from our perspective that is a lot of good intentions and sounds good, and we think it’s an important part of the strategy, but there will be a really big implementation challenge there introducing that new framework and making sure it delivers benefits for schools and teachers rather than more challenges, so we are not complacent about that.”

Ms Hubball also talked more widely about the issue of teacher workload.

She said that “intensive interviews” the DfE conducted with 165 teachers last summer confirmed how important the issue was in driving people out of the profession.

Ms Hubball said the DfE was “tackling that as a more nuanced issue”. She added: “The amount of hours is important and obviously we compare not that well internationally on the amount of hours that teachers are working, but it’s also about the nature of that work – whether it is meaningful, whether people feel they have agency over it, whether people feel they have got the resources to do that work.”

THE ICO have said some things this week Cookies – what does ‘good’ look like?

We have published new guidance on the use of cookies, providing more clarity and certainty on how you can use cookies in your online service. Along with the new guidance, we have updated the cookie control mechanism on our own website, and we have also published a blog in which Ali Shah, Head of Technology Policy, clears up some of the uncertainty that has developed around the issue in recent years.

Also, EE fined £100,000 for illegal text messages:

We have fined telecoms company EE Limited £100,000 for sending over 2.5 million direct marketing messages to customers without consent. Our investigation found that though EE stated the texts were sent as service messages, the texts contained direct marketing and that EE sent them deliberately.
Andy White, ICO Director of Investigations said: “Companies should be aware that texts and emails providing service information which also include a marketing or promotional element must comply with the relevant legislation or they could face a fine up to £500,000.”


Welcome to Sam’s Wall! What a great week we are having with the weather!!

Firstly, I want congratulate Steve Lawrence on being nominated as one of a prestigious line up of Ambassadors for the Midlands Business and Community Charity Awards 2019.



I had the pleasure of attending a meeting in Sheffield this week with Steve Lawrence and met an incredible organisation EdLounge Ltd and some extremely inspiring people including founder and

CEO Sam Warnes

For those who may not be familiar with them, EDLounge Ltd is a high-quality virtual learning classroom and platform which has been proven to raise standards and breakdown barriers to learning for a variety of users with a range of learning abilities, it enhances standards via distance learning providing CPD, Teacher Training, Remote and Flexible Learning.

The company is all about an inclusive education offering 8700 lessons and live teaching  supporting the needs of many different students and is way ahead of its’ competitors and an outstanding provider of high-quality, educational learning platforms offering cutting edge technology and resources to a huge range of markets, they really deliver value for money.  Committed to their customers they break down barriers to learning for all putting the customer’s needs at the heart of everything they do they are one of 32 providers for the Flexible Learning Fund.

Integrity and accountability are important to them as an organisation and they believe learning should have no limits, they raise aspirations through innovative teaching and learning solutions. There are currently 6 sister companies including EdQuals, PE OFFICE Ltd, Purple Turtle and EdExams who offer a range of virtual learning solutions from game-based learning through to end point assessment, PE Sports Interactive Planning and more. See their website for a full breakdown of these remarkable training services.


NEW VIRTUAL LEARNING PLATFORM LAUNCH –(FOR ANY BUSINESS / CORPORATE TRAINING) Something that is very exciting and ground-breaking to the e-learning market is that in September the company will be launching a brand new virtual learning platform which will be available for ANY type of business to utilise as a virtual training platform! The system can be used on a bespoke basis so any type of employee / management / industry accreditation information can be uploaded, and certification sent directly once the learner qualifies. Not only this, the system is set up in such a way that the questions answered by users will identify the weakest areas of their abilities at which point the user can be re-directed to specific areas that will build upon their weak areas.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to train in-house staff, outbound sales people, agents, suppliers, warehouse operatives, bus drivers (anyone at all), this is absolutely the most cost effective, time-saving method of upskilling anyone associated with your business no matter where they are based.

No need to travel across the country, take time out to organise expensive training days and needing to co-ordinate everyone in one place, no need for downtime whilst people train in physical locations, no need to be paying a trainer / training team for every single training session, no need to pay any additional expenses for those you need to train.

This system makes EVERYTHING fully monitorable, tracked and identifies and profiles each individual ‘s training level and core learning capabilities/styles and strong weak areas specifically; absolutely everything is accountable.  This outweighs the benefits of physical training where it isn’t always possible to focus on individual ability. The system means you have a bespoke training package in place you can use again and again without the continual outlay of a physical training situation and every single person is accountable and officially recorded as an individual. The website is yet to be launched and I will explain more later.



A reminder … you don’t want to miss this!  16th November 2019 at Aston Villa Football Club, 6pm to 1am.  Have you got your tickets yet?

The event which was founded by Zoe Bennett and it has become well recognised and firmly placed in the region’s annual calendar attracting 450+ people.

The dinner and business awards evening include a red-carpet drinks reception (at 6pm), 3-course dinner and show stopping entertainment.

The evening celebrates and showcases the best of business and community work throughout the region and the awards are aimed at recognising individuals in both the community and business world who are unsung heroes. By showcasing people that are selfless, considerate to others and go that extra mile, will openly encourage and inspire others to do the same.

This event will be a celebration of all the wonderful deeds that are being done in the region that many may not be aware of.

Twelve awards will be presented at the dinner, including a ‘Unsung S/Hero of the Year Award and a ‘Role Model of the Year Award’. These awards will identify, applaud and promote the best in the region with category finalists and award winners epitomising what it takes to be truly selfless and thoughtful towards others. For more information and tickets go to:  From me Sam have an incredible week everyone !



Vacancies on the jobs board this week include: Domestic Abuse Services Manager with The Hampton Trust [Hampshire], Senior Administrator with Humankind [Leeds], Regional Contract Manager with St. Giles Trust [Suffolk & Norfolk], Drug and Alcohol Practitioner (programmes) with The Forward Trust [Kent], Hub Co-ordinator with Changing Lives [North East], Senior Case Manager with Catch 22 [HMP/YOI Portland], Project Manager with Wandsworth Community Chaplaincy [London], Programme Manager with Key 4 Life [South West], Trustee with 2 Make It [London], Ex-Prisoner Exhibition Hosts with Koestler Arts [London].

For more information about these vacancies, and many more, click here


Tip of the week I: Gin tasting experience for two with food at BrewDog (up to 31% off). Details


Tip of the week 2 Bath escape, breakfast and historical roman baths. Details


All from me Steve and from all the team have a great week and keep training

Non-Executive Director at Five Companies and MD of EEVT Ltd Linked In Group 2020 Vision Group 2020 Vision Training Days and 2020 Vision Newsletter


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