Newsletter & Bids 21 2018

 In bids

Dear Members

This week’s newsletter bids, grants and funds come to you in conjunction with our New sponsors KPI DEVELOPMENT Limited going forward.  Exciting news on that next week with our newsletter going out to around 3,516 professionals in the industry.  Our Bank Holiday special edition has 47 pages of information News, Bids Grants and Funds.

Full details can be downloaded from the link below:


 So after being in Sheffield and Leeds with the Partners for 3 days on the Flexible Learning Fund and seeing the functionality was great.  Many thanks to EDlounge and the Team see more about EDlounge at Also well done on gaining the Matrix Accreditation!


Ofsted will have its powers and budget for FE inspections boosted after the government was embarrassed over apprenticeship accountability, FE Week can reveal. The watchdog will now be given potentially as much as £7 million to visit every new apprenticeship provider. Critically, it will also have the final say over quality.

The decision been dubbed “a victory for common sense, but more importantly it’s a victory for apprenticeships,” by education select committee chair Robert Halfon.

The number of apprenticeship providers which are in scope for inspection has shot up since last year’s reforms, even while Ofsted’s FE and skills budget has fallen, despite many requests for more money. Read more on this at


You may be aware of recent bomb hoax emails being sent to a large number of schools. These emails are suspected to have been sent by an online group calling themselves Apophis Squad and that this group is linked to other cyber activity, including Ransomware and Denial-of-service attacks.  We would suggest you are extra vigilant when dealing with emails. Do not open emails if you are unsure about the source or open attachments within emails, unless you are sure it comes from a trusted source.

If you suspect you have been contacted by Apophis Squad in any form, report this to Action Fraud. You can find further information including best practice for protection on the National Cyber Security Centre website.


The full roll-out of T-levels has been delayed until September 2023 after concerns were raised about the planned pace of the scheme.  However, the T-level pilot, which will involve up to 52 colleges delivering courses in digital (digital production, design and development), childcare and education and construction (design, surveying and planning), will still begin from September 2020, after it was delayed by 12 months last year.

T-levels development will be overseen by the Institute of Apprenticeships (IfA), who describe them as the “Government’s new two-year, technical study programmes available across 11 industry routes…one of the three major options available to students aged 16 – 19, alongside apprenticeships and A levels.”  The 12 month extension to implementation schedule means the government is now expecting the phased introduction of the new qualifications to take four years, as opposed to the three years originally planned.

Read more at:


Aspiring Futures is recruiting for new directors A brief overview Aspiring Futures is an open access centre for women and young girls; our mission is to support women and their families from diverse communities in Wolverhampton and surrounding areas to ‘aspire for better’ by promoting financial independence, mental well-being and social connectedness. Since 2010 we have successfully delivered a large number of funded projects and contracts. Aspiring Futures is a proud winner of Queens Award for Voluntary Service; this highest award was awarded to us in 2016 for our specialist service delivery. The following strategic objectives were agreed by the board, the delivery team and service beneficiaries through our business planning;

Strategic Objective 1: To promote and advance the health and well-being, training, employability and overall economic prospects of hard to reach and economically disadvantaged women

Strategic Objective 2: To develop and manage the organisation effectively

Strategic Objective 3: To become financially self-sustaining through the development of social enterprise initiatives

Since its inception in 2010 Aspiring Futures has worked with over 5000 women and girls – represented by more than 21 diverse cultural backgrounds; 88 % from ethnic minority communities (including White Others) and 12% White British. Majority of the women are between 20 to 64 years of age. At present 22 different organisations are making referrals to us for specialist services, there has been an increase in self-referrals and existing service users referring their family and friends to us. The common barriers faced by our service beneficiaries are low levels of skills, language barriers, unemployment with no history of work, financial dependency, low confidence, negative self-image, history of abuse, relationships, social isolation, depression, anxiety and other mild to moderate mental health illness.

We are looking for two new female board members who can support us in delivering our strategic objectives. We welcome applications from different backgrounds and age groups preferably someone who has experience in financial management, commissioning, mental health and safeguarding. If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity please get in touch with Sofia Haider on 01902 458770 or


Ofsted has taken a highly unusual decision to extend its inspection of NCG, suggesting that not all is well at the nation’s largest college group.

Two teams of inspectors were sent in last Monday owing to achievement rate concerns, and they had been due to wrap up their investigations by the end of last week.

However, inspectors are controversially going back in for one last day today.

It is understood that the visit has not gone well, and that NCG’s current grade two is in danger of being downgraded. Its apprenticeship provision is understood to be of most concern. This is the largest and most complex FE inspection Ofsted has had to undertake

The group, which is currently consulting on significant redundancies, will be desperate to avoid a disastrous ‘inadequate’ rating in this area, which would see it booted off of the government’s register of apprenticeship training providers and banned from offering the courses. Intraining, NCG’s troubled private training provider arm, also had a visit from Ofsted last week. This inspection ended on schedule and it is understood to have resulted in a likely grade three for apprenticeships.

Please


Tomorrow’s People, the employment charity, owed £1.63m to creditors when it collapsed earlier this year, according to the creditors report.  As you will be aware most of its staff lost their jobs in March when the charity entered administration but 20 shop staff have been transferred to a new employer. 

 The charity appointed Lane Bednash from CMB Partners as the administrator in March.

Tomorrow’s People had an income of £4.8m for the year ending March 2017 and employed 135 people at the end of that year, according to its page on the Charity Commission website.  Announcing the closure earlier this year it said: “The charity fundraising landscape has been increasingly tough in recent years, particularly for organisations of the size of Tomorrow’s People.” When it announced its closure it said it was hoping that other providers would be able to take on some of its projects, but the creditors report said this was not possible and most of the staff were made redundant.

Preferential creditors expected to be paid in full

Yesterday Bednash filed a statement of administrator’s proposal with Companies House, setting out the action taken so far to wind down the charity and future plans.

It said the charity owed an estimated £72,603 to preferential creditors, mainly comprising of arears of wages to staff, most of whom were made redundant shortly after administrators were appointed. It also owes £1.56m to unsecured creditors. Staff is owed around £371,290 in redundancy and notice pay, HRMC is owed £79,000.  Administrators expect that preferential creditors will be paid in full while, while unsecured creditors will receive 65p in the pound.

Restricted funds cause delay. The administrator is holding £1.37m in cash in a designated estate account after releasing £694,900 in cash from the charity’s bank accounts and £677,609 from its investments. But the report notes that over £500,000 of the charity’s funds are considered “restricted” meaning they can only be spent on specific things, such as the delivery of a particular programme.

The administrator has asked for legal advice to review the documentation around these funds. “It is hoped that some of the donors of those funds will release the restriction and therefore those funds will form part of the charity’s assets,” it said. “If this is the case then the charity’s assets will increase accordingly, which will increase the dividend to be paid to creditors.” But because there are up to 25 separate restricted funds it will “take several months before a final position can be agreed”.

– See more at:


A Direction was published today by the Secretary of State for Education in relation to T Levels. A Ministerial Direction is an established part of departmental business. It is used by Ministers to request that their Accounting Officer (AO) proceed with a course of action. We have always been clear that the T Level programme is ambitious. We remain absolutely committed to its successful implementation and will continue to monitor progress to ensure that we are on track to deliver successful, sustainable reforms in 2020. Our delivery partners have been central to helping us develop our plans and the commitment they have shown in ensuring successful delivery is incredibly valuable.

We will publish further details of our plans for implementation shortly, in our government response to the T Levels consultation and the announcement of the first providers selected to teach T Levels from September 2020. Outline content for the first 3 T Levels will also be published later this week.


The Care to Learn application form for the academic year 2018 to 2019 is now available for students to complete online.

The Care to Learn guide for the academic year 2018 to 2019 includes good practice examples on how to: Raise awareness of the scheme and Support young parents with their applications

Please make eligible students aware of the scheme and how it can help them access education and training. You might also like to display the Care to Learn poster to raise awareness.


 Gang violence and conflict has dominated much of recent news reporting in the UK. Unprecedented levels of violence have sparked new discussions and debates about what is happening, why it is happening and how it can be prevented.

Peace Partners is hosting a Waves of change Forum to look more closely at these questions; to discuss the why and how and to promote peace as a resolution to gang related conflict in the UK.

How can we promote peaceful measures in combatting violence? Why is gang related violence at an all time high? What more can we do to alleviate the roots of this issue? These are some of the questions we will explore as part of The Croydon Festival of Peace, with our event in London on the 22nd June. We welcome an audience whose work is connected to these themes or has an interest in them.

Among our guest speakers will be politicians, activists and members of organisations working in this area, as well as individuals whose lives have been affected by gangs and those working to promote peaceful resolutions. We promise an afternoon of thought provoking  and insightful conversations addressing some of the challenges we face today, an engaging panel Q & A session and music.

A key element will be a screening of the film Peace is Inevitable, which depicts the lives and perils of young gang members in Ecuador and how they find peace as a method of conciliation.

For tickets please contact where you can also get more information about attending or getting involved in the event.


The Ministry of Justice and its agencies, in partnership with 27 arm’s length bodies, deliver prison, probation and youth custody services; administer criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals; and support victims, children, families and vulnerable adults.

The Secretary of State’s priorities in 2018/19 are to:

  • Get the basics right by providing decent, safe and modern prisons that tackle criminal activity and drug abuse, whilst providing strong incentives for prisoners to reform.
  • Ensure a sustainable prison population by exploring options for, and building confidence in, non-custodial sentences and by tackling reoffending though a cross-government approach.
  • Promote the rule of law, champion our independent, world-class judiciary, and provide an effective and fair justice system which serves all users, whenever they need it.
  • Ensure growth and readiness for leaving the EU by seeking the best possible outcome from EU Exit negotiations and ensuring that English law and courts remain a primary choice for international businesses.
  • Maintain a continued tight grip of departmental finances.

These priorities build on the department’s existing strategic objectives which are to provide a prison and probation service that reforms offenders, deliver a modern courts and justice system, promote a global Britain and the rule of law, and transform the department.

This plan sets out how we will deliver these priorities.

Our objectives

We will:

  1. Provide a prison and probation service that reforms offenders
  2. Deliver a modern courts and justice system
  3. Promote a global Britain and the rule of law
  4. Transform the department

Read more at–2


The Greater London Authority is locked in a war of words with the government over Sadiq Khan’s plan to top-slice £3 million from the adult education budget to cover the costs of devolution.  The Department for Education insisted it had awarded the GLA “sufficient funds to prepare”, having provided £235,139 in “implementation funding” between September 2017 and the end of March – more than any other local authority.

But there will be no further cash to cover ongoing administrative costs after the London authority and seven other mayoral combined authorities take over responsibility from next year.  However, there’s no legal restriction on how much a combined authority will be able to take from the AEB funding pot to use instead.  FE Week exclusively revealed last week that the GLA will top-slice slightly under one per cent of the capital’s annual AEB budget to cover the wages of around 50 administrators.

The London mayor’s plan brought an angry reaction from a few London college principals, stinging his deputy for planning, regeneration and skills into writing an expert piece for this week’s paper.  His deputy Jules Pipe said on his behalf that the move had been forced on the GLA.  “It is no use simply giving the mayor notional control over these funds,” he wrote.

“He also needs the resource to allow him to spend the funds swiftly and effectively to meet the needs of Londoners and London’s economy.  “So far, the mayor’s request to government for an ongoing and sensible budget to administer this funding has been denied.”



Winners of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards have many good stories to tell. Among the success stories in the room at the 2017 awards, one winner has good reason to describe her experience as life changing.  Naila Bibi won the Financial, Legal and Professional Services category and was crowned overall Asian Apprentice of the Year. Since winning the award her career has really taken off, and many new opportunities have presented themselves.

Naila joined Aspire Housing, based in Stoke on Trent, as a Business Administration Apprentice in September 2016. She had just left school and was convinced that an Apprenticeship was the right route for her.

She explained: “I’m the sort of person who learns by doing a job, rather than sitting in a classroom. I studied Business Studies in Year 9 and I really liked the idea of working in an office environment. The Human Resources part of the course was the most enjoyable, and I was keen to work in that field.”

Her job involves supporting the Human Resource team and making arrangements for interviews. She enjoys meeting new people every day and being the face of the business to interview candidates. She said: “You can often get an accurate impression of someone when they come for an interview, if they are going to be good to work with, and I am often encouraged to give my feedback to colleagues as part of the selection process.

She is studying for an NVQ level 2 with training provider PM Training, who put her forward for the Asian Apprenticeship Awards in 2017.
Naila said “I think it was brilliant that they put me forward. It was an amazing night, with great food and entertainment. Even before I won it was the best night ever, but to win the overall Apprentice of the Year was fantastic.”

Since winning the award Naila has had some amazing opportunities. “In the first few days I did interviews with the BBC Asian Network, and BBC Radio Stoke, and I featured in 24Housing magazine, which a lot of my colleagues read!  “Since then, I’ve been out to local schools talking to year 10 and 11 pupils about interview skills and about apprenticeships. PM Training also asked me to be their ambassador for Staffordshire and I spoke at a Key Supplier Event at Staffordshire Showground recently, in front of 200 people about how my apprenticeship is changing my life!”

Naila is aware that within the British Asian community many families are keen for their young people to go to university and don’t consider apprenticeships as an option, but she is quick to point out that her family was really open minded and supportive of her choice.

“I love the concept that I’m earning while I’m learning. And many people don’t realise that you can also now take the apprenticeship route to a degree, the advantage being that you have all the work experience to back up your qualification.”

Her ambition is to work on her NVQ level 3 this autumn and go on to study for a HR qualification. When asked if training providers should enter their British Asian apprentices for the 2018 Awards she was very clear “This has been a brilliant and life changing experience for me, and they should definitely go for it!”   Beth Clarke is HR Business Partner at Aspire Housing, and is Naila’s line manager. She commented: “Winning the award has been a huge honour for Naila and for our team and PM Training! Naila absolutely deserved the recognition for her hard work and commitment to her apprenticeship and there is no doubt as to the positive impact the experience has had on her.

“Since winning the award, we have seen Naila continue to grow in confidence and embrace the fantastic opportunities the awards have opened up for her. We are very proud of how far Naila has come, she truly is a model apprentice and is an asset to our team and organisation – we are lucky to have her!”

Nominations are now open for British Asian Apprentices, their Employers and Learning Providers in the following categories:

  • Finance, Legal and Professional Services
  • Retail, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Charity, Voluntary and Public Services
  • Construction
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Health, Medical and Social Care
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Creative and Digital
  • Small/Medium Enterprise of the year
  • Large Business of the year
  • Learning Provider of the year

Nominations end on 31 July 2018 and shortlists will be announced on 3rd October 2018. For details and entry forms see


Tip of the week I: Double room in Paris with Eiffel Tower room for £55 Details


Tip of the week 2: British Coach tour from £28 Details


Tip of the week 3: Three tier wedding cake £124 Details


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

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