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Sector news, 23 February - 1 March 2014

The UK needs a revolution in the way maths is taught. Here's why… Guardian, 23 February 2014

In this article, mathematician Conrad Wolfram argues that learning by rote is not the answer to maths, and unlocking the creative power of problem-solving is what will enthuse British schoolchildren and make them world-class.

NCFE and funding changes , 27 February 2014

This article from the NCFE looks at how they are responding to significant changes to funding rules announced by the Skills Funding Agency which might result in the removal of public funding for some of their 19+ qualifications in 2014/15. In some cases, they are appealing about the loss of funding for some qualifications, and in others they are re-evaluating them and working with employers to make sure they remain fit for purpose.

Nick Clegg plans employment safety net for 16-year-olds who don’t go to university Independent, 27 February 2014

Young people who do not want to go to university will enter a UCAS-style clearing system at age 16 in an attempt to stop them drifting onto the dole. The Government planned to announce a package of measures to help the “forgotten” one million 16-24 year-olds dubbed “Neets” – those not in education, employment or training. The move follows criticism that the current system gives much more help to the 40 per cent who go university than to the 60 per cent who do not. Sixteen-year-olds will be able to use a “one stop shop” website to help them plan their next move. Run by local authorities, it will be modelled on the UCAS system for applying to university but will instead provide details of college courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and job opportunities. Jobcentres will also open for the first time for 16-17 year olds for advice on finding work, and there will be a trial scheme under which 18-21 year olds out of work for six months will lose their Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if they have not achieved Level 2 maths and English and refuse training.