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Sector news, 11 - 17 January 2015

Government sent back to the drawing board on apprenticeship funding reforms TES, 13 January 2015

No clear favourite has emerged from a consultation exercise on a new system of apprenticeship funding, so more work will be done to find a solution. The government had consulted on two options to put employers in control of apprenticeship funding, either through the pay-as-you-earn system or a new system of credits. But today it said feedback from more than 1,400 respondents had shown no clear preference for either option, with concerns over both around administration and cash flow. More detailed design work would be carried out before a final decision. While FE sector bodies welcomed the announcement and the fact the government had listened to their concerns, there were warnings that further delays could be damaging.The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) said it was clear that employers wanted to be more engaged in the management and delivery of apprenticeships but did not want to be “tied up” in administration and funding. It is working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency to develop a model to encourage more employers to get involved.

Shake-up teacher training routes to tackle recruitment crisis, universities urge TES, January 13 2015

A shake-up of university training that allows new teachers to swap between higher education and school-based courses would help tackle the looming teacher shortage, universities have said. The move could see new trainees switching between programmes regardless of which one they applied to in order to increase the chances of filling places, said the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (Ucet). The call comes as the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is commissioning new research into why students choose different routes into the profession, in the wake of figures showing a recruitment shortfall in key subjects. James Noble-Rogers, Ucet executive director, said while the different training schemes offered choice, they could also be confusing. Rather than the existing range of options, there could be a case for grouping training routes into undergraduate, postgraduate and employment-based, allowing greater movement between them, he added.