Manchester Growth Company New Matrix Standard Centre

1. Reminder: the deadline to express an interest to deliver T Levels in 2022 to 2023 academic year is Friday 28 February 2020

We would like to remind providers that the deadline to express an interest to deliver T Levels in 2022 to 2023 academic year is 12 midnight on Friday 28 February 2020.

Please ensure you are registered with DfE sign-in and have the access approved by your organisations approver ahead of returning the form.

2. Information: update on the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England – the process for removal of funding for qualifications with low and no enrolments

In the first stage consultation of the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below, which closed in June 2019, the Department for Education (DfE) outlined its intention to make early progress in removing funding approvals for qualifications with low and no enrolments. This will help to streamline and stabilise the publicly funded offer in advance of further reform.

On Thursday 13 February 2020, we set out how we will be taking forward the process to confirm which qualifications with low and no publicly funded enrolments will have public funding approval removed from August 2021. The qualifications in scope of this process were detailed in a list, also published on 13 February.

Awarding organisations must tell DfE if they believe a qualification should retain approval for public funding by Friday 27 March 2020.

We know that in some cases there will be clear reasons why a qualification might have low demand, and we have designed the process to consider this. We will assess the evidence provided by awarding organisations against specific criteria including, for example, that removing funding for a qualification would have a significant adverse impact on particular student groups, occupations or geographical areas.

If you are concerned about a qualification on the list, you should contact your awarding organisation.

Further information and documentation can be found on GOV.UK.

3. Information: the integrated financial model for colleges (IFMC)

We are hosting the final Q&A webinar on Wednesday 26 February 2019, between 12 and 1pm, to answer your queries regarding population of the new model.

To sign up to attend the webinar, please email [email protected].

4. Information: new Apprenticeship Service webinar in February 2020

The Apprenticeship Service is holding another webinar for training providers in February.

Training providers will see a demonstration of the journey employers and providers take when they use the apprenticeship service. This webinar will help training providers to support smaller employers that do not pay the levy, to use the service. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in a live Q&A.

The webinar ‘Training Providers: a step by step guide to support smaller employers using the apprenticeship service’ is on Thursday 27 February 2020, from 12.00pm to 12.45pm.

You can sign up now.

You can watch all Apprenticeship Service webinar recordings on YouTube.

You can follow @ESFAdigital on Twitter.

5. Information: update on our provider roadshows

ESFA will host the second series of provider roadshows in February and March for main providers on the register of apprenticeship training providers (RoATP).

Emails to register have been sent out to all main providers on RoATP. If you have not received an email to register, please contact us at [email protected].

Our spring 2020 provider roadshows build on feedback from previous events. The insight and information we collected has informed our planning, to help make sure we bring you, our providers, on our change journey with us.

The roadshows are being held around the country throughout February/March as follows:

  • Tuesday 25 February, North East – East Durham College (few places left)
  • Tuesday 3 March, North West – Haydock Park Racecourse
  • Thursday 5 March, London – Holiday Inn, Wembley (few places left)
  • Tuesday 24 March, Midlands – The Citrus Hotel, Coventry (few places left)
  • Thursday 26 March, South – Farnborough College of Technology
  • Tuesday 31 March, South West – Taunton Conference Centre at Taunton RFC

Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. We hope very much to see you in a few weeks!

6. Information: update on the matrix Standard

The matrix Standard is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the quality of the delivery of high-quality information, advice and guidance. DfE supports the matrix Standard as the quality framework for accrediting information, advice and guidance including the National Careers Service Area Based Contractors, their subcontractors, and other services funded by ESFA.

On 11 January 2020, following a robust tendering process in 2019, DfE appointed The Growth Company as the new centre responsible for managing all matrix Standard assessments and accreditations on behalf of the DfE.

DfE has asked The Growth Company to begin a full review of the matrix Standard and its assessment approach, to ensure that it:

  • continues to develop and meet the needs of the information, advice and guidance sector
  • provides value for money
  • provides an independent third party accreditation
  • uses the latest technology without losing the rigour of the assessment process

The Growth Company wants to involve as many matrix customers in this review as possible, as well as other important stakeholders. Further information on the review will be provided in the autumn of 2020.

The matrix Standard website is still available, and The Growth Company will be developing a growing range of support materials. You can also contact them via:

7. Your feedback: have your say in the design of a new staff data collection

Do you handle your organisation’s staff data? If so, have your chance to help design ESFA’s new staff data collection.

You can share your views by email at [email protected].

The views submitted will add to those already collected through our FE workforce data consultation and will be used to design and implement the new workforce data collection approach.

By having a comprehensive view of workforce data we can then better support policy development, identify skills gaps and hope to reduce the burden on providers to respond to a range of workforce data requests

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