Ofsted Workshops

Following demand from members, GMLPF has arranged two workshops focussing on preparing for Ofsted inspections:

Ofsted for Beginners 15th May

On 15th May we are holding a workshop designed for providers who are Ofsted novices including:

– those who are new on register of training providers, either new to the industry or former sub-contractors 
– subcontractors subject to inspection due to relationship with prime
– staff in providers who are new or know little about Ofsted even though the provider has experience

The workshop will focus on types of inspection, what to expect, structure and components, how to prepare and other key areas.

Lunch will be provided

Book Now: Ofsted for Beginners


Ofsted for Experienced Providers 10th May

This workshop has been designed for providers, who already have an understanding/experience of the Ofsted process. The workshop will cover:

– 4 key aspects of the inspection framework
– Safeguarding & The Prevent Duty
– Data requirements
– Key sources of evidence
– Overview of changes in the most recent update (April 2018) to the Further Education and Skills Inspection Handbook

Delegates will be invited to bring their SAR to the workshop for review & feedback.

Prior to the workshop, delegates will be asked to identify areas of particular concern and submit questions. This will enable us to tailor the workshop to deliver exactly what delegates need.

Workshop is delivered by a current Ofsted inspector with much experience.

Lunch will be provided

Book Now: Ofsted for Experienced Providers


Apprenticeships Funding Workshop: Helping Providers Prepare for new ESFA Financial Assurance Audits 19th March 2018

This workshop helps Apprenticeships providers prepare for the new ESFA financial assurance audits.

The half day workshop looks at the context for the new audits, scope, implications for providers, avoiding pitfalls, and next steps.

The workshop is delivered by Beej Kaczmarczyk, widely recognized as a leading FE funding and planning specialist with in-depth knowledge of post-reform Apprenticeships.

Delegates will have a chance to raise any specific queries they have about the audits prior to the workshop, ensuring their issues will be dealt with during the session.


The date of this workshop is 19th March 2018 from 9.30am to 1pm (registration from 9am). A light lunch will be served afterwards


The workshop will be held at MACTAC Training, Blenheim Street, Liverpool, L5 8UX. Free on-street parking is available – this is a residential area so please respect access to people’s properties.

Book Nowplaces limited

For further information please email pavlina@gmlpf.net

Opportunities for members

A number of potential ESF funding opportunities were highlighted to members in a previous update. To the best of our knowledge, 4 Invitations to Tender will be published covering 4 broad areas of activity.

  • Targeted  support for NEETS and those at risk of NEET with wraparound support
  • Apprenticeship support as referenced in the Apprenticeship Growth Pan
  • Additional support for people with complex conditions
  • Responsive skills fund

GMLPF believes that these ESF tendering opportunities will be of interest to members and we will organise a webinar followed by a series of workshops to discuss how members might get involved. Any members interested in joining a webinar and/or attending should email ian@gmlpf.net in the first instance

Apprenticeships Growth Plan

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has published its draft Apprenticeship Growth Plan. The deadline for comments is the 9th February 2018. Given the tight timetable for responses Ian will be delivering a webinar on the draft Growth Plan at 10.00 on the 7th February. This will enable GMLPF to outline the focus of the plan, an opportunity to discuss any issues and invite feedback which we can then share with the Combined Authority.

Download: Apprenticeship Growth Plan Version 0.10

ESFA Non-Levy Procurement Results

Results of this recent tender exercise were published by the ESFA the week ending the 8th December. We understand that there may be a delay in the ESFA issuing contracts due to several organisations challenging their results.

Funding cut by a third

It is clear that the procurement exercise was over-subscribed at a national level. LCR based providers faced fierce competition, with most organisations having funding requests cut by a third or more it would seem.

Minimum contract value

We are aware that a small number of members have been unsuccessful in receiving a non-Levy funding allocation. Some of these submitted high quality proposals that met and exceeded the scoring criteria. However they have not been awarded an allocation because, following a pro rate reduction by the ESFA, their tender value fell below the £200,000 minimum contract value.

GMLPF survey results

GMLPF surveyed members on the outcomes of the procurement exercise. Despite submitting successful tenders, most members have received allocations significantly below what they anticipated. A number of key messages emerge from our survey, these are:

  • 75% of members who were successful in the tendering exercise believe that the reduced funding allocation will have a negative impact on their organisation
  • 56% indicated that there will be reduced Starts in contrast to only 13% suggesting that they will be able to increase Starts.
  • 44% indicated that there would be reduced provision ie they will cease to deliver certain learning programmes

GMLPF has been working with the LCR Employment and Skills team to raise awareness of the potential consequences of this procurement with the Metropolitan Mayor. There is a concern that the reduced allocations may impact negatively upon the capacity and capability of the local supplier base and their ability to address emerging skills issues.

GMLPF would also like to broker relationships between members who were unsuccessful or have reduced allocation, and those who might now be looking for potential delivery partners. If anybody is looking for delivery partners based in the Liverpool City Region then please contact Ian Lomas at GMLPF on ian@gmlpf.net or 0151 707 8775

Check back to the GMLPF website for further updates

Results of ESFA Non-Levy Apprenticeships Procurement

Last week the ESFA notified applicants about the outcome of the recent procurement exercise for Apprenticeship training for non-levy paying employers. GMLPF is conducting a survey with its members to try to establish the impact of this procurement exercise.

At this early stage, we know the following

  • Nationally, it is clear that the ESFA has awarded learning providers a significantly reduced allocation, using a pro rate formula, than they originally asked for.
  • Regionally in the NW, it would appear that learning providers overall have been awarded funding that equates to approximately 61% and 54% of their 16-18 and 19+ bid values respectively. Some providers may have received more or less than this.
  • That in a number of case ESFA do not appear to have issued details of the scores which the applicant was awarded.
  • That mirroring the recent AEB procurement exercise, some providers have scored very highly and their tender passed the compliance checks and qualitative criteria yet, because their contract award resulted in a contract value of less than £200,000 for the Initial Contract Period , they have been unsuccessful.

Members have been sent a link to an online survey. Please complete the survey as this will provide GMLPF with a clear picture of the impact upon our members of the results that were published last week and assist us to more effectively represent you and lobby for change on your behalf. If you are a member and haven’t received a link please e-mail ian@gmlpf.net

GDPR: What Learning Providers Should Know

Significant changes will take place to data protection laws in May 2018. Learning providers, like all organisations, must prepare for these changes in order to be achieve compliance in time. This process needs to start NOW. Making the correct adaptations will take time. Leaving things to the last minute increases the risk of fines and damage to reputation.

Some initial points for learning providers to note:

  • You must be able to demonstrate that individuals have given their informed consent to having their data collected. It is no longer about opting out – you must show that individuals have OPTED IN
  • Privacy statements must be more detailed and outline specifically what you do with students’ data
  • Internal IT systems and cybersecurity must be reviewed to ensure they meet new security requirements – data breach penalties will increase.
  • Data breaches MUST BE reported to authorities within 72 hours
  • Start by conducting an internal data audit – how and where do you collect data (including sensitive data), where do you store it, who has access etc.

There are many further issues to consider as part of the process of becoming GDPR compliant, all of which will be covered in GMLPF’s forthcoming GDPR masterclasses delivered in association with University Of Salford.

Book now Tuesday 24 October – morning option

Book now Tuesday 24 October – afternoon option

Why should learning providers be GDPR compliant?
  • Avoid fines
  • Demonstrate to learners, parents, employers, funders & Ofsted that you take data security seriously
  • Supports bids – highly likely demonstrable GDPR compliance will become a prerequisite of bidding for public money
  • Avoid damage to reputation – the press are likely to “name and shame”
  • Supports competitive advantage – employers will prefer to partner with providers who are GDPR compliant
Why book on GMLPF’s GDPR masterclass?
  • It’s tailored for learning providers and other organisations in the skills sector
  • It’s delivered by data professionals at University of Salford
  • It’s local – the masterclass is being held at Myerscough College, Croxteth Park, and there’s free parking
  • It’s good value – cheaper than many other GDPR training currently available
  • You get follow up support – all delegates have access to free ongoing support to help you achieve compliance in the run up to May 2018

Book now Tuesday 24 October – morning option

Book now Tuesday 24 October – afternoon option

Need further information? Contact pavlina@gmlpf.net


Learning providers: are you GDPR ready?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from 25th May 2018. As a learning provider, if you are complying with the current Data Protection Act, then you will have the foundation for a good approach to meeting compliance for the additional aspects and enhancements which will apply under GDPR. It is vital that you ensure relevant staff in your organisation are aware of the changes in law and that the organisation is fully compliant with the new requirements.

Key GDPR facts

  • GDPR comes into force from 25th May 2018 – all businesses MUST be compliant by then
  • GDPR has some significant differences to Data Protection Act
  • Fines for non-compliance will be more severe than under DPA: up to 4% of turnover
  • Data breaches will have to be reported to officials within 72 hours
  • Individuals will have to “opt in” whenever data is collected – unlike now where they have to “opt out”, so privacy/data notices will have to be amended
  • Data processing operations will need to demonstrate a “privacy by design” approach – previously this was recommended as best practice, with GDPR it becomes mandatory

Some benefits to being GDPR compliant  

  • Demonstrates to learners, parents, employers, funders, Ofsted and regulatory bodies that your organisation takes data security seriously
  • Supports bidding for funds and tenders – it is extremely likely that demonstrable GDPR compliance will become a prerequisite of bidding for public funding.
  • Avoid potentially severe fines
  • Avoid damage to your reputation – it is likely that press will “name and shame”

Preparing for GDPR: Why book on a GMLPF Masterclass?

GMLPF are running GDPR masterclasses for learning providers on 24th October in association with the University of Salford. Here are some reasons why you should book on one of these workshops:

  • High quality – delivered in association with University of Salford
  • Professional trainer/expert in field – Darren Rose has been providing data handling consultancy and training for nearly a decade
  • Tailored for learning providers
  • Free ongoing follow-up GDPR compliance support for GMLPF members who attend the masterclass
  • Good value – between 200% and 500% cheaper than many GDPR courses on the market
  • Competitive advantage – the sooner you are GDPR compliant, the sooner you can promote this status to employers who will prefer to partner with compliant providers

Book now

GMLPF Masterclass: Helping Learning Providers Prepare for GDPR 24th October 9.30am to 12.15pm

GMLPF Masterclass: Helping Learning Providers Prepare for GDPR 24th October 1pm to 3.45pm


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

ESFA to provide update at GMLPF Autumn Forum

GMLPF’s Autumn Forum takes place on 27th September and will consist of several invaluable information sessions for GMLPF’s members including:

  • Launch of the Education Training Foundation’s Side By Side resource
    EFT will presenting an overview of this free online modular resource on Prevent for use by learners
  • An update from Paul Johnson, Head of Provider Management at Education Skills Funding Agency
  • An update from the Liverpool City Region Employment and Skills team
  • Q&A session with new CEO of GMLPF, Ian Lomas
  • Overview of GMLPF’s new CRM system, designed to provide collective data about LCR learning providers’ impact and needs for use in GMLPF lobbying and negotiating activity conducted on behalf of members.

GMLPF Forums are held 4 times a year, exclusively for members. They are designed to be informative and to provide members with opportunities for direct dialogue with key local and national decision makers and funding bodies in the sector.

Find out more about becoming a GMLPF member