NCFE Update July 2020

This is the latest update received from NCFE:

Campaign for Learning and white papers

We’re delighted to confirm that Campaign for Learning, an educational services charity and policy influencer in learning, has now officially joined the NCFE family.

There is huge synergy between NCFE’s core purpose to promote and advance learning and Campaign for Learning’s commitment to ‘the advancement of education by encouraging the active participation of individuals in all sections of society in the process of lifelong learning.’ NCFE’s investment in the charity’s future means we can continue to work together for the benefit of the sector but with renewed focus, leveraging each other’s strengths in core areas of education to help engage more people in learning.

Our latest joint white paper to be published, ‘Revolutionary Forces’, is a joint commission of expert articles penned by leading authorities from the FE sector, as well as labour market economics, employment and mental health. The authors explore some of the key challenges facing the nation throughout the 2020s which the DfE needs to take into consideration when writing their recommendations. It urges the Government to ensure that the plans outlined in the forthcoming post-16 white paper are sufficiently flexible to meet the immense changes facing the UK economy.

3 Part Bid Support Webinars

We are aware of the challenging times providers face at the moment, with changing tender opportunities such as DWP or NSF. Join Steve O’Hare, owner and Director of SCLO Consulting, as he offers support on everything from getting tender ready, to finding great business opportunities and best practice for bid writing. These webinars are a free feature, delivered as part of NCFE’s new Go the Distance Youth Employability initiative – more details coming soon.

Webinar 1: Bid Support: Getting Tender Ready 

Monday 27 July


Book now

Webinar 2: Bid Support: Tendering 101

Monday 3 August


Book now

Webinar 3: Bid Support: Improving Tender Success

Monday 10 August


Book now

New Qualifications

Our product development team have been working hard over lockdown to ensure we have new, relevant qualifications to offer in priority sectors, especially where we know Covid has shown impacts on workforce and environment.

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Climate Change and Environmental Awareness (603/5683/2)

NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Cancer Support (603/5860/9)

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Coding (603/5854/3)

NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Coding Practices (603/5793/9)

NCFE Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Cyber Security (603/5853/1)

NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Cyber Security Practices (603/5762/9)

NCFE Level 2 Diploma for Customer Service Practitioners (603/5681/9)

We also have some qualifications that are on their way. See our coming soon page.

T Levels

Our T Levels teams have been working throughout lockdown to ensure we continue to deliver on our T Levels contracts. Wave 1 qualifications are now approved and released, as I’m sure participating wave 1 providers will know already. We have a large offer of support available for these including webinars and one to one curriculum consultations, as well as draft materials available on our website.

We are also well on our way developing qualifications for our wave 2 contracts. We have been working closely with providers and employers to ensure our content is suitable for market, and are proud to be working with employers such as Apple, IBM, Siemens, Fujitsu, techUK, Health Education England, GSK, Jaguar Land Rover and Skills for Care, along with many others.

We’re always happy to talk to anyone who would like to support on employer engagement or qualification development for our other T Level contracts, so please do encourage anyone to contact me if they would like to talk more about this.

Supporting the healthcare sector with free EPA

To recognise the incredible work from our NHS and wider healthcare colleagues during these trying times, we’re offering 1000 free end-point assessments (EPAs) for Nursing Associate apprentices.

As a leading educational charity and End-Point Assessment Organisation, we have chosen to offer this as a gesture of appreciation and to support Nursing Associates to progress into the workforce as quickly as possible. We are also very mindful of the extreme pressure on the public purse, so want to do what we can to help minimise this. Find out more or express your interest here.



LCR Taskforce and Youth Offer

The LCR Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) and DWP convened a meeting last week to set out its plans to support the city region’s young people aged 18+ who are unemployed or who are facing redundancy

As shown in our recent research and national studies too, younger people are most likely to be impacted by the downturn, especially 16 to 25-year-olds.

Accordingly, the LCR MCA and DWP want to help the 18-24 age group access appropriate information, advice and guidance. They wish to establish a network of physical hubs (across the LCR) to enable easy access, a virtual hub offering access to remote services and to produce a digital calendar of IAG activities.

They would like to know if members can assist by playing a role in

  • Encouraging young people to get involved with design and delivery by promoting the MMYAG?
  • Joining the LCR Youth Employment Task Force?
  • Delivering a virtual event for young people?
  • Promoting the Youth Offer once it is up and running?
  • Offering space that could host a physical youth hub regularly?
  • Providing staff that could work on an outreach basis from a youth hub?

They are also keen to pull together the digital calendar of IAG events to promote to young people. If you have any relevant activities planned, please complete the youth offer template and return it to [email protected] by Friday 17th July. It is the intention, I understand, to update this regularly and publicise the opportunities on a new LCRCA Youth Offer Portal. Hopefully, there will be an official launch on Monday 27th July.

Download slides

Outcome of Recent EIF Consultation Exercise

We are sharing a set of slides that Ofsted have provided on the recent consultation on the proposed EIF. Members should note that the consultation, Ofsted’s widest consultation to date, supported the broad thrust of Ofsted’s proposed EIF. There are, from reading the feedback, few material changes to the proposed structure and focus of the EIF.

Key messages from the feedback

  • Curriculum will be at the heart of the inspection process with less reliance on data. Inspectors will focus on curriculum design, coverage, relevance and delivery
  • There will be a new quality of education judgement and inspection handbooks have been updated. Interestingly a 1 year transition period has been introduced which will be reviewed at the end of the 12 month period
  • Ofsted have made amendments to the EIF to reflect that, specifically in relation to personal development and behaviour and attitudes, they will recognise providers working in challenging circumstances

(GMLPF will look to understand the practical implications of these changes on providers and provide more information)

  • It would appear that high needs or SEND learners and provision to support those groups will be graded separately rather than as a cross cutting theme
  • Ofsted proposed to introduce pre-inspection on site preparation to facilitate smoother inspections – this has been rejected
  • The timescale for re-inspection for those providers graded RI has been extended from 12-24 months to 12-30 months
  • Mental health is a recurring theme and Ofsted’s new EIF will look at the range of pastoral care that providers are offering in this area

GMLPF Member Survey – The Results Are In!

Thank you to all members who took the time to complete our survey last month. The results will help us continue to deliver the services you have said are particularly useful, and show us that over the past 12 months we have been on the right track in delivering what members need. Key findings can be viewed below.



Apprenticeships – national news

Transfer of levy funds

As of the beginning of April, Levy paying employers can now transfer up to 25% of their annual levy funds to other organisations to use for apprenticeships training and assessment. Previously the transfer limit was 10%. Certain conditions apply.

Guidance on levy transfer


Decrease in co-investment rate for non-levy payers

From 1st April, non-levy paying employers will be required to make just a 5% contribution to training and assessment costs for their apprentices, with the Government covering 95% costs. Previously employers were required to make 10% contribution


Fire it Up Communications Toolkit

Some providers linked in with the national apprenticeship Fire It Up campaign during National Apprenticeship Week by adopting the modified apprenticeships logo and linking in with other aspects of the campaign. The Fire It Up campaign is ongoing and there are full branding guidelines available to download with links to logos.

Download branding guidelines

Liverpool City Council NEET Reduction Strategy

LIverpool Provider Network facilitated a workshop last week to consider and discuss the recently published Liverpool City Council draft NEET Reduction Strategy; “Inspiring:Engaging:Progressing”

Following the workshop, GMLPF has produced a draft consultation response incorporating members’ views. Anybody wishing to add further comments can do by e-mailing [email protected] by midday Wednesday 6th March.

Download LPN/GMLPF Response to draft LCC Inspiring Engaging Progressing Strategy


Functional Skills Reform Update

Building on the Functional Skills Reform workshop we ran in December with NCFE CACHE, a number of useful mapping documents have been produced by CACHE that will be of use to both Tutors and Management Teams in providers. These mapping documents detail the key changes for each area of functional skills, details of what has changed level and what content is new in each area.

The links below take you to set of PDF resources which will be invaluable in preparing for the introduction of Functional Skills Reform in September 2019.


Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2


Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2

Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge (ASK) for Schools Update

GMLPF is delivering the ASK programme (Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge) this year in Halton, Liverpool, St Helens and Sefton. Jan Agger, who is working for GMLPF on this project, has been visiting schools in these areas to deliver activities which improve students’ and teachers’ understanding of Apprenticeships

At the end of Quarter 1 (August to November), GMLPF had engaged with 19 schools, of which 9 had not previously participated in the ASK programme. This suggests that schools are increasingly interested in understanding more about Apprenticeships.


Over 2000 school pupils have benefited

To date, GMLPF has delivered 31 information and activity sessions in schools to a total of 2229 students, 96 teachers and 122 parents. In addition, we have helped 364 individuals register onto the Find An Apprenticeship service portal.

Looking forward to 2019, GMLPF will be targeting schools who haven’t participated, showing their year 11 to 13 students how to register on the national Find An Apprenticeship website and apply for opportunities. We will be capitalising on the promotional opportunities presented by National Apprenticeship Week 2019 and forthcoming regional Skills Shows.  


Specialist schools

We will also be targeting specialist schools to ensure  their students have access to Apprenticeships information and support. This ties in with other work GMLPF is doing to address SEND issues.