Today’s Education in the media blog looks at the support we are providing to schools and apprentices following the announcement that Carillion, the facilities management and construction company, has gone into compulsory liquidation. The blog will also look at the support we have been providing to improve the education of children with special educational needs.
Today, Tuesday 16 January, there was widespread media coverage that Carillion, the facilities management and construction company, went into compulsory liquidation on Monday, 15 January.
Carillion provides facilities management and catering services to a small number of schools. They are also involved in education building projects, and provide apprenticeships. The Financial Times, the Times, the Guardian, Metro, I News and BBC news all wrote about how schools and apprenticeships might be affected by the compulsory liquidation of Carillion.
Yesterday, Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington, was clear in his statement to the House of Commons that fewer than 250 schools have direct contracts with Carillion.
We have been working closely with schools to provide as much support as possible. All schools have been able to continue to operate as usual.
We have taken steps to transfer the training of all Carillion apprentices to the Construction Industry Training Board. We will continue to work with the apprentices who are have been affected.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Our priority is to ensure schools can continue to operate as usual. We have planned extensively for this and have been working with local authorities and academy trusts since before Christmas to make sure contingency plans are in place.
We are continuing to offer support to schools help minimise disruption for pupils through our designated advice service.
For Carillions apprentices, we have taken steps to protect learners by transferring the training of Carillion apprentices to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and we are grateful to CITB for helping us ensure learners can continue to gain the skills they need.
We will continue to work closely with the CITB to support apprentices to remain in existing placements or to find new employment with other local organisations so they can complete their training.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS SUPPORT
Today, Tuesday 16 January, BBC Breakfast has reported on special educational needs and the introduction of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
We announced in 2014 that Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans would replace statements for children and young people with special educational needs by April 2018.
The new plans will be tailored to a child or young person’s needs (those aged 0 -25 years) and will detail the education, health and care support that is to be provided to a child or young person who has a special educational need or disability.
Local authorities are making good progress in providing these plans ahead of the deadline. The data produced by the BBC, with Special Needs Jungle, shows that over 90% of children are expected to have been assessed and transferred to new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans ahead of the deadline.
A Department for Education Spokesperson said:
“We have introduced the biggest reforms to special educational needs and disability support in a generation – putting families at the heart of the system with new care plans that are tailored to the needs of children and young people.
“Councils are making good progress in implementing these new plans, and we are giving them more than £252m over four years to help them introduce the changes effectively.
“The Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that all special education needs statements will continue to have legal status following the transfer deadline, to ensure no families are adversely affected.”
For information and support about the continuity of public services for employees and suppliers impacted by Carillion please visit the Gov.uk website.