Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Education Secretary’s visit to Scotland as well as reports on children’s care and the apprenticeship levy.
Yesterday, Monday 16 September, the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson visited Scotland. This was covered by the Scotsman, STV and the Times. Coverage focused on the assurance that EU students in Scotland will be able to complete their degrees after the UK leaves the European Union.
The visit also provided the Education Secretary the opportunity to meet with representatives from Scottish universities and discuss their shared ambition for the UK to retain their place as world-leading educators.
Yesterday, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children released a report on children placed in ‘out of borough’ care settings. The report said they are more vulnerable to be exploited by ‘county lines’ drug gangs. This was covered by BBC Online, the Telegraph, the Independent, the Guardian, the Times, the Mail and the Metro.
A Government spokesperson said:
Councils must make sure all children in their care are in safe and suitable accommodation. In some cases, this provision is not meeting the quality standards we expect for our children, which is why we are working with the sector and Ofsted to tackle any issues related to poor practice where it occurs.
We are building our evidence base to better understand how unregulated accommodation or out-of-area placements are used. We are also improving how local areas respond when a child in care goes missing and helping local areas tackle the risks vulnerable young people face, like exploitation from ‘county lines’ gangs, through our £2 million national programme.
Today, Tuesday 17 September, the CBI issued a press notice which makes recommendations to improve the apprenticeship levy. This was covered by the Financial Times, the Times, I News and FE Week.
Large businesses can now transfer up to 25% of their levy funds to smaller employers so they can invest in high-quality apprenticeship training for their staff.
We have also extended from 12 to 24 months the period employers have to spend their levy funds. To help smaller employers manage their own apprenticeships more effectively, we're beginning the process of bringing them onto the digital apprenticeship service.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The apprenticeship levy means more money is available than ever before for training, giving employers of all sizes the freedom to invest in the skills they need.
We have introduced additional flexibilities to help employers spend their levy funds and continue to work with them to ensure they take advantage of the benefits apprentices can bring to their businesses. Our next steps are to look carefully at the future priorities for the apprenticeship programme and what more we can do in this important sector.