Today’s Education in the Media blog responds to a story on the apprenticeship levy, while we also look at comments from the Education Secretary in relation to protests in Birmingham against LGBT issues being taught in schools.
Today, Monday 21 October, the public service union Unison issued a press notice about unused apprenticeship levy funds – saying that NHS health trusts in England have over £200m of levy funding not being used. This has been covered by the Metro, the Sun, the Mirror and TES.
The NHS is a major contributor to the apprenticeship levy and the public sector apprenticeship target. We work closely with employers and Health Education England to ensure that the NHS is fully supported to recruit apprentices both in nursing and in other occupations.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The apprenticeship levy means more money is available than ever before for training, giving employers of all sizes - including the NHS - the freedom to invest in the skills they need.
We have introduced flexibilities to help employers spend their levy funds. It means employers now have 24 months to spend their levy funds and large employers are able to transfer up to 25% of their funds to other businesses.
On Saturday 19 October, the Times published an article based on comments from the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, condemning the protests that have taken place outside Anderton Park School and Parkfield School in Birmingham over the course of recent months, against LGBT issues being taught in schools.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
There is no excuse for these demonstrations to be held outside any of these schools. It is disgusting that a small number of people, many of whom have no actual connection to the school, for purely political reasons are creating a situation where children, teachers and parents feel intimidated.
It’s vitally important that schools teach how Britain is today. That is the system we’ve specifically created and that’s why we are trying to put in the support that is needed.