New Technical and Further Education Bill Launched
A new Technical and Further Education Bill has been tabled by the Department for Education (DfE) which sets out plans for technical education which is “fit for the workforce of tomorrow”.
Among the changes are proposals to rename the newly formed overseer of apprenticeship standards as the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.
The bill includes plans for:
- Boosting technical education to ensure it is high quality and responds to employers’ needs, extending the role of the new Institute of Apprenticeships to include all technical education rather than just apprenticeships
- A new insolvency regime to protect the interests of students if colleges face closure due to bankruptcy, expected to take effect in the 2018/19 academic year
- Focusing on good quality technical education and information sharing
The bill includes measures to ensure that information about Adult Education Budget spending is still shared effectively with Government following devolution of the budget to combined authorities.
The details published in relation to a new insolvency regime follow a consultation which took place over the summer months.
The insolvency proposals include the introduction of a Special Administration Regime (SAR) which will ensure that the best interests of the students are considered before those of creditors. This would be managed by an education administrator, however the government has not yet developed the processes for deciding who would be put forward for this role.
The new bill comes six months after the government committed to implementing the recommendations of Lord Sainsbury’s Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education.
Speaking about the new bill, Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP said:
“I am clear that to build a country that works for everyone, each part of the education system needs to deliver for our young people.
“High-quality technical and further education is not only vital in opening up doors to young people in some of the hardest to reach areas of the country, it also helps local businesses get the skilled workforce they need to drive up the productivity and economic growth that our economy needs.
“The reforms in this bill are fundamental to the government’s vision of ensuring all young people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
The bill will sit alongside the Children and Social Work Bill, Higher Education and Research Bill, and the DfE’s consultation on creating more “good” school places, and will need to be passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords before it can take effect.
You can view the bill here.