Eileen Milner, Chief Executive, ESFA

Christmas and New Year message from Eileen Milner:

This is my second year as Chief Executive and I continue to be amazed by the dedication of our staff and service providers to help improve the life chances of children, young people and adult learners alike.

In the past year, we have allocated £41.4 billion to over 25,000 colleges, training providers, maintained schools (through local authorities) academies, high needs institutions and early years institutions. Giving more than 12.6 million students the chance to strive for a brighter future.

Assigning £41.4 billion was no small feat - to put this in proportion, this is more than the total GDP of some countries such as Bolivia!

This year has seen huge progress towards implementing one of the biggest school funding system changes, the National Funding Formula, for well over a decade. This funding is enabling circa 8 million learners achieve and aspire through their early learning journeys.

By handling such a large funding pot, our work never stops in ensuring quality learning experiences and value for money for the public purse. An example of this work is, challenging, this year, 213 academy trusts on their highest salary awards and the tightening of the application process to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, to ensure better apprenticeship regulation.

Further, this year has seen the most concentrated period of structural change, since the establishment of the further education sector in 1993, with substantial college mergers and academy conversion programme. We have had 12 college mergers during 2018 and 3 sixth form colleges have converted to academies.

More apprenticeship employers are now benefiting using a transformational leading apprenticeship digital service, who were awarded a spot on the top 100 digital leaders of 2018 list.

The agency and its learning providers should all be proud of what we have achieved this year. I hope we can build upon our accomplishments to ensure we make the education and skills sector something other nations envy.

Whilst we have seen some incredible achievements, there is still a long way to go to ensure our processes are simple, straightforward and streamlined. We want our service providers to find the education and skills funding process uncomplicated and trouble-free.

Our post-16 providers are now liaising with a single team to manage contracts and allocations and our apprenticeship providers are benefitting by having a central team delivering an end-to-end service for apprenticeships, following the Apprenticeships and Professional and Technical Education (PTE) teams transfer this year. Benefits of these streamlined services will continue to be realised throughout the year ahead.

In the coming year, we will establish contract managers for the largest providers to build relationships and to ensure we have better oversight on compliance with our funding rules, and data reporting to support funding and qualifications.

We will also implement a new stronger register of apprenticeship training providers and discuss with providers introducing a provider earnings cap will also ensure better oversight into providers’ rapid expansions.

We also continue our work to support further education colleges for the introduction of the College Insolvency Regime, in April.

Collaboration with the further education sector is also key to building on what the Education Secretary recently championed, that the vocational route is as well respected as A-levels and academic degrees. Through one voice we must ensure that sector achievements are realised to put these on an equal footing.

2019 will not be without its challenges. At a time where funding remains tight, it is more important than ever that the agency works with the education sector to ensure efficiencies can be made.

One example of where findings are being realised are through a School Resource Management Advisers pilot, which has been extended recently following successfully finding over £35 million of savings and revenue generation opportunities to help schools maximise their resources and budget.

We must continue to gather insight from your experiences to make better use of our data and we must focus on the goal of making life easier for providers - so they can concentrate on the important job of educating the next generation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many education providers, employers and trusts I have had the pleasure of working with and I look forward to continuing this work with you throughout the year ahead.

Eileen Milner, Chief Executive, ESFA

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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

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We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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