Sarah Marples

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who has joined my campaign through Promote-Ed to make the skills sector one of positivity. I have been overwhelmed by the participation in our first 5 weeks of operation with over 500 registered users for our forums. Our news articles are reaching many thousands of practitioners across the sector and I have received many telephone calls from providers seeking support and advice. We have been able to direct everyone who has made contact and will continue to do so over the months and years ahead. I am determined with the promote-ed team to becoming a leading support network across this amazing sector and we will defeat the negativity that currently cuts across the sector which we should all be proud of.

I, therefore, have produced for Ministers and regulators a summary of the top 10 issues which our subscribers are raising with us together with some easy to implement recommendations which will make everyone’s lives easier. Some might consider it presumptuous to send this out but they are important issues that need addressing – I am looking forward to receiving their responses with anticipation.

So what are those top 10 issues that keep coming back regularly to the team:

-          The Need to improve ESFA account management is top of the list

-          Implementing any new sub-contracting guidance on a measured basis

-          Clarity required on some aspects of the non-levy funding proposals

-          The important issue of changes of control when providers either sell or change their shareholding structures

-          The current archaic process for assessing the financial health of providers – particularly large PTP’s

-          EPAO and the need for greater support and transparency

-          The impact on providers of OFSTED monitoring visits

-          That further work needs to be undertaken on the consultation on costs of Apprenticeships – particularly in relation to non eligible costs

-          To get practitioners involved in future funding guidance and

-          Finally to review the basis on which regulators interact with the trade press to remove the hostile environment in which the sector operates.

This will be the first of many documents we will produce – we will share our work with you, share the responses we obtain and monitor the impact we are having.

We can only achieve this with your participation which so far has been outstanding. Encourage your colleagues in all roles to register at www.promote-ed.co.uk and join me on the journey to make a difference to the sector I have been proud to have worked in for over 20 years.

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Join the change for positivity and together we will make THE difference

Sarah Marples, Promote-Ed

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