The full letter
I know the Institute and its Board share my commitment for apprenticeships to support learners to develop and progress and employers to build a talent pipeline and increase the productivity of their business.
I am absolutely determined to make sure levy funds are being used to support the people that can benefit most from an apprenticeship, such as those starting out in their careers or helping more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get ahead, and that we ensure good value for money in the apprenticeships offer. My officials will be working closely with you through the Spending Review process to make sure that we achieve that balance.
In that context, am unconvinced that having an apprenticeship standard that includes an MBA paid for by the levy is in the spirit of our reformed apprenticeships or provides value for money. I question whether an MBA is an essential regulatory or professional requirement to work in this field of senior leadership. It is of the utmost importance for the integrity of the programme and the apprenticeships brand that each and every standard meets our highest possible expectations. I am of the view that we absolutely need to safeguard the integrity of the apprenticeship brand and value for money of the levy.
Therefore, I am asking the Institute, as the body responsible for the quality and content of those standards, to bring forward a formal review of the Senior Leader Level 7 standard. You should ensure that the standard meets the current policy intent and rules, including the mandatory qualifications policy, and provides value for money.
I have every confidence that notwithstanding your range of priorities you will be able to take forward this review with your employer-led groups at pace.
Therefore, I look forward to hearing back from you by 1 June about the outcome of your considerations.
Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary