Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Fostering Review, the opening of the National College for Nuclear and degree apprenticeships.
Today, Wednesday 7 February, the department published an independent review into foster care in England. The review was undertaken by Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers and makes recommendations for government, local authorities and fostering agencies for improvements to the fostering system for children and foster carers. The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail and the Guardian all covered the review. The review is part of the government’s drive to ensure that children living in foster care have access to a stable and loving environment and foster carers get the support they need. This includes the announcement in December 2017 that the government will extend its 30-hour childcare offer to foster carers.
Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families said:
We welcome this thorough and insightful report into the fostering system, which first and foremost is about identifying and addressing the needs of children in foster care.
The report gives us an opportunity to celebrate foster care and to recognise the invaluable role foster parents play in the lives of vulnerable children. We are committed to supporting them in this role, and that’s why we recently announced that we will extend our 30-hour childcare offer to foster children to provide extra help for foster parents.
We will carefully consider the review’s recommendations, alongside those from the Education Select Committee, over the coming months to determine how they can help us to make sustainable improvements to the fostering system and to the outcomes for looked after children.
National College for Nuclear
Today, Wednesday 7 February, the new National College for Nuclear Northern and Southern Hubs opened in Cumbria and Somerset. This was covered by FE Week, The Times, the News & Star and is running on regional ITV Online. The National College for Nuclear is one of five new National Colleges that was announced in May 2015, and builds on the government’s Industrial Strategy by training the next generation for the nuclear workforce. This will train learners in specialised roles including nuclear technicians and engineers.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
I am thrilled to announce the launch of the National College for Nuclear.
This College will provide our nuclear industry with the highly skilled engineers, scientists, technicians it needs to grow – as well as giving more people the opportunities they need to get on in today’s competitive job market.
The impressive training facilities in Somerset and Cumbria demonstrate what can be achieved when Government, employers and providers work together to deliver high-quality education. I wish all the trainees and apprentices the very best of luck for the future as they embark on this exciting journey.
Today, Wednesday 7 February, The Times reports that Cambridge University is to offer degree apprenticeships for the first time. The university has been registered as an official apprenticeship trainer and says it will focus on the post-graduate level in a selected range of fields which is likely to include computing and tech skills
Degree apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn and the department is delighted at the news that one of the best universities in the world is taking this step. Degree apprenticeships offer a real alternative to a traditional degree course and there were over 1700 degree level apprenticeship starts in 2016/2017. We want there to be more and that is why in March 2016 we announced a £10 million Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund to support the development and take up of degree apprenticeships.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
The government wants everyone to be equipped with the skills they need to get on in life, wherever they are from.
That’s why we are overhauling the technical and further education sectors, working to improve the quality of apprenticeships as well as to increase their take-up, and investing £500m a year in new T levels.
We are also creating a new regulator, the Office for Students, to ensure that students and the taxpayer get value for money from higher education.