https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/01/apprenticeship-levy-report/

Apprenticeship Levy Report

News

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at a new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation about the apprenticeship levy and the content of Relationship Education at primary school.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation

Today, Monday 1 July, the Financial Times covered a report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which was released this morning.

The report claims 960,000 temporary workers are not eligible for apprenticeship levy funding training because they do not work for organisations long enough to qualify for the training. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation has called on the Government to make other forms of workplace training fundable from levy resources.

We reformed the apprenticeship system, including the introduction of the levy, to address poor quality apprenticeship training. Apprenticeships are now longer, higher-quality and have more off-the-job training.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

The levy has been set at a level to fund employer demand for high-quality apprenticeships. Widening its scope would divert funding away from apprenticeship training and reduce the opportunities for individuals and employers to benefit from them.”

Our reforms including the introduction of the levy have made apprenticeships better - they are now longer, higher-quality and with more off-the-job training.

In response to feedback from employers we have made the levy more flexible. Levy paying employers now have up to 24 months to spend their funds and can transfer up to 25% of their funds to other employers.

Relationship Education

On Sunday 1 July, the Sunday Express reported on Coten End Primary School in Warwick, which the paper claims is teaching six year olds about masturbation as part of relationship education lessons at school. This follows guidance issued by Warwickshire County Council.

The council is encouraging schools across the Warwickshire region to teach the ‘All About Me’ course, which best informs children about sexual and relationships education. The programme is delivered over a single week, with a lesson per day across all year groups with content that is specifically tailored for each year group and the likely development level of the children receiving it.

For those parents who remain uncomfortable about the programme there is currently a right to remove their children from such lessons, however this will change slightly in 2020 when Relationship Education becomes mandatory for all school age children. There will still be a right for parents to remove their children for sexual education lessons.

Primary schools can teach sex education if they deem it to be age appropriate for their cohort of pupils. We trust headteachers to make the decision as to what is and is not appropriate for their pupils to learn.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Relationships education at primary school must be both age-appropriate and developed in consultation with parents. Parents currently have the right to withdraw their children from sex education at primary school and this will continue once the new relationship and sex education guidance starts in 2020.

Warwickshire County Council’s ‘All About Me’ programme has been refined over five years in partnership with parents – and it is up to head teachers to decide if and how they use the lesson plans.

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