Bishop of Winchester asks about Apprenticeship Levy, further education and post-18 education funding review

On 24th and 27th January the Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, received written answers to three questions, on the apprenticeship levy, further education teaching hours and post-18 education funding:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL371 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to extend the 24-month period during which levy-paying training providers can spend Apprenticeship Levy funds.
Lord Agnew of Oulton: The apprenticeship levy is paid by all UK employers with a pay bill in excess of £3 million. Levy-paying employers in England use an award-winning apprenticeship service to manage their funds, make payments to training providers, and transfer funds to other organisations.

Funds available to employers expire on a rolling, month-by-month basis after 24 months, where they have not been spent. We anticipated that levy-payers would use various amounts available to them, with only some spending all funds available to them. Individual levy-paying employers have full control over when and where apprenticeship funds are spent to meet their current and future skills needs, including by using transfers to support the sustainable development of skills in their supply chain or local area. Where employers are not spending funds available to them and the availability expires, the budget is used to support apprenticeships taken forward by other large and small employers.

When the levy was introduced, we responded to feedback from employers and representative bodies to increase the expiry period for these funds from 18 to 24 months, and currently have no plans to extend it further. In February 2019, we introduced a tool on the apprenticeship service to help employers estimate their funds and plan for expiry.

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL372 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of student teaching hours in further education.
 Lord Agnew of Oulton: The department currently expects that 16 and 17 year olds in full time education at colleges and school sixth forms are provided with, on average, 600 planned hours of education a year, although many receive more than this. This is ample time, for example for the teaching of 3 A-Levels or a substantial technical qualification, with time for other activities to support young people’s development such as mentoring, additional tuition or work experience.
New T Level qualifications will start to be delivered from September this year. These are larger and more demanding technical education programmes, which on average we expect to be 900 hours per year including a substantial industry placement. T Levels programmes will receive additional funding to pay for the additional hours.
The government has announced increased 16-19 funding in 2020-21 of £400 million – an increase of 7% in overall 16-19 funding and the biggest injection of new money in a single year since 2010. Providers may use some of this additional funding to provide more teaching hours for some students, for example those who do not yet have maths and/or English GCSEs at grade 4 or above, for whom £35 million of the additional funding will be allocated.
The arrangements for adult education are more flexible as the teaching hours provided relate specifically to what qualifications or programmes individual students choose to study and their mode of attendance is subject to agreement between individual providers and their students.

 The Lord Bishop of Winchester: HL370 To ask Her Majesty’s Government which, if any, recommendations from the Post-18 Education and Funding Review they plan to implement; and what is the intended timescale for implementation.
 Baroness Berridge: We want to ensure we have a joined-up education system that is accessible to all and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.
Philip Augar and his independent panel have made thoughtful recommendations on tuition fee levels and loan repayment, the balance of funding between universities, further education, apprenticeships and adult learning, and we are considering all these recommendations carefully.
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