NEC agreed to appoint a trainee to assist BACH to reach its 2022 – 2025 growth targets and provide additional support for the Regions and development of our communications. We have appointed Courtney who will introduce herself next week. Regional Officers will see the difference starting with a monthly Membership List. Where a Region does not have a Chair elections are being planned and the autumn regional meeting will be organised in consultation with all the members.
Cutting off the bottom of the training ladder
This week BACH like many others will have put in our response to the Departmental consultation issued through Ofqual entitled “Review of post-16 qualifications at level 2 and below in England”.
It is appreciated that the proposals are thin on detail, and many organisations have been calling for more clarity. Whilst recognising that this is the case, the true intent is very clear indeed. Cut funding and saw the bottom off the skills ladder which the Chair of the Education Select Committee, Hon Robert Halfon MP, talks so passionately about.
BACH agrees we need reform which includes rationalisation and simplification of the qualification landscape. We also need to be able to readily update all the qualifications, apprenticeship standards and NOS were there are no standards, for digitization and sustainability ‘green’ skills. In fact, a new and easy way of continually updating qualifications is required as there are going to have to be changes made on an on-going basis.
BACH and its Members also appreciate the problems with funding rates and recruitment none of which are addressed in this consultation. We will be discussing more on this at our conference on 19 May in Coventry.
Follow these links.
FENews reports on BACH's Campaign to strengthen capacity in FE Colleges to meet the UK needs for more housing, reaching Net Zero and retaining the construction workforce in modern methods of construction.
Today, the British Association of Construction Heads (BACH) launches a new research report ‘Position on Resources and Equipment for Modern Digital Construction’. BACH hopes the new report will stimulate the debate regarding staffing, investment, and equipment to support the training and development needs of the sector, as construction projects are essential for our economic recovery as we come out of the pandemic.
The construction industry faces a major skill shortage following Brexit, particularly in skilled trades and occupations, with the added pressure to up-skill the workforce to support more productive modern SMART methods, green skills, and off-site manufacturing. Sufficient knowledge and equipped training capacity needs to be in place.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi writes to school and college leaders to thank them for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of the Omicron variant
Thank you to College staff
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has written to school and college leaders to thank them and their staff for everything they are doing to respond to the challenges of the pandemic and the Omicron variant. In it he sets out the key things the Department is asking of the school and college workforce as we look to the new school term in January.
My team of Ministers and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks for everything you are doing to respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Your resilience in the face of the many challenges during the last 21 months, together with your continued commitment to support our children and young people with their education and wellbeing through the disruption of the pandemic, is inspiring.
It has been a challenging term for all education and childcare settings, particularly as we learn more about the new Omicron variant. I am extremely grateful for your work managing health and wellbeing. I know you feel as strongly as I do about the impact on children, young people and learners’ education and wellbeing over this period and I appreciate all you are doing to ensure face to face teaching continues in schools, colleges and universities as planned until the end of term. I hope you manage to get a well-deserved break over the Christmas period and I thank those of you who will continue to support children, young people and families across this period.
The COVID-19 situation continues to be fast changing and complex. Working with my colleagues across government, my department and I endeavour to keep our information and guidance up to date and clear. I wanted to set out the headlines of how we are asking you as education leaders to help manage the virus.
Vaccinations and LFD testing
We are grateful to you for everything you do to support eligible students and staff to take up the offer of vaccination, including boosters. Your support with the rollout of the vaccination programme has enabled over 1.25 million 12-15 year olds and over 800,000 16-17 year old to receive their first dose. I am also extremely grateful for the significant contribution that the FE and HE sector have made in supporting the wider vaccination roll-out, hosting community vaccination centres and enabling both staff and students to support the vaccination programme. I am delighted that so many have also offered additional support as we surge efforts to deliver the booster programme even more quickly than planned. In light of rising case rates and the new variant, vaccinating young people and education and childcare staff is more important than ever for keeping them, their friends, family members and teachers as safe as possible. As we approach the winter holidays, take up of the booster jab is also critical for you and your staff and eligible students to protect everyone from serious illness and provide the best defence possible. 12 -15 year olds who have not been vaccinated can book an appointment out of school on the National Booking System, and from 20th December those eligible for second doses will be also be able to book.
You have also continued to support LFD testing for COVID-19, which is critical in helping to reduce the spread of the virus. In light of the new variant, the need to continue testing and reporting test results is more important than ever.
I ask that you continue to encourage:
- all education and childcare staff and eligible students to be aware of the latest information on the booster programme and how to book a booster. and parents and students to be aware of the vaccination offer for students;
- all education and childcare staff and students of secondary age and above continue to test, and importantly report those test results, twice-weekly;
- schools and colleges to ask parents and other visitors to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before attending a school or college event;
- FE students and all education staff to self-test twice a week and test at home either the evening or morning before they return to their education setting in January before continuing with twice-weekly at home testing;
- all higher education students to test before they travel home for the Christmas break and before they travel back to their term time accommodation in January and to take up the offer of a booster as soon as they are eligible;
- all staff and students, where age appropriate, in settings remaining open over the Christmas period (such as ITPs/ACLPs, early years, wraparound childcare, out-of-school settings and settings running the Holiday Activities and Food programme) to continue to test at home twice per week over the holiday period;
- all secondary schools to prepare and encourage their pupils to take one COVID-19 test on-site on return in January and all other staff and eligible students to take one self-test at home either the evening or morning before they return to their education setting in January before continuing with twice-weekly at home testing;
- all students travelling to attend a boarding school in England to continue to follow the guidance in relation to quarantine and testing.
Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19
From 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of Covid-19 has been introduced. All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an LFD test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Children under five years old do not need to take part in daily testing for contacts of Covid-19 and do not need to isolate.
Once notified by Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff, pupils and students are strongly recommended to take a LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the Online Reporting System and to their setting. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting. Outside of the education setting, they should continue to follow national guidance. This approach should also be adopted over the Christmas holiday and on return in January.
All staff and secondary aged pupils and students should have access to a box of 7 LFD test kits from their education setting. If your setting requires additional test kits sooner than they would be available through the standard ordering process, or will run out of test kits imminently, you can contact 119 to request an emergency replenishment. For primary aged children LFD test kits are available through the usual routes (community test sites, local pharmacies or online: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Throughout this term, the department has been rolling out CO2 monitors to state-funded education settings. I am pleased to say that over 99% of eligible schools, further education colleges, and the majority of early years settings have now received their monitors, with over 329,000 now delivered. The remaining deliveries will take place before the end of term.
To support settings which have identified areas of poor ventilation that cannot be resolved through simple actions such as opening windows or doors, the department has now launched a marketplace which provides all state-funded education settings a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. Education settings can access guidance on ventilation here.
As a temporary measure, we recommend the wearing of face coverings in communal areas of education and childcare settings, for pupils and students in year 7 and above, staff and visitors. This is also the case where provision operates from community premises.
We are not recommending that pupils and staff wear face coverings in classrooms.
Similarly, in education and childcare settings in community premises, adults and children are exempt from the mandatory requirement to wear a face covering in a private activity room or private classroom, or where the premises have been hired out for the sole use of the provision.
The guidance on Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk), provides a list of indoor settings in England where you must wear a face covering.
We continue to learn more about the impacts of the Omicron variant. To prepare for any possible changes in public health advice, I ask that you review your existing contingency plans to ensure you are well prepared to implement them in case of any future changes.
There are exams for vocational and technical qualifications timetabled for January. Students who are due to sit these exams will be prepared and it is right that they should be given every opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt. Exams and formal assessments will go ahead. Consequently, it is essential that students continue to prepare for these assessments.
School and college staff and workforce fund
The government will continue to offer financial support and I am pleased to say that we have agreed that our workforce fund will continue until half term next year.
We know that in areas with high absence, a particular issue can be the availability of supply staff. We want to make sure that as many supply staff as possible are available to schools and colleges. That is why we are now looking at what steps and measures we can put in place to boost supply capacity.
We will work with sector leaders and supply agencies over the coming days to offer advice to ex teachers who want to provide support to schools and colleges. We will help them to register with supply agencies as the best way to boost the temporary workforce available to the sector. Senior DfE officials have already begun to discuss this with key stakeholders. From now, you can support this effort by using your own professional and personal networks to encourage others to sign up to offer temporary help.
We are also working with stakeholders to share best practice flexible curriculum delivery models for schools that are experiencing the most acute staffing challenges.
Everything you’re doing helps ensure all education and childcare settings remain open and can give that crucial face-to-face education and experience for all children and young people that we know is so important.
Once again, I thank you for your support in these efforts, and I hope that you have a restful Christmas break.
Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP
Secretary of State for Education
Every College and Training Provider will see 1000s of changes as every trade takes steps towards NetZero
Every Project or Campaign needs a name. BACH needs to decide if to use NetZero, Carbon Reduction, Climate Change, Sustainability, Green agenda etc etc.
Discussing this with other organisations why they have selected one of the above, but there seems one underlining reason. Funding. Today NetZero is attracting the cash. COP26 in Glasgow uses Climate Change.
CLC (Construction Leadership Council) uses CO2nstructZero The 2 should be dropped down, but some posts will not support this. While I personally don't find another name helpful, following the CLC lead makes sense. You can see their Performance Framework at https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/CZ-Performance-Framework-Version-1-20_7_21.pdf
I guess everything also needs to follow the government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
BACH is keen to work with other organisations facing the challenges of how to constantly change teaching in the FE sector to reflect new materials, change of rules, understanding the requirements of major employers and much small businesses. If organisations focusing on NetZero, Carbon Reduction, Climate Change, Sustainability, Green agenda wish to work with BACH and its Members please contact ian Stirling email@example.com
Due to so many staff in London colleges being on short-term contracts or subject to ongoing restructuring BACH has decided its London and South East Region requires a small group of Officers instead of a Chair and Secretary. Can you assist BACH to make London an active region again? firstname.lastname@example.org or 0753143184.
If you lead Construction Training in or around London you can join BACH.
As the DfE on 17 April 2020 talks up the possibility of some financial support for providers of apprenticeships and adult education, the future for training providers looks tough. Do you and your colleges have a plan if local or national training provides collapse? Is it am opportunity to acquire some much-needed teaching staff as well as learners. BACH is open as ready to share suggestions. email@example.com
The BACH Development Day – CPD has proved popular. Looking at the programme below, we are sure you can see why ‘The Best Informed Construction Heads’ join BACh and attend this event.
FE Construction Training
An in-depth experts’ view of the 2020 challenges
Wednesday 13 November 2019
Leeds College of Building, South Bank Campus
Off Cudbear St, Crown Point Rd, Leeds LS10 1EF
|09.30 to 09.40||Conference Welcome from our President Graham Hasting-Evans|
|09.40 to 10.00||Sector Overview Panel chaired by Graham Hasting-Evans and Bob Howlett|
|10.00 to 10.45||Update on T Levels and Apprenticeship Standards Pamela Rahman, Associate Director – TE Implementation & Delivery at Institute for Apprenticeships and Tech Education|
|10.45 to 11.15||Construction EPA and Apprenticeships
Tom Burton NOCN Director of Apprenticeships
|11.15 to 11.30||Tea/Coffee Sponsored by Dovetail and Slate|
|11.30 to 11.50||Panel Apprenticeships and T Levels chaired by Graham Hasting-Evans|
|11.50 to 12.10||Our experiences with the latest Ofsted inspections
|12.10 to 12.30||Table discussion on Inspections|
|12.30 to 12.50||BACH Wales experience presented by Graham Hasting-Evans|
|12.50 to 13.20||Lunch and networking Sponsored by Dovetail and Slate|
|13.20 to 13.40||Campaign for gender balance in STEM
Helen Wollaston WISE Chief Executive
|13.40 to 14.10||The new Wood Product Manufacturing Apprenticeship
Tony Batchelor British Woodworking Federation
|14.10 to 14.30||Benefits of off-site manufacturing and their work with CITB Ian Buckingham, Construction Skills Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre|
|14.30 to 15.00||Table Discussion – How FE should prepare for the future with off-site manufacturing and advances in construction methods|
|15.00 to 15.20||BACH’s Strategic Plan Dave Wilkins|
|15.20 to 15.30||Ideas for National Annual Conference Lee Mills|
|15.30 to 15.40||Closing remarks and reflections Dave Wilkins.|
Lunch and Refreshment Sponsor Dovetail & Slate
There will be an optional short tour of Leeds new digital campus before and after the Programme
Leeds College of Building, South Bank Campus is a modern 4 storey purpose-built facility. It is set in one of Europe’s largest city centre redevelopments and it is within an ‘Education Hub’