‘Fire-sale’ at NCTL

In February I wrote about Black Friday for primary recruitment when  providers and schools were induced into a panic as  the ‘school led’ recruitment route hit the 90% mark. Since then providers and schools have been turning applicants away with the double whammy of School Direct not being able replace any applicants  who might have withdrawn.

Fast forward to 6th September when many schools and school-led courses will have started and when NCTL sent out the following  ‘fire sale’ message:


The timing of this couldn’t have been worse  as NCTL were dangling a carrot when the reality is many providers have already restructured their courses due to cuts in allocations, made difficult financial and staffing decisions and have got applicants through a myriad of compliance regulations! Equally once again NCTL seem  to be pursuing a policy of who can fill places as quickly as possible rather than rewarding those who diligently recruit and consistently maintain quality: “we will prioritise requests from ITT providers where potential candidates are readily available”.

We can only guess why this has happened at a time when we are waiting for information on 2017/18 allocations and for details of Centres of Excellence – however it would seem to be admitting that either:

  1. The failure of the School Direct policy of not allowing a ‘top up’ for successful applicants who withdrew was ill conceived.
  2. A greater number of applicants have withdrawn or failed the skills test.
  3. NCTL having thought they had a buffer (which we were told)  miscalculated the total needed.
  4. Brexit (it seems to be the go to excuse these days)!

Hopefully NCTL might enlighten us?

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