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WMCOP Bulletin April 2012

WMCOP Bulletin October 2011


Welcome to the April/May edition of our Community of Practitioners' Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector in the last month.

The Lingfield Review continues to dominate this month and consultations are open on both the BIS and IfL websites. UCET have put together a suggested new qualification framework and also advised that their response to the consultation can be used as a model - see below. This should make it easy for everyone to respond before the end of May.

The next round of Q/ATLS is open on the IfL website and our IfL Regional Adviser has advised that there will also be a September/October window for expressions of interest - see below for details.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is also centre stage with details of how the reforms from the green paper will be implemented following the revised Children and Families Bill. Community Learning Trust pilots have been launched as have Employer Ownership pilots, Start-up loans for young entrepreneurs and another round of the Regional Growth Fund. On the HE side, there is news on places for 2013-14 and a consultation on quality assurance in HE. In FE the results of Ofsted's consultation on ITE inspections has been published.

We'd welcome your views and any recommendations you have on articles, books or useful websites you've discovered so email us at: and share your ideas.

See below for:

News from the Profession


Discussion documents



BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)


Lingfield Review Consultation: BIS have opened a consultation on the revocation of the further education workforce regulations. They are seeking the views from the FE sector and it can be responded to online at: Closing date is 4 June. UCET have responded to the consultation and their answers can be used as a model (please don't quote but do support their response) for your response. They have also suggested a new framework for ITE qualifications in their response which can be found here

Adult Learners' Week: Organised by NIACE, this week is Adult Learners Week, a time for celebrating all that is good in learning and development with events and award ceremonies. Details are at:

The Employer Ownership Pilot: The Government has received 269 bids from employers looking to take part in a new pilot to design and develop their own vocational training programmes. The pilot invited bids for a share of the £250 million fund which will route public investment directly to employers to invest in training and skills development for their business. Details are at:

Community Learning Trust Pilots: Following the proposals for Community Learning in the 'New Challenges, New Chances' report, the Government has launched Community Learning Trust Pilots. It invites community learning providers directly funded by the Skills Funding Agency from the £210m Community Learning budget to submit applications to become part of the community learning trust pilots in 2012/13. Applications must be received by 25 May and details can be found at:

Start-up Loans for young people: The Government has set up a new scheme which aims to provide budding entrepreneurs with support and a small amount of capital to help them get started as well as access to training and business mentors. This is at the consortium fund raising stage currently. More details at:

Uncapped University Places 2013/14: HEFCE has received the student numbers for 2013/14. This shows the allocation of university places for uncapped students will be eased in 2013/14 with the A-level threshold lowered from AAB+ to ABB+. An additional 5,000 places will be allocated through a competitive core and margin. Further details at: 

A risk-based approach to Quality Assurance in Higher Education: HEFCE have launched a consultation (HEFCE 2012/11) that proposes that in future the frequency, nature and intensity of external quality assurance will be guided by each higher education provider's record in assuring the quality of its provision. Details of the consultation, which ends on 25 July, can be found at:

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund: A new £100 million investment fund to support research partnerships between universities, businesses, charities and philanthropic donors is now open for bids. Details can be found at:,72913,en.html

Regional Growth Fund: The NAO (National Audit Office) has published a report on the first two rounds of bids for this fund and the thrid round of bids is now open until 13 June. Details at:

University student outward UK student mobility: The report by Professor Colin Riordan, Chair of the UK HE International Unit, looks at the incentives and obstacles to students studying and working abroad. It makes recommendations to ensure the numbers of students choosing to go abroad increases in the future. The report can be read at:

Apprenticeships: An Ofsted report presents some of the common factors that have led to high performance in delivering apprenticeships to young people. It looks at recruitment, induction, support in vocational skills and completing their apprenticeship frameworks; and supporting their progression into employment and further study. It can be read at:

The Value of Apprenticeships: An evaluation of apprenticeships shows that they are getting promoted, improving their confidence and taking on more responsibility in the workplace. The report is at:


DfE (Department for Education)


Special Educational Needs (SEN): Following the Children and Families Bill set out in the Queen's Speech, Children's Minister Sarah Teather has announced changes to SEN support. The reforms are set out in the Government’s formal response to the public consultation on its green paper, Support and Aspiration. Two of the main points involve Health, education and care services being legally required to work together and parents are to get a new legal right to buy in specialist special educational needs (SEN) and disabled care for their children. Further details of the response to 'Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability - progress and next steps' can be found at:

The annual SEN support scholarship programme: This will provide up to £2,000 each to some teaching assistants and school staff who work with children with SEND. The scholarship cash will fund staff through rigorous, specialist courses and qualifications. Details of the fund can be found at:

Reforming School Teachers' Pay: Michael Gove has set out a case for reforming teachers pay to the School Teachers Review Body which is expected to report back in the autumn. Further details can be found at: 

Statistics show that more secondary students are studying core subjects at school: New statistics published today show that there are around 3,400 more teachers in secondary schools teaching in English Baccalaureate subjects. Further details at: 


LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service)


LSIS and the Lingfield Review: The following is on the LSIS site at 'The interim report of the Independent Review of Professionalism, chaired by Lord Lingfield, made a number of suggestions about the role LSIS should play in supporting the development of the sector’s workforce. Recommendations include the simplifying and renaming of qualifications, and responding to the increase of HE awarding powers given to FE institutions, the new arrangements for funding skills courses through large employers, and the equivalence of similar awards gained overseas. A further report from the Lingfield commission is due in July. LSIS will be able to advise on the second phase of LSIS funding for initial teacher education projects later on in the summer'.

Supporting Excellence in Initial Teacher Education in FE and Skills: Following the 'New Challenges New Chances' Report, new ways of delivering initial teacher education are being explored in 16 new projects funded by LSIS. These are well under way in development and will be offering places for trainee teachers from September 2012. Details at:

Responses to Ofsted's Consultation on Initial Teacher Educations Inspections from September 2012 and pilot ITE Inspections: A large majority of respondents agreed with Ofsted's approaches with the least favourable responses for the suggested practical arrangements. View the report at:

Functional Skills: Since September 2011, the English, maths and ESOL team have been drawing on the expertise of 40 improvement partners, currently supporting over 200 providers. Support has been focused on help to plan for and implement the transition to functional skills and on prioritising whole organisation approaches to embedding English, maths and ESOL. Case studies demonstrating impact of the support are included in the current edition of Update. See

Workbased Learning (WBL) Workforce Report: This year, LSIS teamed up with AELP to capture the main elements and demographics of the current WBL workforce. The report of findings has now been published and can be accessed at:

Report on Impact of Work Experience: The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a report on the impact of the work experience programme. This showed initial positive results for the programme but with caveats. It can be viewed at:

Funding Opportunities:
LSIS Organisational Effectiveness Fund 2012-2013: Bids are invited from organisations to join this fund which is designed to support projects which deliver significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness or the generation of financial surplus, in sector practice. Bids, up to a maximum of £20,000, may be submitted by provider organisations working individually or in collaboration with others but must be for activities that will have transferable learning and benefits for the wider sector rather than just an individual organisation. Details at:

Raising awareness of STEM opportunities with learners through 'Big Bang Near Me' fairs: The events should offer a valuable CPD opportunity for staff, and inspiration for current and future learners, all centred on STEM subjects. This will involve working in partnership with employers in local STEM-related industries and other organisations. Details at:


IfL (Institute for Learning)


Consultation on the Lingfield Review: An IfL survey is now open for IfL members to consult on the proposals laid out in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on revoking the 2007 regulations surrounding further education teaching qualifications, CPD and registration. It can be found at:, takes about 30 minutes to complete and closes on Monday 21 May.

Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning: IfL, in partnership with LSIS and BIS is supporting this Commission which is chaired by Frank McLoughlin, City and Islington College principal. Its role is to gain critical insight into vocational pedagogy and Dr Joe Harkin gave a Presentation and analysis of the project to date which can be seen as a podcast at:

QTLS and ATLS: In the latest spring cycle 2,195 IfL members were awarded Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) a 92% achievement rate overall. It is also the highest number to date, taking the total number of IfL members with QTLS or ATLS to almost 10,000. The next closing date to express your intention to apply for QTLS or ATLS is 31 May 2012. Details at:

IfL Regional Adviser Anne Schofield adds 'I have heard this morning that the September/October window for expression of interest will remain. Those applying then will need to submit their completed applications by the end of Feb 2013. Should any organisations for individuals want support please contact Anne at:

IfL Impact Review 2011: IfL have published a review of how IfL members' views influenced national policy last year at:




Information for literacy, language, numeracy and functional skills teachers: WMCETT's Skills Priority Area Co-ordinator Elaine Goodall and the Essential Skills Resource Centre at the University of Warwick have produced a guidance sheet on the value of integrated DTLLS routes for literacy, language, numeracy and functional skills teachers. For details see:

Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
Comparing A levels
Any new education bills in Queen's Speech?
Policy Tracker - what happened in April 2012
Lack of growth continues to make things difficult
The Changing education landscape on non-executive agencies and National Careers Service
FE's spring revolution - funding and fees, workforce regulations, college corporations and core learning groups

Sector News: WMCETT's Sector News gives weekly updates on education and can be found here.