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WMCOP Bulletin April/May 2013

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.

This month's Bulletin covers the Guidance on the revised FE Teacher and Trainer qualifications; the Technical Baccalaureate; the new Traineeship Framework, together with Matthew Hancock's speech to Parliament on his vision for it; David Willett's speech to HEFCE setting out some new Government initiatives; the launch of an independent review by Andrew Witty into universities and growth and Michael Gove's speech on school initiatives.

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)

Traineeships: Written Ministerial Statement: Matthew Hancock's written statement to Parliament on the publication of the framework for traineeships for 16-19 year olds starting in August this year. It has 3 core elements: a quality work placement, ready-for-work training and English and Maths development and will last for 6 months. The statement can be read at:

Traineeship Framework: A new framework setting out the delivery requirements for traineeships 'Supporting young people to develop the skills for apprenticeships and sustainable employment: Framework for Delivery' has been published as above and details can be found at:

David Willett's speech to HEFCE on HE: In a speech to HEFCE on 18 April, David Willett's announced: further liberalisation on student number controls for 2014/15; joint work with the DoE on direct communication about higher education to students who have done well in their GCSEs; recognising university support for A-Level reform and avoiding early specialisation; a reduction in TRAC requirements; and progress on supplementing the KIS with information on where students’ fees are going and fresh measures on student engagement in line with Graham Gibbs’s work. The Speaker's notes can be read at:

Universities and Growth - The Witty Review: In response to the Heseltine Report, the Government have asked Sir Andrew Witty to lead an independent review into how universities can support local economic growth. There is a call for evidence consultation which ends on 31 May and can be found at: and the Terms of Reference can be read at:

Skills Funding Agency: Funding System for Adult Skills March 2013: The SfA have published the fourth and concluding update of A New Streamlined Funding System for Adult Skills to the sector that sets out the final description of the new single demand-led funding system for adult skills. The document also sets out full details of its implementation in the 2013/2014 funding year, including how providers can prepare and plan for its implementation. It can be found at:

Estimating labour market returns to qualifications gained in English further education using the Individualised Learner Record: Some interesting statistics on the effect achieving a full qualification has over non-achievers can be found at:

Business is Good for Equality Report: A short report by the Chambers of Commerce gives the advantages of promoting equality in business. Read it at:

The Open Public Services Update 2013: Published by the Cabinet Office this Report sets out reforms to choice in public services including: there are now 81 free schools and 2886 academies; extended funding for learning for disadvantaged 2 year olds; the Apprenticeships grant for Employers had led to 18,900 apprenticeships. Read the Update at:


DfE (Department for Education)


Technical Baccalaureate: The new qualification provides a technical equivalent to A levels and has 3 elements: a high-quality level 3 vocational qualification from a list to be published by the end of this year; a level 3 ‘core maths’ qualification, including AS level maths and the extended project, which will develop and test students’ skills in extended writing, communication, research, and self-discipline and self-motivation. The announcement can be found at:

Michael Gove's Speech to Teachers and Headteachers at the National College for Teaching and Leadership: The speech covers Michael Gove's thoughts on expectations, academies, the National Curriculum, the education debate, school improvement, school direct, action-based school research and the unions. Read it at:

Teaching Schools: 150 further teaching schools have been designated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, bringing the total to 360 teaching schools. Further details of reports on their achievements and statistics can be found at:

Studio Schools: 13 new Studio Schools are set to open from September 14. Studio Schools allow 14- to 19-year-olds to study academic subjects through practical projects designed and delivered by employers. Pupils combine core GCSEs and vocational qualifications with real work experience and details of the latest schools can be found at:

Master Teachers to offer CPD in Computing: The DfE are giving £2 million which will allow BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, to recruit 400 master teachers in computer science over the next 2 years, by building on its existing network of excellence in teaching computer science (NoE).

Each master teacher will pass on their skills and subject knowledge to 40 schools - so that computing teachers in 16,000 primary and secondary schools will be in position to deliver the computer science element of the new computing curriculum and the new computer science GCSE. Details at:

School Direct figures published: Figures published for the number of applications for the School Direct scheme in schools shows that there have been 65,040 applications for school teacher training received representing 22,490 applicants. Details at: New statistics published by the DfE also show that there were 4000 more teachers employed in schools in November 2012 than in November 2011 and that the teacher vacancy rate remains very low at 0.1%. More details at:

The DfE has moved website: The new address for the DfE is now Content will be moved across in batches to be completed in 2014.

Government Bodies



Early Evaluation of the Unistats Website: Early research into user experiences of the Unistats web-site, published recently, shows that it is one of the most widely used higher education course comparison web-sites, and that universities and colleges rose well to the challenge of providing a new data set. The evaluation can be found at:

A report presenting new data on the non-continuation rates of different groups of students at English higher education institutions (HEIs) has been published recently and can be seen on hefce's interactive page at:


'Keeping out of Trouble' Report: More local activities and places to go would stop children and young people from breaking the law. The Report can be found at:

'Improving Standards in Literacy': A shared responsibility': This best practice Report can be found at:

LSIS and IfL


FE Teacher and Trainer Qualifications Review: The following guidance has been published by LSIS on the revised qualifications: Guidance for employers and practitioners, explaining the new qualifications; a presentation explaining the new qualifications; and Guidance for initial teacher educator providers. The Guidance publications can be found at:

LSIS Final Events and Workshops: LSIS Accounts end on 31 May 2013 and details of their final events can be found at:

LSIS Help to employ more disabled apprentices: for workshops see

LSIS supports project report on curriculum design: The 157 Group has produced a report based on the findings of research which aimed to establish the challenges and opportunities for further education colleges to redesign elements of their curriculum offer in order to be more responsive to need. The Report can be read at:

IfL QTLS and ATLS: Intentions to apply need to be received by 31 May when the window closes. Details are at It is also interested to note that since QTLS was accepted by schools the number of QTLS holders has risen from 7000 to 12000.

IfL and the University of Wolverhampton launch FE and Skills research centre: Research into teaching, training and learning in FE will be the focus of a new research centre. Further details are at:

Ifl and 157 Group Papers: The 157 Group and IfL have produced a series of papers focusing on high-quality teaching and learning.
'Leading partnerships with employers and building collaborative professionalism' covers partnerships between colleges or training providers and employers and can be read at:
'Great teaching and learning' covers teacher professionalism and broader networking and is at:
'Leading learning in Further Education' focuses on the importance of strategic leaders sharing approaches to effective leadership and is at: 



Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: . Topics this month include:
Some big exam questions
Latest Guidance on Traineeships
Education shapes up for a difficult spending round
Some education 'bits' in the Queen's speech
Keeping Track of what happened in education in April 2013
Getting ahead with a Tech Bacc
The FE Guild moves ever nearer
The Changing face of FE

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