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WMCOP Bulletin February 2012



Welcome to the February 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 the main points of interest are the good news on funding with bursaries introduced for ITE trainees undertaking their training in either an HEI or at level 6 with additional funding for those teaching Maths and English. The ability to repay student loans early without a penalty is also welcomed. The review of the Professionalisation of the FE and skills sector has also been announced. There is also a lot on Apprenticeships this month, led by National Apprenticeship Week, and on School Performance Tables.

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)


Funding available to those undertaking initial teacher education (ITE) to teach in the Further Education (FE) and Skills For 2012–13, bursaries of £1,000 will be introduced to enable up to 10,000 trainees to take either the HEI accredited Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), or a level 6 PGCE qualification. In addition, bursaries of £1,500 will be introduced to enable up to 1,000 trainees who are taking HEI accredited ITE courses and who are intending to teach basic Maths and English in the sector. See

Student Loan Repayment: Following consultation, the Government has today announced there will be no charge on graduates repaying their loans early. See:

Independent Review of Professionalism in the FE and skills sector: John Hayes has launched an independent review to investigate ways to improve the professional status of the further education and skills workforce. The review will be chaired by Lord Lingfield, working with an expert panel led by David Sherlock CBE, former head of the Adult Learning Inspectorate. See 

HEFCE Funding: Decisions for funding higher education for 2012-13. HEFCE's grant will reduce as a result of higher tuition fee loans but they state their commitment to supporting high-cost and strategically important subjects, widening participation and smaller specialist institutions. Further details at: The HEFCE Equality and Diversity Scheme 2012-14 can be seen at:

Fair Access to Higher Education: Professor Les Ebdon has been appointed as the next Director of Fair Access to Higher Education. His role will be to safeguard fair access to higher education and widen participation amongst students from disadvantaged backgrounds. See However a Court challenge by students that tuition fees breached human rights has failed. See

Apprenticeships: National Apprenticeship Week saw the announcement of a new round of Government funding for apprenticeships. The first was a £6m for the Higher Apprenticeship Fund; the second a new Employer Ownership pilot and the third £1500 apprenticeship incentive for small firms. Details at:

New Apprenticeships in the Banking Sector: Three banks announced new or increased apprenticeship programmes in February. Barclays has 1000 new apprenticeships with a major programme in April; HSBC announced an extra 688 apprentices bringing the total number of employees within its apprenticeship scheme to 1,000 by the end of 2012 and Santander is to launch an apprenticeship scheme that will see up to 50 people offered places at the bank.

Apprenticeships in the Creative Industries: Skillset (the sector skills council for the creative industries) have pledged to work with 300 businesses in industries such as fashion, media and design to deliver 500 apprenticeships with the first places to be offered in September 2012. See

NEETs Funding: £126m is available, as part of the Youth Contract, to provide opportunities for 55,000 16 and 17 year old NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) with no GCSEs at A*-C. Funding will be targetted through tailored support on a payment-by-results system. See:

Regional Growth Fund: A further £1 billion growth fund is now open for bids particularly to encourage the manufacturing industry. See There is also a Manufacturing Summit hosted by Vince Cable for government and and key industry leaders to discuss the next steps for the sector. See

The City Skills Fund: has been announced and will be available to the eight core cities in England, plus London, and their surrounding local enterprise partnership (LEP) areas to address skills priorities across their regions. The City Skills Fund will help cities and LEPs work with local colleges and independent providers to boost the provision of skills needed by local employers. The Government is also challenging cities to develop apprenticeship city hubs which will help local businesses, particularly small businesses, to take on apprentices. See

Get Mentoring Scheme: A free online training tool for mentors who are part of the Get Mentoring Scheme set up by SFEDI (The Small Firms Development Initiative Limited) has been launched for volunteer business mentors. See


DfE (Department for Education)


School Performance Data: The Government has published increased data on secondary schools including: how well disadvantaged children perform in each school; whether previously high, middle and low achieving pupils continue to make progress and how many pupils at each school are entered into the core academic subjects that make up the EBacc. A press notice can be read at: and the Performance Tables are at:

Performance Tables: The Governement has announced a change in the qualifications to be included in future secondary school Performance Tables. There are currently 3,175 qualifications accredited and approved for study by 14-16-year-olds, all of which count in the tables. However from the 2014 Performance Tables (published in January 2015), just 125 of these qualifications (3.9 per cent of the current total) will count. Full-course GCSEs, established iGCSEs, AS levels and music exams at grade six and above will also be included. All will be included on the same one-for-one basis. Further details at:

Internet Safety: As part of Safer Internet Day 2012 The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has launched a guide to get across a quality and consistent messages about internet safety. Further details at: A Rough Guide to Internet safety is also available on:


LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service)


FE College/HE Institution Partnership Checklist: A checklist offering a series of prompts for colleges considering expansion into HE provision has been developed by the Mixed Economy Group (MEG) and its member colleges, with support from LSIS. Details at:

LSIS celebrates as one tenth of workforce are apprentices: LSIS is the national organisation formed to drive improvement in the further education and skills sector. It has recently taken on nine apprentices and will be offering two more opportunities, bringing its total to 14 out of 130 staff.
Excellence Gateway: LSIS’s online service for everyone who works in the FE and skills sector, has undergone a major makeover. The changes include: news tailored to the page the user is viewing, simplified navigation around the website, improved search functions and access to older content via The Treasury – a collection of valued resources that are no longer updated. See the changes at:

IfL (Institute for Learning)


IfL CPD Review: IfL’s third annual CPD Review ‘CPD for the future: the networked professional’ sets out to understand what kinds of CPD make a difference to teachers and trainers and their learners, identify the role IfL can play in supporting this and encourage the practice of sharing CPD outcomes. The Review and a video of a group discussion can be found at:

IfL and CPD for the future Westwood campus, University of Warwick, Coventry: IfL working in partnership with the WMCETT is pleased to offer a one-day event on 22 March. This is a free event open to all teachers. For more information and to book a place, please download the flyer.




Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include
NEET Developments
A Budget for Growth?
Keeping up the Apprenticeship momentum
Some Headlines from Apprenticeship Week
Some important contributions to the debate on Youth Unemployment
Changes to the Inspection System

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

Teacher Educator Professional Dialogue Seminar: WMCETT, supported by IfL, has a free CPD event for teacher educators. to share practice and meet other teacher educators within the West Midlands region. For details please see: