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WMCOP Bulletin February 2013

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's Bulletin covers the changes from the DfE for A level qualifications with end of qualification exams, changes to AS levels and HE involvement. It also looks at Michael Gove's speech on reforming GCSEs and accountability. There are new changes to copyright to make it easier for education to use materials linked to technology and the new Children and Families Bill. LSIS have published guides to support 24+ Advanced Learning Loans and a guide on emerging models of delivery.

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)


Copyright changes: New changes to give greater freedom on copyright have been announced following Professor Hargreaves' report. These include changes to private copying, education (to make it easier to use materials on interactive whiteboards and for distance learning), research and private study, access for people with disabilities and public administration. Further details are at:

UK and Indian partners agree new education and research deals: The new deals include establishing a new Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Institute in India; major collaborations on neuroscience; research partnerships in energy, medicine, business and manufacturing and English language training for 1.5 million teachers in India by 2017. Further details at:

HEFCE funding for higher education 2013-14: HEFCE has announced its high-level funding decisions for higher education in England, following the annual grant letter from BIS. Details at:

Masters degrees in Aerospace: BIS and the aerospace industry are funding £6million for 500 bursaries for new graduates and employees to study for Masters degrees. Details at:

Start-Up Loans launches 1000th young entrepreneur: The Start-Up Loans initiative was created to help young people get their businesses off the ground. Applications were over 8,300 in January businesses get backing, with funding and mentoring. Further details are at:

Employer Ownership Pilot: Round 2 of the Employer Ownership Pilot has opened for businesses to apply for funding to design their own training programmes. More details can be found at:

Apprenticeship starts increase: Apprenticeship starts have increased. In the 2011/12 academic year 520,600 people started an apprenticeship. This is an increase of 13.9 per cent on the preceding year and 86.1 per cent since 2009/10. There was particularly strong growth in the engineering sector, with starts up 21.5 per cent to 59,480. Details can be found at:

Report: The Impact of FE Learning: The Impact of FE Learning, a new report from BIS found that the primary motive for FE learning was to improve job prospects, or get a new job and that a third of men and nearly a third of women who participated in further education got a better job. Read the report at:

Report on Religion and Belief in Adult Learning: The report from the Skills Funding Agency found that, while most learners found Further Education welcoming, 11 per cent had experienced bullying or harassment due to their religion or belief. Read it at:

Skills Funding Agency Performance Management - Quarter 1 and Quarter 2: The SFA will publish shortly the updated 2012/13 Allocations and maximum contract values for colleges and training organisations for the 2012/13 academic year as at January 2013 following data received at Quarter 1. Details at:

Kim Thorneywork, Chief Executive of the Skills Funding Agency has pledged her commitment to FE in her latest news column for FE News. Read it at:


DfE (Department for Education)

Reform of A Levels: In a letter from Michael Gove to Ofqual, he sets out the following reforms: the primary purpose of A levels is to prepare students for degree-level study; changes to AS qualifications; linear qualification with exams at the end; HE involvement and the timing of these changes put off until 2015. Read Michael Gove's letter at:

Children and Families Bill: The Government's reforms under the new Children and Families Bill include provision for parental leave and more flexible working, adoption reform, children in care, family justice, special educational needs, childcare reform and more independence for the Children's Commissioner. Further details at:

Curriculum, Exam and Accountability Reform: Michael Gove's speech to Parliament on GCSE reforms can be read at:,-exam-and-accountability-reform

Ofsted announces Regional Directors line-up: Ofsted yesterday confirmed the line-up of Regional Directors who will be responsible for helping to drive up standards in childcare, schools, and learning and skills providers in England. Details at:


LSIS has launched two research projects and invites your contributions: The first is The ‘Sustainability Skills for Growth’ which aims to understand what it means to make the transition to a sustainable economy and society, to explore and define what is meant by sustainability skills, and to identify the opportunities afforded to the sector to lead their development of these. The second is ‘Embedding sustainability in teaching, learning and the curriculum’ project to explore the relationship and relevance of sustainability and sustainable development to further education, to identify the specific skills and knowledge that teaching staff require to effectively embed sustainability, and to determine key ingredients, opportunities and strategies. Providers interested in finding out more and/or getting involved in these projects should contact LSIS at

LSIS plans cessation of its Improvement Services: Following discussions with BIS, LSIS is now able to confirm that the majority of its work will continue as planned, until the end of March, and that a phased ending to its services will take place during the summer term. Further details on particular programmes will be issues in due course. Announcement at:

LSIS Guide: 'Emerging models of delivery across the FE and Skills Sector': Following research into the evolving environment of the FE and Skills sector, LSIS has produced a guide called Emerging Models of Delivery across the FE and Skills sector and the accompanying Decision Makers Support Package, both of which are available to download from the LSIS website. These can be found at:

LSIS Account Reminder: If you have an account you need to use your allocation by 31 May. See

24+ Advanced Learning Loans Support: New online seminars and toolkits have been launched by LSIS to help providers improve their understanding of the 24+ Advanced Learning Loans. This can be found at:


IfL (Institute for Learning)


IfL: University of Wolverhampton and IfL establish research centre for FE and skills: The University of Wolverhampton, in partnership with the Institute for Learning (IfL), has announced the creation of a research centre for further education and skills at the university’s School for Education Futures (SEF). See article at:

IfL and the FE Guild: IfL has published an update on the FE Guild which can be read at:

IfL Vocational Masterclass Programme: The Institute for Learning has been engaged by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to work with trainers and coaches from the UK WorldSkills team, to offer a limited number of masterclasses to colleges and work-based learning providers. Further details and how to organise a masterclass in your organisation are at:


Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: . Topics this month include:
Is a single funding pot the answer?
Obama unleashes the College scorecard
Consultation on the new National Curriculum
Life Beyond EBaccs
How Key Stage 4 looks now
Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in January

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