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WMCOP Bulletin February 2014

Welcome to the February 2014 edition of our Community of Practitioner's Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the lifelong learning education sector in the last month.

This month's Bulletin covers: Funding is the main focus this month with the SFA publishing the Skills Funding Statement 2014-16 for the further education sector and HEFCE publishing the HE funding settlement for the higher education sector, neither are good news! The push to improve maths teaching is also still headlining with grants and bursaries to attract new graduates. A new Premium Graduate scheme is being introduced for FE (similar to Teach First in schools) and speeches by Matthew Hancock on vocational education and Michael Gove on school education give the current situation and indicate the way the Government is moving forward in both these areas.

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


Government News

BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Funding for Graduates to teach maths in FE: Funding of up to £20 million will be available for graduates teaching maths in further education. This includes: a golden hello of £7,500 or £10,000 for SEN; a recruitment incentive scheme of £20,000 and a subject knowledge enhancement scheme for graduates who need specific maths skills. Further details at:

Maths Teacher bursaries increased: Bursaries available to postgraduate trainee maths teachers who hold a good maths degree will also increase in 2014 to 2015. New trainees on pre-service maths initial teacher training may be eligible for a bursary of £15,000 with a 2.2 or £20,000 if they hold a 2.1. Details also at:

Tomorrow's Engineers Week survey: A survey by John Perkins, following the Government initiative 'Tomorrow's Engineers Week' which ran in November 2013, showed an increase in the number of 11-14 year olds, especially girls, interested in a career in engineering. Details at:

HEFCE Board members: Peter Houillon and Apurv Bagri have been appointed to the HEFCE Board. Further information at:

Funding for Big Data projects: The Government has released £73 million for 55 projects which involve using big data to inform research and analysis. Further details are at:

Increase in University Application rate: UCAS figures in January 2014 show an increase of 4% for university applications to 34.8% with applications from disadvantaged young people rising to 20.7%. Further details at: The report can be read at:

DfE (Department for Education)

Skills Summit: importance of vocational education: Matthew Hancock's speech at the Skills Summit looks at current vocational education and the introduction of new specialist colleges including the Manufacturing Training College, Coventry, HS2 College and a new nuclear college. The speech can be read at:

Speech by Michael Gove: The Minister talks about the Government initiatives and sets out his agenda for future action. This includes increasing the school day to 9 or 10 hours with more extra-curricula activities; changes in A level curricula and new online resources; professional development for classics teachers and schools using Common Entrance Papers and PISA papers to test pupils;

Shanghai visit to see Maths teaching: Elizabeth Truss and delegates from primary and secondary schools and Maths in Education and Industry are visiting Shanghai to study successful methods and potentially adopt them in the UK. Details at:

The Future Scholar Awards Scheme: invites 13- and 14-year-olds in England to visit top universities for a day of lectures and workshops. Schools will in particular be encouraged to ensure that pupils eligible for pupil premium funding, in care or without a family history of higher education take part. Details at:

Updated behaviour guidelines for schools: A letter listing the type of sanctions allowed has been sent to schools. Details at:

Bursaries and training for school teachers of computer science: Money is being made available for ICT teachers, both primary and secondary, to teach the new computer science curriculum and bursaries given for those who want to teach computing. Further details at:

Professional Bodies

Education and Training Foundation

Maths Teacher Recruitment Incentive Scheme: This scheme aims to facilitate the recruitment of maths graduates, or graduates with good maths skills, to train to teach in the education and training sector. Applications from colleges and independent training providers to run this scheme are invited with a closing date of 10 March 2014. Further details are at:

Case Studies to improve vocational teaching and learning: Ofsted and the Foundation have published ten case studies on the Ofsted website which highlight some of the key characteristics and distinctive features of vocational teaching, learning and leadership. These were selected by a panel and can be found at: Details of the project are at:

Expert Panels: The Foundation has set up expert panels to meet and advise them on the programmes they should establish and commission and also monitoring their success. Three panels have been set up so far on: Leadership, Governance and Management; Professional Standards and Workforce Development and Vocational Education and Training. Details of panel members can be found at: and the rationale at:

Premium Graduate Scheme: FE Providers are being invited to to pilot a graduate teaching scheme for Further Education (FE). Similar to the ‘Teach First’ scheme which operates in schools, the Premium Graduate Scheme will encourage graduates to train to teach in providers of FE, such as Colleges and Independent Training Providers. Further details at:

TES FE Awards: The Foundation is sponsoring two awards which are for Outstanding Teaching and Learning Initiative and FE Leader of the Year. The ceremony is on 28 February 2014. Details at:

Workforce Data Survey: This has been launched by the Foundation and details of the data required and how to contribute can be found at:

Skills Funding Agency (SFA)

Skills Funding Statement 2014-2016: The SFA has published the funding statement which gives the rationale for the funding allocations and allocations for 2014-15. The Statement includes: English and Maths provision via the Foundation; Apprenticeship funding via employers and advanced and higher level apprenticeships for over 24 year olds will now receive funding; a new pilot scheme for 18-21 year olds on jobseekers allowance; the removal of the '16 hour' rule for traineeships; funding cuts for adult education; funding new online learning; accountability and intervention. The Statement can be read at:

Community Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF): A Report by NIACE on the CLIF for 2012-13 found that this fund consisted of almost 100 projects, mostly led by the third sector. More than 15,000 learners in around 1,500 learning programmes benefitted from the fund. Learners included a higher proportion of men (37%), disabled learners (31%) and ethnic minority groups (27%) than is usual with half of the learners not in paid work and around a third not in education or training. The research shows that at the end of the project nine out of ten people now intend to get a job, volunteer, or to continue learning. The report can be read at:

IfL (Institute for Learning)

VQ Teacher Award: IfL announced the VQ Newly Qualified Further Education (FE) Teacher of Year award which recognises an individual who has recently qualified as a teacher or trainer in the lifelong learning sector and has had a significantly positive impact on their learners. Nominations for the award to be received by Friday, 2 May 2014. Further details at:

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)

Funding for Higher Education in England 2014-15: The grant letter confirming funding for higher education and the student numbers can be read at:

Changes to the access and student success information required by HEFCE (2014-15) and OFFA (2015-16): Information can be accessed at:



Annual Online Conference: The Regional Support Centre West Midlands will host its annual e-learning conference, ‘Discover-e 2014’ on June 17 and 18th with bookings open in March. Further information at:!.aspx

Staff Development Support: RSC roadshows offer advice and guidance, share good practice from across the region, demonstrate e-learning technologies and, with prior arrangement, provide some short training sessions on e-learning topics. - See more at:

The Learning Consortium

 Walsall College: Walsall College are part of The Learning Consortium which is offering a funded national training programme, available to provider organisations in the Further Education and Skills sector who are funded through the Skills Funding Agency (either directly or indirectly e.g. subcontractors). The purpose of the programme is to develop a whole organisational approach to improving teaching and learning based on evidence based practice using ‘The Learning Framework’. Details from

​Sector News

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

Policy Watch

Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
A College of Teaching?
Developing True Grit
HE Funding settlement for 2014-15
FE Funding settlement for 2014-15
Managing the school system
Reflections on Michael Gove's latest speech
Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in January 2014