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WMCOP Bulletin February 2017

Welcome to the February 2017 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.

Robert Halfon has given two speeches this month. The first on the importance of digital skills and education technology (ed tech) to both the workplace and education and the second on the importance of careers advice to address skills needs and improve social justice.

Funding for apprenticeship training guidance has been published and there is an online digital service to support the apprenticeship levy. A new body, the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network has also been set up to encourage underrepresented groups to apply for apprenticeships and the Get In Go Far programme has been extended to encourage more businesses to train apprentices. The SFA has published toolkits and resources to support National Apprenticeship Week 2017.

Jo Johnson has given a speech on the amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill which the Government will adopt, including how the two-year degree programme will be funded and quality assured. He has also called for tougher penalties for plagiarism.

Justine Greening has given a speech to the Chartered College of Teaching on schools which sets out her vision for education and social mobility. Also on schools, there is a report on teacher workload supported by a poster and pamphlet and another report on the impact of teachers working longer.

WMCETT have a lot of interesting CPD opportunities coming up, which are on the website and at the end of the Bulletin.

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

Department for Education

Robert Halfon: BETT 2017 speech: Robert Halfon shares his vision on digital skills, broadband, ed tech and data sharing and impact technology can have on education in this country. He suggests that if it’s really going to make a difference the government need to make sure we: 'equip young people - and those already in the workplace - with the digital skills they need to get ahead in the labour market, while at the same time making sure our economy gets the skills it needs and to build the evidence base on what works in education technology and support schools and colleges to harness it properly, while at the same time making sure they can access technology at good value for money.' His speech can be read at:

Robert Halfon's careers speech: Robert Halfon shares the Government's vision for careers and a strategy that will do the following: 'consider the prestige attached to careers information, advice and guidance; seek to raise the quality of careers provision for people of all ages; ensure we are truly addressing the skills needs of our country; support those who are most disadvantaged and use careers to improve social justice; focus our efforts on securing the end goal of meaningful skilled employment, ensuring a country that works for everyone.' His speech can be read at:

Initial teacher training: criteria for providers: The aim of these criteria is to ensure that providers comply with all National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and QTS requirements. The Report 'Initial teacher training criteria and supporting advice' can be read at:

2019 performance tables: technical and vocational qualifications: Lists of qualifications for reporting in the 2019 performance tables in the following categories: technical awards, technical certificates, tech levels and applied general qualifications have been published at:

Apprenticeship funding: how it will work: Details of how government will fund apprenticeship training in England from May 2017, and what these changes will mean for employers has been published at:

Registration open for online apprenticeship service: The apprenticeship service is an online digital system (similar to online banking) that has been set up to support the apprenticeship levy. The online service allows employers to financially manage their apprenticeship programme and helps them to estimate their financial spend and recruit apprentices through their training providers. Further details at:

Network established to encourage diversity in apprenticeships: The Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) has been established to champion apprenticeships and diversity amongst employers and encourage more people from underrepresented groups, including those with disabilities, women and members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, to consider apprenticeships. Further details at:

DfE encourages more businesses to offer apprenticeships: Get In Go Far, the government’s campaign to promote apprenticeships, has launched a new wave of activity focused on promoting apprenticeships to employers using advertising campaigns and telemarketing. Further details at:

Jo Johnson: Higher Education and Research Bill: A speech by Jo Johnson on the amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill, currently going through the Lords. It includes amendments to: accelerated degrees; credit transfer between universities and courses; diversity and increasing numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds; ensuring university autonomy; the Teaching Excellence Framework; new universities and ensuring quality; and innovation and research. His speech can be read at:

Two-year university courses come a step closer: A press release summarising the amendments in Jo Johnson's speech (see above) can be found at:

Jo Johnson demands tough penalties on student plagiarism: The government calls for universities to do more to stop students buying custom written essays online. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has also been tasked to take action against the online advertising of these services and to work with international agencies to deal with this problem. Further details at:

Inclusive teaching and learning in higher education: A report by the Disabled Student Sector Leadership Group on how HE providers can ensure that they are equipped to support disabled students has been published. Further details at:

Higher education student finance, 2017 to 2018: equality analysis: An assessment of the effect that changes made to higher education student finance will have on groups with relevant protected characteristics has been published at:

Higher education statistics for the United Kingdom: 2015 to 2016: Summary data on all aspects of higher education in the UK for the 2015 to 2016 academic year has been published at:

Alternative providers of higher education: enrolments and qualifications 2015 to 2016: Experimental statistics on undergraduate enrolments and qualifications obtained at alternative providers of higher education in England have been published at:

Performance indicators: widening participation - 2015 to 2016: Institution-level statistics on widening participation of under-represented groups in higher education for the 2015 to 2016 academic year has been published at:

Justine Greening's speech to the Chartered College of Teaching: Whilst this is school-related, it is interesting to read her vision for education and social mobility at:

Reducing teacher workload: A Policy paper on what the government is doing to reduce unnecessary workload for teachers, including details of the workload challenge has been published in response to the Teacher Workload Survey 2016 at

Teacher workload: poster and pamphlet: These materials feature the main recommendations from the 3 independent teacher workload review groups looking at: marking; planning and resources and data management. Further details at:

Teachers working longer review: interim report: A report into the implications of teachers in schools working longer as a result of changes to the pension age has been published at:

Nick Gibb: the importance of an evidence-informed profession: School Standards Minister Nick Gibb addresses Buckingham University PGCE students and shares his theories of education at:

Working together to safeguard children: Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children has been published at:

September Guarantee: education and training for young people: Details of the September Guarantee, which requires local authorities to find education and training places for 16- and 17-year-olds have been published at:

Advanced learner loan applications: February 2017: The number of applications for advanced learner loans for the August 2016 to July 2017 academic year has been published at:

FE data library: apprenticeships: February update on the number of apprenticeship starts, achievements, and participation has been published at:

FE data library: further education and skills: February update on learners, learning programmes and learner achievement has been published at:

Government Organisations

 Ofsted and Ofqual

Initial teacher education (ITE) inspection outcomes: management information: Management information of ITE inspection outcomes at 31 January 2017 have been published at:

Further education and skills inspections outcomes: The February update on management information showing in-year and most recent inspection outcomes has been published at:

Requirements on setting GCSE (9 to 1) grade boundaries: The February update on conditions, requirements and guidance for GCSE grade boundaries has been published at:

GCE qualification-level conditions and requirements: Ofqual has published their requirements for key dates which come into force on 1 May 2017. Details can be found at:

Ofqual's organisation chart: This document shows Ofqual’s organogram, accurate as of 7 February 2017 and it can be found at:

The Education and Training Foundation

Future Apprenticeships Webinar: The AELP are running a webinar on 'Provider Practice – the transition from frameworks to standards' on Tue 7th Mar, 2017 10:30am - 11:30am. Further details of this free webinar can be found at:

New tool to improve outcomes for learners with SEND: Post-16 education providers and local authorities can now self-assess their effectiveness of supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Further details at:

Skills Funding Agency

Using the register of apprentice assessment organisations: Information for employers on using the register of apprentice assessment organisations to find an independent end-point assessment organisation February update has been published at:

Toolkits and resources to support National Apprenticeship Week 2017: Information and suggestions for employers, apprentices, MPs, schools, colleges and training providers to help support NAW 2017 has been published at:

Employer satisfaction survey: provider guidance: Guidance to assist providers in the implementation of this year’s employer satisfaction survey has been published at:

Apprentice welcome letter: A letter from the Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon for apprenticeship training providers to send to new apprentices has been published at:

Apprenticeship framework funding rules: This document sets out the rules for apprenticeship framework provision funded by the SFA. It forms part of the SFA Funding Rules 2016 to 2017 and can be found at:

Adult education budget funding and performance management rules 2017 to 2018: This document sets out the draft rules that will apply to all adult education budget funded provision for the 2017 to 2018 funding year. Further details at:

Higher Education Funding Council for England

Funding for higher education in England for 2017-18: HEFCE grant letter from the Department for Education: The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation has confirmed funding allocations to HEFCE for the financial year 2017-18. Further details at:,112915,en.html

Chair of Office for Students appointed: Sir Michael Barber is the Government’s preferred candidate to be the first chair of the new regulator for higher education, the Office for Students. Further details at:,112854,en.html



Professional Exchange to continue with five CPD events in 2017: We are pleased to say the Professional Exchange will continue this year, with five more CPD events to be held between now and the end of July. WMCETT is looking for ideas for subjects for the events, organisations which are willing to host and participants. Further details from Julie at or on the website at:

Register interest in taking part in pilot Training for Further Education teacher trainer modules: WMCETT has won a tender from the ETF to produce a four-day CPD package for new and existing teacher educators who are working for providers delivering both HEI and Awarding Body initial teacher training. We have one course starting late in March and the other in June for participants teaching - or soon to teach - the DET, CDET or a subject specialist qualification. Register interest with Julie at

Collaborative Training Days - West Midlands: This Collaborative Practice Development Day in Walsall is a new CPD opportunity for practitioners and managers to enhance their skills and knowledge in teaching, learning, assessment and behaviour management. For details and eligibility for free training see:

Take part in FREE Functional Skills pilot In May and early June: WMCETT will be running free pilots of five-day Functional Mathematics and English CPD modules. The modules are aimed at those with little or no previous subject specific training in teaching mathematics or English – including vocational teachers and assessors who are being asked to teach functional skills for the first time. For an application form contact Julie at:

FE Week: FE Week describes itself as 'a lively read, offering a mixture of news, exclusives, expert comment, features, technical information, coffee break snippets and more. Worth a read at

Policy Watch, published by The Pearson Centre, has weekly updates on the latest educational initiatives and can be read at