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WMCOP Bulletin February 2015

Welcome to the February 2015 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 Ofsted has revised their Inspection procedure and published information on Inspection outcomes. It is also near the end of the financial year which means that funding information dominates with the Skills Funding Agency publishing a number of documents regarding qualifications and funding, HEFCE has produced a new Business Plan for 2015-2020 and BIS has published the further education initial teacher education training bursary information and the Low Pay Commission recommendations for the National Minimum Wage.

It is also a month of progress reports and updates with the Specification for Apprenticeship Standards updated, a report on the learning from setting up a new FE college, the final Wolf progress report and progress on actions from the FELTAG report. The DfE has published a list of the revised GCSE and GCE A and AS levels with a timetable and a list of technical and vocational qualifications for 14-19 year olds to be taught from September 2015.

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 Business, Innovation and Skills

Further Education Initial Teacher Training bursary: academic year 2015-2016: A form and guidance for claiming further education initial teacher training bursaries. The guide is aimed at providers, but can be used as a source of reference for trainees starting in the academic year 2015 to 2016 only. It includes: training bursary rates, qualifying subjects and associated degree classifications. It can be read at:

Further Education and skills statistical first release: Success rates for 2013 to 2014 and provisional further education and skills data for the first quarter of the 2014 to 2015 academic year have been published. They can be accessed at:

Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England: The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) sets out the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English apprenticeship framework. Compliance with the SASE is a statutory requirement of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning (ASCL) Act. It covers intermediate level, advanced level, and higher apprenticeship frameworks and details can be found at:

Low Pay Commission recommendations for National Minimum Wage: The Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3% rise in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) from October 2015. This would bring the NMW to £6.70 and it also recommends an increase of 3.3 per cent to £5.30 in the Youth Development Rate for 18-20 year olds; an increase of 2.2 per cent to £3.87 in the 16-17 Year Old Rate and an increase of 2.6 per cent to £2.80 in the Apprentice Rate. Further details are at:

Prospects College of Advanced Technology project report: lessons learned: Report by BIS on the lessons from the establishment of a new FE college by Prospects Learning Foundation can be read at:

FE Commissioner: intervention summary assessments: Summaries of the FE Commissioner's findings and recommendations following his review of specific intervention cases can be read at:

Inclusive support for women in enterprise: the Burt report: This report by the Ambassador for Women in Enterprise, Lorely Burt MP, considers how government can increase opportunities for women in business. It can be read at:

FELTAG Report: A short paper reports on the progress that has been made since the government published its response to the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG) report in July 2014 can be read at:

FE Data Library: Apprenticeships: Information on the number of apprenticeship starts and achievements. This statistical data set provides information on apprenticeships through a number of reports broken down by starts, achievements, sector, framework, geography, gender, age and others. The reports can be read at:

Higher Education: Funding and Co-operation: Greg Clark speaks at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Annual Conference 2015 about investing in higher education. His speech can be read at:

Regional Growth Fund: Information on the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), including latest news and how to access the RGF and other funding sources and details of successful bids for round 6 can be found at


Department for Education

Policy: Reforming qualifications and the curriculum to better prepare pupils for life after school: A summary of the revised qualifications and curriculum initiatives with links to specific subject qualifications can be found at:

Wolf recommendations final progress report February 2015: February 2015 final progress report on meeting the recommendations in Professor Wolf’s independent review of vocational education can be read at:

Technical and Vocational Qualifications for 14-19 year olds: Lists of technical and vocational qualifications approved for teaching from September 2015 and reporting in 2017 performance tables have been published at:

GCSE subject content: Updated guidance on GCSE subject content has been published at:

Mandatory reporting of FGM: Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone has announced that front line professionals, including teachers, will have a mandatory duty to report cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for young people under 18 years of age. Further details can be read at:

Expansion of Troops to Teachers Programme: Troops to Teachers allows eligible service leavers without degrees, but who have gained qualifications or experiences in the services, to enrol on a salaried, 2-year, school-based initial teacher training programme. Further details at:

Professional Bodies

Education and Training Foundation

Vocational Maths Skills workshops: Places are still available for the free maths workshops available in five broad categories. These include specific courses for construction, hospitality & catering, health & social care, hairdressing & beauty therapy, and those working in offender institutions. One course specifically targets those teaching GCSE Maths. For more information visit the National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) at

New Excellence Gateway: The Excellence Gateway has been re-launched following an extensive renovation by the Education and Training Foundation. Providing free access to thousands of resources, the site is an online collection of training materials and CPD resources for teachers and trainers working in the education and training sector. The Excellence Gateway can be found at:


Reforms to education inspection: Ofsted has confirmed changes to its inspection procedure including: frequent but shorter inspections of good schools and further education and skills providers, introducing a common inspection framework to standardise the approach to all education inspections, and inspecting all non-association independent schools in the next three years. Further details at: The full report is at:

Management information: Ofsted's Initial Teacher Education Outcomes: Management information of inspections that took place between 1 September and 31 December 2014 can be found at:

Monthly management information: Ofsted's further education and skills inspections outcomes: Information to 31 January 2015 can be found at:

Ofsted Safeguarding Policy: Policy on identifying and responding to concerns regarding the safeguarding and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults has been published at:


Skills Funding Agency

Apprenticeship standards in development: A list of all the occupations approved by the SFA to develop an apprenticeship standard, together with a list of the employers involved in the Trailblazers that are developing these standards, has been published at:

SFA: funding systems information and guidance programme: Information on qualification funding rules, individual learning plans and timescales for on funding systems and data has been published. It can be read at:

Qualifications approved for public funding: SFA qualifications and funding information for 2015-2016 has been published. It can be found at:

Funding rates for 24+ advanced learning loans designated qualifications 2015 to 2016: This document sets out the details about the SFA funding formula for establishing maximum amounts for 24+ advanced learning loans designated qualifications. Details at:

Traineeships: supporting information: Updated information for employers and training organisations on eligibility, what traineeships will provide, how they will be delivered and funded can be found at:

Apprenticeship Vacancies: uploading traineeship opportunities: Guidance on uploading traineeship opportunities can be found at:

FE Choices national reporting: This document provides an overview at national level of the findings from the FE choices learner satisfaction survey. The Report can be accessed via

Entering the National Apprenticeship Awards: Information, categories and process for entering the National Apprenticeship Awards 2015 can be found at:


Higher Education Funding Council for England

HEFCE Business Plan 2015-2020 launched: HEFCE has published its business plan for 2015-20. The business plan is split into three main sections: Section 1 sets out an overview of our Business Plan and the commitments and priorities over the next five years; section 2 sets out the high-level objectives for each Directorate, together with performance indicators for success; section 3 briefly describes HEFCE. The full Business Plan can be read at:

The future of quality assessment in higher education: what approaches do other sectors and countries take? HEFCE has published two reports to stimulate thinking around quality assessment, one on different approaches in Norway, America and Australia and another on approaches to regulation in other UK sectors: The study analyses approaches in advertising, qualifications, financial services, accountancy and audit. The reports can be read at:


Sector News

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

Warwick Lifelong Learning Annual Conference 2015

The Warwick Lifelong Learning Annual Conference with the theme: Dimensions of Lifelong Learning: Past, Present and Future will take place from Monday 29 June to Wednesday 1 July 2015 in Scarman Conference Centre at the University of Warwick. This conference takes place against the background of celebrating thirty years of provision of adult education and lifelong learning at the University of Warwick and reflects on the history, theory, practice and policy of adult education in all its diverse settings in the UK, Europe and internationally as well as thinking about the present and looking to the future. Further details 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: Helping young people into work The UK's Digital Moment? Ofsted ring the changes to Inspection Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in January 2015