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WMCOP Bulletin January 2014

We welcome you to the combined December 2013 and January 2014 edition of our Community of Practitioner's Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector in the last month and we wish you all a very happy and successful 2014.

This month's Bulletin covers: The new Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in England are currently under consultation; there are changes in Technical and Vocational education qualifications with news on the new Tech Levels and Applied General Qualifications and the vocational qualifications which will be included in Performance Tables from 2015; the draft programme for English and Maths at key stage 4 can be viewed and commented upon; and new engineering and construction qualifications have been designed; a new college is to be built to support the development of HS2; and Maths Education Strategic Hubs are being developed.

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)

Technical and Vocational Education qualifications: The list of vocational qualifications which will be included on Performance Tables for 14-16 year olds has been published. It also introduced two new types of qualification: Tech Levels are large Level 3 qualifications comparable to A levels. They must lead to recognised occupations, either directly or through a vocational degree and have the support of professional bodies. Applied General qualifications are Level 3 qualifications, which provide broader study of a vocational area, fulfil entry requirements to a range of HE courses and have the backing of a minimum of three universities. Students can continue to study the other vocational qualifications but these will not be included in Performance Tables. The number of qualifications has been significantly reduced with 91% of the 3,721 qualifications not included in the Tables. Matthew Hancock's written Ministerial Statement can be read at:
The list of approved qualifications can be found at:

A new FE college is to be built to support HS2 development: The first new college in 20 years is to be built with completion due in 2017, the Government has announced. The college, will deliver the specialised training and qualifications needed for high speed rail, which will benefit HS2 and other future infrastructure projects across the country. The location and funding for the college has not yet been announced. Details are at:

Apprenticeship Statistics for 2012-13: The number of apprenticeships increased in 2012-13, especially for higher apprenticeships. Participation for under 19s has declined with the changes to apprenticeships. More details at: The statistics can be seen at:

Speech by David Willetts on Social Science: David Willetts' speech centres around ways that BIS is trying to free up and link up data to enable research across and between different areas. He then discusses four areas for future development in social science: inter-generational equity; robotics; economics and risk. His speech can be read at:

New Regional Aid Map: BIS has published a new map showing areas of the UK eligible to receive regional aid which can be seen at:

Access to work scheme extended: The Access to Work scheme has been extended to cover work placements which disabled people arrange themselves. Further details at:

DfE (Department for Education)

National Curriculum for English and Maths at Key Stage 4: Draft programmes for English and Maths at key stage 4 are in the consultation stage until 3 February. Comments can be made via an online form and both the draft programmes and form can be accessed at:

Speech by Elizabeth Truss on the global education race: This gives the background to the Government's thinking on the educational reforms and national curriculum and can be read at:

Maths Education Strategic Hubs (MESH): 30 MESHs are to be developed around the country to raise the standards of maths teaching. Each will be led by a teaching school with strategic partners across the educational spectrum and coordinated by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). Further details are at:

School Governance: New guidance makes clear the role of governing bodies and sets out their core functions clearly for the first time. Details can be found at:

Special Educational Needs support: Independent supporters to help parents navigate the new special educational needs process are being supported and trained by the Council for Disabled Children. Further details at:

New Engineering Qualifications for 14-16 year olds: New engineering courses have been designed by the Royal Academy of Engineering and 3 construction courses have been designed by the 14-19 Advisory Board both are backed by industry and will be taught from September 2014. Further details are at:

Ark Schools Academy chain to offer teacher training: The Ark chain of academy schools has been approved to offer teacher training and it is working in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church university. Further details at:

Targetted Basic Need Programme: Sponsors of the new academies to be built with Government funding under the TBNP programme announced in July, can be found at:

'Closing Doors' Report: Elizabeth Truss comments on the gender difference in physics shown in this Report at: The Report can be read at:

Professional Bodies

Education and Training Foundation

Consultations on the New Professional Standards: These are taking part between 7 January and 18 February both online and through the Cetts. Discussion points include: Whether the professional standards are relevant to teachers and trainers in a range of organisations across the breadth of the education and training sector; Whether the professional standards reflect the distinctive nature of teaching and training in the sector; and what the role is of professional standards when practitioners are working in a de-regulated environment. The draft Standards and the Consultation Document can be read at:

Apprenticeship Support Programme: The Education and Training Foundation is seeking proposals from organisations to run a programme of support for the workforce involved in delivering apprenticeships. This includes: Engagement with employers, especially SMEs; embedding English and Maths into apprenticeship programmes; curriculum development and improving the apprenticeship framework. Details at:

Support for Action Research Projects: The Education and Training Foundation has today launched its practitioner research programme. Bursaries, professional and peer support are all part of this programme, open to applications from practitioners at any level working in an education and training organisation or setting. Further details are at:

Association of Colleges (AoC)

Impact of funding cuts for 18 year olds:
The DfE impact assessment on the 17.5% funding cuts for 18-year-olds shows it will have a disproportionate effect on black and ethnic minority students and those studying in London. This mirrors research carried out by the AoC which shows that: 22% of 16 to 18-year-olds in colleges were aged 18, which rises to 25% for London colleges; 71% are studying at Level 3 on mainly vocational courses; 28% of 18-year-olds in colleges live in disadvantaged areas; 18-year-old students were more likely come from ethnic groups other that white British compared to 16 and 17-year-olds. The article and research can be read at:

IfL (Institute for Learning)

Ofsted Webinar: IfL are offering a free webinar to members on Ofsted inspections, it is online on 20 January 2014, but will be in their archives if you are unable to be online at that time. Details at:

16-19 Regional CPD Day Birmingham: To be held on 19 February 2014, this event is free to attend for all teachers and trainers involved in 16-19 education and training. More details at:

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

Student numbers: Following the Autumn Statement, the Government has announced that it will remove the cap on student numbers at publicly-funded universities and colleges from 2015-16, with an additional 30,000 students for 2014-15, and provide an additional £185 million for STEM subjects over four years from 2015-16. Further details at:

Review of HE Performance Indicators: The report, ‘How should we measure Higher Education? A fundamental review of the Performance Indicators’ shows that UKPIs are valued by HE and recommends areas for further exploration. Further details are at:


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

Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
What's in store for HE in 2014?
What's in store for FE in 2014?
What's in store for schools in 2014?
What happened in the world of education in December 2013?
Ofsted raises a glass in its latest Annual Report
The education 'bits' in the 2013 Autumn Statement
Making sense of PISA