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WMCOP Bulletin January 2015

Welcome to the January 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 the Department for Education has published 2 timelines showing when different qualifications and curriculum changes come into effect, legal requirements of governance and teacher's pensions information. They have also published the revised content of a number of GCE A and AS and GCSE qualifications and the list of technical and vocational qualifications to be taught from 2015. Ofsted has published guidance for Inspections in FE and the Skills Funding Agency has produced a toolkit for Apprenticeship Week. In HE, Hefce has published the BIS Grant Letter on funding and National Networks are being set up to help more young people access HE. However alternative HE providers will face more rigorous quality measures.

It is a month of reports and statistics with information on FE participation and qualification outcomes, HE enrolments and qualifications, a survey of adult skills and a response to the BIS Committee on adult literacy and numeracy, apprenticeship funding, learner survey and evaluation reports. There are statistics on GCSE results, 16-19 attainment and the economic value of qualifications.

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)

FE Statistical Information: Information on applications for 24+ advanced learning loans for the August to December 2014 academic year and learner participation outcomes and highest qualifications has now been published at:

HE Statistical Information: Statistical information on higher education enrolments and qualifications obtained at UK higher education providers for the 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014 academic year has been published at:

Further Education (FE) Commissioner: intervention summary assessments: Summaries of the FE Commissioner's findings and recommendations following his review of specific intervention cases can be seen at:

Adult Literacy and Numeracy: The Government's response to the House of Commons BIS Select Committee's Report on adult literacy and numeracy, including their conclusions and recommendations and the BIS response, has been published. It makes interesting reading at:

2012 Survey of Adult Skills (ISAS): A BIS research paper 'International evidence review: learning from high-performing and improving countries' has been published which presents an analysis of England and Northern Ireland’s results compared to selected high-performing and improving countries. It can be read at:

Apprenticeship funding reform in England: payment mechanisms and funding principles: Consultation outcome: BIS has published the outcome of its consultation on directing apprenticeship funding to employers. The analysis shows there was no clear preference for either of the proposed options presented and BIS is continuing to work with employers. Further details at:

Apprenticeship pay survey 2014: A Report detailing apprentices’ pay, earnings and compliance with the national minimum wage, according to age, framework and level has been published. It can be read at:

Apprenticeship evaluation: Learner Survey 2014: The survey examined the views and experiences of 5,021 apprentices who were currently on an apprenticeship or had finished an apprenticeship programme between August 2012 and March 2013. It also covered 801 higher apprentices and can be read at:

Tougher quality measures for higher education alternative providers: Greg Clark has unveiled a package of new measures to boost the quality of alternative providers in higher education including: requiring directors of alternative providers to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test, all non-degree awarding powers institutions to be re-designated every year and creating a Rapid Response Investigatory Team. Further details at:

FE Data Library: Apprenticeship Vacancies: This statistical data set provides information through a number of reports on the number of apprenticeship vacancies and traineeship opportunities for 2008/09 to 2014/15 year-to-date and can be found at:

Employer ownership of skills: pilot scheme (state aid guidance): This guidance confirms the State Aid UK and EC (European Commission) legal basis under which the employer ownership of skills pilot scheme operates and can be read at:

National Minimum Wage: final government evidence for 2015 Low Pay Commission Report: This document provides evidence on issues relevant to the LPC’s task of monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the NMW and its impact and making. It can be read at:

Growth deal for Birmingham and Solihull: The Government has signed a £357 million growth deal which includes investment in industry, rail transport and enhancing growth sectors, including new courses to improve skills capacity in the automotive supply chain and life sciences sector, a Solihull Aviation Engineering Training Centre to develop maintenance and repair skills, the Skills Excellence Hub in Birmingham for food technology, the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technologies at Birmingham Metropolitan College, the Advanced Manufacturing Hub and a Life Sciences Campus. Further details can be found at:

Education, vocational training and youth: review of the balance of competences: This report examines the balance of competences between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the area of education, vocational training and youth. It can be read at:

DfE (Department for Education)

Technical and vocational qualifications for 14- to 19-year-olds: Lists of technical and vocational qualifications approved for teaching from September 2015 and reporting in 2017 performance tables can be found at:

GCSE and A level reform: The Government response to the consultation including the outcome for these subjects and the next steps has been published together with an equality impact assessment into the revised content for these subjects. The Report can be found at:

High-quality and more rigorous arts-based GCSEs and A levels: Final content for more rigorous and demanding GCSEs in music, art and design, dance and physical education (PE), and A levels in dance, music and PE, has been published together with GCSE content for Computer Science GCSE. Further details can be found at:

GCE AS and A level content:
Further mathematics
: GCE AS and A level subject content for further mathematics, for teaching from 2017 can be found at:
Ancient Languages content is at:
Modern Foreign Languages content is at:
Geography content is at:
Mathematics content is at:

Timeline for further education colleges: mandatory: A timeline showing when legal requirements and qualification changes come into effect has been published at:

Timeline for further education colleges: useful: A timeline showing when the qualifications and curriculum changes come into effect, governance and teacher's pensions information has been published at:

Qualifications included in performance tables: The latest position on level 1 and level 2 (sometimes known as IGCSEs) academic qualifications in performance tables can be found at:

GCSE in design and technology: delay in teaching: The introduction of reformed subject content for the GCSE in design and technology has been delayed from 2016 to 2017 to enable the awarding organisations to complete their work and undertake further consultations. Further details at:

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years: Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014 has been published at:

Statistics: GCSEs (key stage 4): Statistics on key stage 4 results, including GCSEs have been published and can be found at:

GCSE and equivalent attainment by pupil characteristics: 2014: Statistics broken down by National and local authorities, gender, ethnicity, eligibility for free school meals, disadvantage, special educational needs (SEN) and English as a first language, can be found at:

Statistics: 16 to 19 attainment: Statistics on the attainment of 16- to 19-year-olds in England, including exam results and performance tables has been published. The statistics include: A and AS levels, key stage 5 performance tables, qualification success rates, level 1 and 2 attainment and level 2 and 3 attainment. The information can be found at:

GCSEs, A levels and apprenticeships: their economic value: Reports on the economic benefits of these qualifications since 2010 has been published and can be found at:

More young people continuing in education, employment or training: The annual destination data published shows that between October 2012 to March 2013 91% of pupils continued down 1 of these 3 routes after key stage 4. The statistics can be found at:

Improving the quality of teaching and leadership (in schools): The DfE has published a Policy Document on the way it intends to improve teaching and leadership in schools which can be found at:

Government and automotive industry start the motor on £30 million skills investment: The government is joining forces with leading UK automotive manufacturers to boost skills across the sector. The project was developed by the Automotive Council and is funded through the Employer Ownership pilot. Further details are at:

Professional Bodies


Education and Training Foundation

Making maths and English work for all: A consultation has opened focusing on the effectiveness of non-GCSE maths and English qualifications and how they are understood by employers, how well they meet their needs, and how they might become validated qualifications. Further details on the Pye Tait website at:

English Enhancement Programme: Over 1100 teachers have enrolled on a programme to train teachers and trainers to teach GCSE English. WMCETT is hosting a 2 day course, delivered by Creative Education, on 2 and 24 March and details of this course are at: For further information and other courses see

Prevent Duty: The Foundation has started to develop a comprehensive training and support package for leaders, teachers and other staff across FE, so that they understand the requirements of new duties being introduced by the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill (2015); are able to create policies and procedures to ensure a safe learning environment in their institution; and staff across FE are trained and supported to identify risks and take appropriate action to prevent radicalisation and threats of terror. Further details in March, see


Being inspected: guidance for further education and skills providers: This document tells further education and skills providers about the information Ofsted inspectors require for an inspection and can be downloaded at:

Further education and skills inspection and outcome data: Data used to inform Ofsted's appearance at the Education Select Committee on 28 January 2015 and includes data up to 31 December 2014 can be read at:

SFA (Skills Funding Agency)

Partner toolkits now available for National Apprenticeship Week: This year, National Apprenticeship Week runs from 9 to 13 March and the SFA has created a range of toolkits for stakeholders including colleges or training organisations; schools; trade organisations; an apprentice (or former apprentice) or a business. These are available at:

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)

Funding for higher education in England for 2015-16: HEFCE grant letter from BIS: The grant letter sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education. It confirms a level of funding of just over £4 billion, essentially unchanged from the indicative allocations announced in February 2014 and can be read at:

National networks to help more young people access higher education: The National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) will deliver a nationally co-ordinated approach to working with schools, universities and colleges to help people access higher education. Details of the Networks can be found at:

HEFCE to support closer working between higher education and police: The Home Secretary has today announced a new £10 million Police Knowledge Fund to support education and research collaborations between police forces and higher education institutions. Further details at:,100570,en.html

Submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) published: The 1,911 submissions made by 154 UK universities to the 2014 REF have been published on the REF website at:

The future of quality assessment in higher education: The Quality Assessment Review Steering Group has published a discussion document which aims to stimulate wide-ranging discussion and debate on the broad purpose, principles and parameters of any future arrangements. It can be read at:


Sector News

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

English Enhancement Programme: WMCETT is hosting a a 2 day course, delivered by Creative Education, on 2 and 24 March and details of this course are at:

Free Maths Workshops: The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), which created the six-day GCSE Mathematics Enhancement Programme, is organising a series of free one-day workshops for maths and vocational teachers, tutors and trainers. Details at:

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:
Policy Lessons from this year's BETT show
The (economic) case for soft skills
Managing curriculum reform
Key education themes for 2015
Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in December 2014