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WMCOP Bulletin July 2015

Welcome to the June 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.

There is a lot going on again this month with the launch of the Government's Productivity Plan which sets out the aims for FE, Skills and Higher Education. They have also launched a consultation on the restructuring of the FE and skills sector with fewer, larger and more specialist colleges through a series of area based reviews.

A BIS update 'Implementing the Further Education and Skills reform programme' gives some details as to the future vision for FE and Skills and details the aims for each topic whilst the funding for 2015-2016 has also been announced.

A new Apprenticeship Delivery Board has been announced and there are details of new trailblazer apprenticeships.

In higher education, the Teaching Excellence Framework aims are set out and details of the new student funding model have been published.

There are a number of July updates and Reports across the further and higher sectors, including some interesting research into initial teacher education by the Education and Training Foundation. Lots of summer reading!

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)

Productivity plan launched by BIS: Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javid launched the Government's plan 'Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation' at a speech in Birmingham. It sets out the government’s long-term strategy for tackling ‎the issues that matter most for productivity growth. Chapter 3 'A Highly Skilled Workforce, with employers in the driving seat' sets out the Goverment's vision for schools, apprenticeships and professional and technical education. In the latter the report states the aim to be to: simplify and streamline qualifications; a refocus to higher level skills with National Colleges and inviting some colleges to become Institutes of Technology and their aim for these. Chapter 4 'World-leading Universities, open to all who can benefit' discusses funding and loans, the new Teaching Excellence Framework, an increase in tuition fees from 2017 and opening the market to new providers. The Plan can be read at:

BIS Annual Report and Accounts: This document sets out the BIS vision and progress against it's business plan in each area. It can be read at:

Local Enterprise Partnerships: evidence on local innovation strengths: This report sets a framework of research and innovation indicators for each of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas in England to compare local innovation at LEP level. It can be read at:

Restructuring of the post-16 education and training institutions: A document 'Reviewing Post-16 education and training institutions' has been published. It sets out how the government will support a restructure of the post-16 education and training sector through a series of area based reviews. The objective is a move towards fewer, larger, more specialist providers. The document can be read at:

Implementing the Further Education and Skills Reform Programme: In an update for colleges, BIS/DfE has published a brief for progress. It covers the following areas and I give key facts in each area:
Aprenticeships: 3 million new starts this Parliament; employer-led standards; apprenticeship voucher from 2017; Apprenticeship grants and National Insurance contributions from 2016; Apprenticeships Levy for large employers. It sets out the structure and funding for Degree Apprenticeships and strongly supports the expansion of Traineeships.
 Maths and English: Still a priority; reference to Education and Training (ET) Foundation's resources; modular stepping stones at entry and level 1; new grading structure aligned to funding at grade 4.
Vocational qualifications: Technical Certificates will be taught from this September and have strong Government backing. Vocational Qualifications: Ofqual consultation into qualifications on the Qualifications Credit Framework will be published soon with more emphasis on the development of smaller and more relevant funded adult vocational qualifications. Outcome Based Success Measures: There will be a further consultation in autumn 2015 with more detailed proposals for a new minimum standards accountability framework using outcome measures. The aim remains to introduce the measures as part of a new minimum standards framework in 2017.
FE Workforce Strategy: Priorities continue to be maths and English, a focus on leadership and governance, improved vocational education including better engagement with employers, and better use of technology with funding through ET Foundation and FE Commissioner Summary Assessments will be continued and published. Chartered Status: The Institution for Further Education has recently been granted a Royal Charter, membership admissions will start in the Autumn.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Implemented well in colleges but acknowledge issues with EHC assessment and planning. The Preparing for
Adulthood team (NDTi) will be holding joint local authority and college workshops in the autumn term.
Tackling Extremism and the Prevent Duty: The Government plans to publish the Extremism Strategy in the first half of September. The Prevent Duty will continue to be mandatory and support will be given from the ET Foundation and JISC.
For the full briefing and links to the different topics go to:
Changes to funding allocations for 2015 to 2016: FE and Skills: We can confirm that we will fund all current apprenticeship growth requests for the 2014 to 2015 funding year. We are reducing non-apprenticeship adult skills and discretionary learner support allocations by 3.9% for colleges and training organisations in the 2015 to 2016 financial year (April 2015 to March 2016).

Further Education (FE) Commissioner: intervention summary assessments: Summaries of the FE Commissioner's findings and recommendations following his review of specific intervention cases, published in July 2015 can be found at:

Apprenticeship Delivery Board: A new Apprenticeship Delivery Board (ADB) is set to advise the government on how to reach its target of 3m apprenticeship starts in this parliament. The board will offer guidance to the government on how to expand the programme, and will be jointly chaired by David Meller and Richard Harrington. Further details at:

Apprenticeships: New Trailblazer groups: A further 26 Trailblazer groups are developing apprenticeship standards in 39 occupations including film and TV, Biotechnology and Veterinary Nursing. Further details at:

Future of apprenticeships in England: guidance for trailblazers: An Update on the Guidance for trailblazers can be found at:

Teaching at the heart of the system: Universities minister, Jo Johnson, sets out his vision and aims for the Teaching Excellence Framework and how to widen participation in a speech to Universities UK. It can be read at:

Higher education: student finance changes: From 1 August 2016 the student finance package will include a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan only. Students will still be able to apply for grants if they’re disabled or need help with childcare costs. Details at:

Student loan repayment model: A spreadsheet that calculates student loan repayments can be found at:

Freezing the Student Loan Threashold: Consultation: The Government is consulting on a proposal to keep the student loan repayment threshold at the same level for 5 years as mentioned in the Budget. The Consultation closes on 14 October 2015. Further details and a response form can be found at:

Alternative providers of higher education: improving quality and value for money: The Government response to this consultation which confirms it will implement the propoals to: improve English language requirements; provide better information for prospective students; relate student number controls to provider performance, can be read at:

Business-university research collaborations: Dowling review final report: The review by Dame Ann Dowling makes recommendations on how BIS can: support relationships between UK businesses and the UK’s world-leading university researchers by reducing complexity and foster and support relationships between researchers and business, particularly for smaller firms looking to innovate. It can be read at:

Widening participation in higher education 2015: Widening participation in higher education 2015 statistics have been published at:

(Department for Education)

GCSE and A level subject content consultation: The Government is launching a public consultation on revised subject content for GCSEs and A levels which will be taught from 2017. They are: GCSEs in Astronomy, Business, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geology, Psychology and Sociology and A and AS level History of Art, Music and Philosophy. Further details at:

Funding for young people with special educational needs: A research report has been published on how the current funding arrangements for children and young people with SEN work, and how they can be improved. It can be read at:

Nicky Morgan speaks about tackling LGBT bullying: Education Secretary Nicky Morgan discusses the government's plans to end lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) bullying in schools. It can be read at:

Mapping careers provision in schools and colleges in England: A Report providing findings from a survey of schools and colleges in England. The survey looked at:

the array of careers provision available; the value of the provision and allocation of provision. It can be read at:

The purpose of education: Nick Gibb sets out the Government's vision and purpose for education in a speech at the Education Reform Summit. It can be read at:

University technical college applications: deadline set: The deadline for applications to establish a university technical college (UTC) is 29 January 2016 with guidance on the process published by the DfE in the autumn. There are currently 30 UTCs with 31 in development. More information at:

News from Professional Bodies


Education and Training Foundation

Initial Teacher Education Provision in FE and Skills: The Foundation has commissioned this report from ICF Consulting. This report is the first to bring together data on ITE from a range of different sources to show the size and shape of teacher training in FE, as well as those who are training. It is a baseline report, and we plan to conduct the research annually. The data show the diversity of provision, that the majority of trainees are part-time learners; the diversity of the learners, with an average age of 38, they are mostly moving into their second career; there are a majority of women and men earn more than women. The full report can be read at:

Functional Skills: The Foundation are submitting a proposal for a reform programme to update English and maths Functional Skills qualifications. There is not much information yet but details are at:

Ofqual and Ofsted

Ofqual Annual Report and Accounts: Ofqual has published its Annual Report which gives a comprehensive update on their progress to date on qualifications and assessment and their aims for the future. It can be read at:

New A level and AS level qualifications: requirements and guidance: July Update: The July update on AS and A level qualifications can be accessed at:

GCSEs (9 to 1): requirements and guidance: July Update: The July update on GCSE qualifications can be accessed at:

Ofsted: Future of education inspection launch events: presentation slides: July Update: A July update of the presentations from the Ofsted launch events of the common inspection framework has been published at:

(Skills Funding Agency)

Apprenticeship standards: July Update: The July update to the apprenticeship standards including the new chartered manager degree apprenticeship can be found at:

National Apprenticeship Week 2016 dates announced: Next year’s National Apprenticeship Week will run from 14 to 18 March 2016. Further details at:

Skills Funding Agency: July update: Update is the Skills Funding Agency’s weekly round-up of business-critical information and news for the further education sector. It can be found at:

(Higher Education Funding Council for England)

HEFCE announces drive to ensure students from diverse backgrounds succeed in higher education: HEFCE has published five reports, which examine the reasons why different groups of students achieve different outcomes. They review provision and support for students with disabilities, and identify issues that will need to be addressed. They also put forward an evaluation framework to help assess how well different interventions work. They include students with specific learning difficulties and students with mental health issues. The Reports can be accessed at:,104774,en.html

Reductions to HEFCE teaching grant for 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years: Details of the BIS letter to Hefce and their response to universities can be found at:,104720,en.html

UK universities power nationwide growth: The results of the 2013-14 Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey highlight an increase of 10 per cent in the volume of interactions between universities and the economy and society. Further details at:,104694,en.html

Fixing the foundations: HEFCE response to Government’s productivity plan is at:,104676,en.html




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

English and Maths Resources: Resources from the English and Maths Fest on 29 June 2015 are now available 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: Weekly Policy Eye reports and the new skills agenda.