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WMCOP Bulletin Summer 2011



Welcome to the July and August edition of our Community of Practitioners' Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector over the summer.

This is a bumper edition of all the news and initiatives that have been happening in July and August including: A consultation by BIS 'New Challenges, New Chances' on the latest FE reforms, loans and ACL reforms; a new HE regulatory framework; consultation on a new FE Common Inspection Framework for colleges from Ofsted; Higher Apprentices Fund; and Simon Hughes report on Access to Education.

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


BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)


New Challenges, New Chances: A consultation document entitled 'New Challenges, New Chances: Next Steps in Implementing the Further Education Reform Programme' was published by BIS in August. This document follows from the 'Skills for Sustainable Growth' strategy and sets out the Government's planned reforms on the FE landscape, loans and funding, teaching, learning and qualifications, Adult and Community learning, delivering HE and skills and deregulation. Your views can be submitted to BIS by 21 October 2011. It can be downloaded at:

Consultation on Further Education loans: The model on which the loans system will be based has been agreed and your views on its implementation are sought. The consultation document can be read at: and an impact assessment can be read at:

Review of Informal Adult and Community Learning: There is a review of adult and community learning as part of the New Challenges, New Chances document and consultation is open for your comments. The review can be read at: with an impact review at:

Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis of progression rates for young people in England by free school meal receipt and school type: A report giving statistics on the proportion of students receiving free school meals who went to to university between 2005/06 and 2008/09 shows that the gap between the progression rates of those receiving and not receiving free school meals was 18 per cent in 2008/09. It can be read at:

'A New, Fit-for-Purpose Regulatory Framework for the Higher Education Sector': A consultation on details of the regulatory system for the future of HE has been launched by BIS following publication of the higher education white paper. It can be accessed at:

Access Agreements for 2012-13 for Universities and Colleges charging above £6000: The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has today announced it has approved 2012-13 Access Agreements for 139 institutions – 123 higher education institutions and 16 further education colleges. It can be read at:

Higher Apprenticeships Fund: In July, the Government announced a £25 million fund to support up to 10,000 Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships. Details and a list of the apprenticeships available can be seen at:

Skills for Growth: In July Vince Cable has announced Government backing for employer led projects to deliver the skills for growth in sectors ranging from healthcare to nuclear manufacturing. Read it at:

Colleges given more freedom to deliver skills for employment: John Hayes announced on 9 August that colletges will be given more freedom to deliver subsidised training to help people on benefits enter employment. Read the announcement at:

First 2 FE colleges to award own Foundation Degrees: Newcastle and Durham have become the first 2 FE colleges who can award their own Foundation Degrees. Details at:

Simon Hughes report on access to education was published in July. The key recommendations can be read on his website at: and the full report can be read at:

 DfE (Department for education)


EBacc promoting study of Core Subjects: The DfE statistics of 31 August show that more students are studying English, Maths, History or Geography, a foreign language and 2 sciences to achieve grade C or above and the EBacc. Read the article at:
See also Nick Gibb's comments following the publication of the Select Committee's report on the EBacc at:
The Select Committee Report can be read at:

Consultation on Care to Learn launched: The DfE is consulting on changes to how Care to Learn will continue to support teenage parents in education and unpaid training in England. Details at:

Reform of School League Tables: All 14-16 qualifications currently count in performance tables whether or not they include external assessment. From 2014 only GCSEs and valued vocational qualifications that meet strict new criteria will be recognised in the tables. More details at:

New Standards for School Teachers: All teachers will be expected to meet new standards of competence and conduct from September 2012, following an independent review of the skills that teachers should possess by Sally Coates. A copy of her first Report can be found at:

Lsis (learning and skills improvement service)


Latest LSIS Statistics demonstrate high levels of sector staff engaged in improving underperformance: Details at:

Leadership training: Leadership training for first-line and middle managers starts this autumn with modules on personal development
as a leader and manager.
Details at:

LSIS rescues the National Learning Network NLN materials: Details of these e-learning resources can be found at: 

LSIS Brief Guides: LSIS have published some useful brief guides which provide summaries for key documents at: Relevant documents this month with their links, are:

Students at the Heart of the System - the Higher Education White Paper (June 2011) at
New Challenges, New Chances: BIS consultation on next steps in implementing the further education reform programme (August 2011) at:
Open Public Services White Paper - quick summary (July 2011) at:

LSIS Policy Updates: The latest Update is from 30 July to 30 August and can be read at: and previous editions can be read at: 

Leadership in Technology Grant: Bids up to a maximum of £6,000 are invited from learning providers who are SFA/YPLA funded, for project grants for technology based improvement interventions. The grant is designed to support providers who identify a particular improvement that can be tackled through the innovative use of technology and organisational development. Details at: 

Resource Utilisation Network Fund: This fund is open until 3 October for bids to support projects which deliver significant improvements in efficiency, effectiveness or the generation of financial surplus, in sector practice.
Details at 




Technology in Teaching: Geoff Rebbeck is working on an analysis of data collected from 820 teachers in 15 organisations on attitudes to technology in action, with Nigel Ecclesfield from LSIS. The Report 'Exploring practitioner attitudes to the use of technology in the Further Education and Skills Sector' full report will soon be published on the Excellence Gateway but meanwhile the main points can be viewed at:

New Challenges, New Chances: IfL comments on the further education reform consultation at:




Revision of Common Inspection Framework: Ofsted is consultating on proposals to revise the inspection of further education (FE) colleges, work-based learning providers, adult and community learning (ACL) provision and ‘Next Step’ provision. The Common Inspection Framework 2012 can be viewed at:

An Ofsted report published today, Progression post-16 for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, found that learning opportunities beyond school for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities varies considerably between local areas. The Report can be read at:

A report An evaluation of approaches to commissioning young people’s services by Ofsted has found that local authorities are not always considering the voluntary and community sector, charities, or other arms of the public sector, when commissioning services for young people. It can be read at:


SFA (Skills funding agency)


Geoff Russell, chief executive of the SFA, discusses things that have been happening at:

Sexual Oreintation and Gender Identity Equality in Adult Learning: SAF research published in August 2011 into sexual orientation and gender identity equality in adult learning. It can be read at:

Update: The Skills Funding Agency now publish a Update which can be read at: 

The current Update 72 includes information on:
Next Steps Telephone Helpline: From 12 September the telephone helpline for both young people and adults will be combined under Next Step at 0800 100 900
Financial Management and Control Evaluation Return 2010/11 with details of forms
Qualifications and Credit Framework offer for the unemployed giving funding information from 1 August 2011
Future chanes to attendance rules under Skills Conditionality giving information on Jobcentre Plus people on training
Revision to the NAS Statement on Quality of Apprenticeship Delivery Models with details of changes in the 2011/12 funding

Issue 71 included:
Approved College and Training Organisation Register update
Reduction in Individualised Learner Records Data in the Employer Responsive dataset
Learner Information Suite V19.01 update
WorldSkills London 2011 Skills Equipment Fund
The information authority launches online Individualised Learner Record learning tools
Apprenticeship Vacancies
WorldSkills UK Competition Awards
The Learning and Skills Improvement Service workforce data collection survey
Research into Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality in Adult Learning
2010/11 Period 12 Employer Responsive Qualification Success Rate reports published

hefce (higher education funding council for england)


HEFCE strategy statement: 'Opportunity, choice and excellence in higher education' sets out the principles, priorities and practices that will guide HEFCE's work. It can be read at:

HEFCE News for July and August can be read at and includes:
HEFCE welcomes latest graduate destination survey that show graduate employment remains high
Announcement of 3 new Board members
8 out of 10 HE students gives their courses top marks
Routes into Languages initiative to get additional £1.2 million
Comments on HE Regulatory Framework
Comments on REF criteria
Statement on OFFA Access arrangements


News from the sector


Policy Watch is published by Pearson Publishing and gives useful summaries of the latest news in the Education sector. The link to this is: and headlines for this Bulletin include:

Pocket Watch on the latest NEET statistics
The Government sets out some next steps in its reform programme for FE
David Cameron's proposals for a volunteer service for young people
The Education Select Committee casts its verdict on the EBacc
The Vordemann task force report on maths
Update on the Growth plan August 2011
Consultation on a new HE regulatory framework

Sector News: Giving weekly news from the Educational Press can be read here