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WMCOP Bulletin June/July 2012

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Welcome to the June-July edition of our Community of Practitioners' Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector in the last month.

This month there are details of the different funding opportunities including Initial Teacher Training Fee Awards which organisations delivering teacher training can apply for behalf of their students; details of a bursary scheme for some mature learners; phase 2 of the LSIS Support and Aspiration project and supported internships for young people with special needs. A report from the Education Select Committee on the examinations system and Ofqual's response are published and a consultation on A levels has been launched.

With many changes coming both in ITE professional qualifications and the GCSE and A level examinations, we wish you all a good summer break and look forward to our next Bulletin which will be in September.

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)


Bursary scheme for mature learners: A new fund forming part of a package of support for people who take out 24+ Advanced Learning Loans from next year, has been announced. It will fund support for mature students with learning difficulties, disabilities, parents needing childcare help and ex-military personnel to help with costs such as childcare, travel, books and equipment. It will also allow Access to HE Diploma students to apply to write off any outstanding loan on completion of their course and provide advice and guidance on taking out a loan. For further details see:

Birmingham among cities for devolved powers: Whitehall has agreed to devolve more powers in a 'City Deal' to 6 cities including Birmingham where the Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has a strong presence. The powers devolved to Birmingham include: Self-sustaining investment funds to spend on local priority projects; devolved transport budget and Joint investment programmes bringing together private and public sector assets to unlock resources for housing development and regeneration. Further details can be found at:

Community Learning Trusts: Fifteen partnerships have been successful in bids to start Community Learning Trusts including Birmingham CLT and Solihull Source. They will start work in August and will involve colleges, adult education services, businesses and voluntary organisations working together with their surrounding communities to provide courses that local people want. Further details at:

Apprenticeship Programme continues to grow: New statistics published today show a continued increase in the number of people starting an apprenticeship. The provisional data shows that in the first nine months of the 2011/12 academic year 383,200 people started an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship starts rose across all regions of the country and at all levels, with particularly strong growth at advanced and higher levels. The data also showed higher levels of learners on Skills for Life courses to improve their basic skills, with 1,374,200 participating during the first three quarters of the 2011/12 academic year. The statistics can be found at:

University-Business Collaboration strengthened: The Government has set out plans to strengthen collaboration between universities and business in a Report 'Following up the Wilson Review of Business-University Engagement'. The plans include: Supporting the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) to create a National Centre for Universities and Business; Stimulating student demand for sandwich courses by instituting a 15 per cent cap on fees for a sandwich year; extending the Graduate Talent Pool service for a further three years and working with graduate employers to promote fair recruitment and the use of new more detailed records of student achievement. The Report can be found at:

Research Integrity Concordat: The Concordat aims to provide a national framework for good research conduct and has been signed by HEFCE, Universities UK, Research Councils, the Wellcome Trust and government departments. Details and the Concordat can be found at:

Widening Participation Report: HEFCE and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) have published a joint report on their monitoring of widening participation strategic assessments and access agreements for 2010-11. They have found that 'once again universities and colleges have committed financial resources well above the funding provided by HEFCE specifically for widening participation and the expenditure committed through access agreements in 2010-11. Institutions have also demonstrated the continued development of their approaches to the evaluation of their widening participation strategies and activities'. The Report is at:

Better Access to Business Mentors: The Mentorsme website set up in July last year to help UK businesses to grow has proved popular with 100 organisations signed up and over 11,000 volunteer mentors. Training is through the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative’s (SFEDI) Get Mentoring scheme and details can be found at:

Consultation on National Minimum Wage: The Low Pay Commission has launched a public consultation on the operation of the National Minimum Wage (NMW). This consultation is part of a wider evidence gathering exercise to consider a number of aspects of the NMW and make recommendations on the level of the different rates from October 2013. The consultation details are at:

Aerospace Research Funding: Details of funding of new investment of £120 million for the aerospace industry have been published in addition to the £60 million to set up a UK Centre for Aerodynamics. The funding includes development of intellectual leadership in aerodynamics; Research & Technology government and industry funded projects; low carbon aero engine research and funding of 500 aeronautical engineers Masters. Details are at: A report ‘Reach for the Skies’ has also been published which sets out the Government's vision for this industry which can be read at:

Copyright licensing update: New legislative measures to update the UK’s copyright licensing system have been announced which would: allow the creation of a future ‘orphan works’ scheme to open access to valuable material that currently can’t be licensed or used; put in place a voluntary regime for extending collective licensing to help reduce complexities in the system and reserve a power to introduce statutory codes of conduct for collecting societies if they fail to operate to minimum standards. Details at:

Expanding access to research findings: The Finch Group Report has been published on expanding access to research findings and the proposed initiatives like providing access to findings for research-intensive small companies and making peer-reviewed journals available for free at public libraries has been welcomed by the Government and will form part of its policy on open access to be set out in the near future. David Willetts speech on open access can be found at:


DfE (Department for Education)


Education Select Committee Report on Exams: Following a long inquiry, a report 'The administration of examinations for 15-19 year olds in England' concluded that competition between exam boards creates significant pressure to drive down standards in exams and that the time is right for fundamental reform. The Committee rejected moves to a single national exam board or to single boards for each subject and suggests that there should be a single national syllabus for each subject which would be accredited by the regulator, Ofqual, with every exam board able to set question papers against that syllabus. The Report can be found at: A speech by Glenys Stacey, Ofqual Chief Regulator on the future of the examination system can be found at:

Report on ITT training in Classroom Behaviour: Charlie Taylor, the Government's expert Adviser on behaviour and who will become Chief Executive of the Training Agency in September, has published 'Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour' a description of the knowledge, skills and understanding that trainees in schools need to manage pupil's behaviour. It complements the new teaching standards and can be found at:

Young People with Special Needs to be given supported internships: From this autumn supported internships are being trialled at 14 colleges around England for young people aged between 16 and 25 who have complex learning difficulties or disabilities. The supported internships trial will provide a structured learning programme at an employer tailored to the needs of the young person and supported by expert job coaches. It could be adopted by all further education colleges from September 2013. See for details.

Free Schools: Over 100 new Free Schools have been approved to open from September 2013. Further details at:


LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service)


Further Education and Skills ITT Fee Awards 2012-13: LSIS have announced fee awards for ITT (these used to be called Bursaries) The Awards will be made to organisations delivering teacher training to those training as teachers in the further education and skills sector; providing a contribution to the costs of the training. The Fee Awards offer £1500 for those teaching maths/numeracy and English/literacy (including functional skills) and £1000 for other subjects. To apply for Awards on behalf of your students you need to complete a provider registration form preferable before the end of July as this is a first come, first served scheme. Details and registration form can be found at:

Support and Aspiration phase 2: The second phase will move the project from a regionalised approach to one that is localised and increase the number of providers involved from 54 to 216, with approximately six local clusters per region. Clusters will be expected to focus on the areas ‘Preparation for Adulthood’ and ‘Challenging Low Expectations’ through sharing delivery and effective practice. The closing date is 14 September and details can be found at: 

LSIS Accounts: Following the success of LSIS accounts it has been decided that these will continue, more details to follow.

National Occupational Standards for Coaching and Mentoring have been released and they can be found at:

The LSIS Research Development Fellowship Programme 2012-13 is offering 40 places for the coming year and the 'exploratory research' programme for English, maths and ESOL/functional skills is offering 20 places. Details can be found at: 

Equality and Diversity Report: The Summary Workforce Diversity Report 2011 is available which provides analysis of the diversity profile of the sector. It can be found at: and the latest annual SIR report, which analyses data from 2010-2011 was published in June 2012 and includes discussions on the diversity profile of the FE college workforce as well their qualifications. This is at:

IfL (Institute for Learning)

Lingfield Review: IfL has published its response to the government’s consultation on revoking the 2007 FE workforce regulations, which drew on more than 5,300 members' responses to an in-depth online survey.

Future of IfL: Tony Frazaeli, Chief Executive of IfL, has confirmed that IfL is going forward, whether or not regulations stay or go, and that the IfL's elected board has decided this and that IfL should seek chartered status for the teaching profession. Details are in InTuition this month.

Declaring your CPD: Members should declare their CPD by 31 August for 2011-12 and this can be done online or via Reflect.

Ofsted and Ofqual

Consultation on A level examinations: Ofqual are running a series of events to inform stakeholders about their consultation on A level reform. The consultation is also available to take part in online at:

Skills for Employment report: This Ofsted report found that when matching unemployed adults to specific courses, progression to employment was not a high enough priority. Too many programmes focused on achievement of qualifications and courses did not extend to training that lead to job specific skills according to Ofsted. The report can be found at:



Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
Policy Tracker for June
Primary school draft programmes of study
GCSE developments
A level reform programme
Government response to the HE White Paper
Latest Apprenticeship Review

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