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WMCOP Bulletin June/July 2013

Welcome to the June 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's Bulletin covers: Revised GCSEs, the change of title of the FE Guild to the Education and Learning Foundation, engineering technician apprenticeships and the Troops into Teaching initiative. There are a number of funding initiatives including the Spending Review and allocations targeted via the Local Enterprise Councils

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.

This Bulletin will be the last for this academic year and we would like to thank LSIS for their support over the last five years. We wish you all a very good summer break.

See below for:

News from the Profession


Discussion documents


BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Grants to support postgraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds: The Government has announced an initial £25 million fund will distribute grants to universities and colleges to attract and support disadvantages students into postgraduate education with further funding if the initiative is successful. This follows the HEFCE review 'Postgraduate education in England and Northern Ireland'. Further details of the grants can be found at: and the review can be found at:

European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund Allocations 2014-2020: In a written Ministerial Statement to Parliament, Vince Cable set out the fund allocations for the ERDF and ESF. The funds will be allocated via the Local Enterprise Councils to stimulate growth and jobs. Further details can be found at:

 EU Structural Funds allocations for England: Michael Fallon has announced the allocation of the EU Structural Funds which will be allocated via Local Enterprise Councils. Details can be found in the publication 'Making European funding work better for the UK economy' at

National Careers Council's First Report: The National Careers Council has published its first report 'An Aspirational Nation: Creating a culture change in careers provision'. The Report has seven recommendations including that a culture change is needed that addresses the mismatch between skills shortages and high unemployment; the creation of an employer-led Advisory Board; it should expand its work with schools, young people and parents and encourage greater employer participation; and extend online services. The full Report can be found at:

Matthew Hancock's speech on the National Careers Council's Report supported their recommendations and commented that as schools are now responsible for careers guidance, from September Ofsted will give priority to this and it will be reflected in the destination data. His speech can be read at:

Engineering Apprenticeships: A new scheme for Engineering Technicians has been launched by the Prime Minister to create 100,000 engineering technicians by 2018. The initiative has been created by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institute of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and is backed by the Gatsby Foundation. Further details at:

Information Economy Strategy: The Government has published a strategy making it easier for businesses to access public services online. The strategy will also bring together academia and business to develop a digital skills strategy in a sector which employs over 1.5 million people in the UK. This will include the promotion of innovative teaching tools in schools, encouraging more young people (especially girls) to pursue jobs in the information economy, and creating a programme of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for computing and data science. A BIS policy document can be read at: and the Information Economy Strategy document at:

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund: £290 million for new research facilities for projects that focus on physical sciences, medical research, advanced materials, pharmaceutical manufacturing and advanced manufacturing has been announced. Details of the successful university and business partnerships are at:

Widening Participation in Higher Education: The HEFCE and OFFA monitoring report including the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) shows that the NSP will help almost 35,000 people in it's first year. The NSP is funded by the Government and the universities are on track to achieve their widening participation targets. Further details at:

Guidance for new providers of Higher Education: The Government has published a set of universal criteria which must be met by all higher education providers to maintain the quality of higher education. The Quality Assurances Agency will monitor the process and the guidance: 'Alternative Providers: specific course designation - guidance for providers: criteria and conditions' can be found at:

Maximising Women's Contribution to Economic Growth: A Report from the Women's Business Council reports that that there is an overwhelming business case, supported by strong evidence, for maximising women’s contribution to growth. Key recommendations are: to broaden girls’ aspirations and job choices; for business to embrace the benefits of flexible working; to recognise the potential of more mature women and provide more support for women to set up their own businesses. The Report can be found at:

DfE (Department for Education)


Education and Employment Destination Data: The DfE has published data showing what proportion of students in every state-funded mainstream school, college and local authority in England progressed to further or higher education, or went into employment or training. The data can be found at:

Revised GCSEs: In a Statement to Parliament on education reform, Michael Gove set out plans for reformed GCSEs. He announced the publication of draft details of new GCSE content in the core academic subjects of English, maths, science, history, geography and modern and ancient languages. He also announced that Ofqual will be publishing its own consultation on the regulation of reformed GCSEs. Most of the subjects will be ready for September 2015 with the first exams taken in summer 2017. His speech can be found at: The draft content of the revised GCSEs and consultation document can be found at:

Troops to Teachers: New routes for ex-service personnel to enter teaching have been announced. There will be two routes: From September, service leavers with degrees will be able to enrol on teacher training programmes with additional bespoke training and £2,000 bursary uplifts; from January 2014, service leavers without degrees will be able to enrol on a 2-year, school-based, salaried training programme. These service leavers will be the only people able to start training as a teacher without a degree and be qualified within 2 years. Details of the scheme can be found at:

16-19 Bursary Fund Evaluation Report: Research from NatCen Social Research looked at the first year of the bursary fund and found that: 73% of FE and sixth-form colleges and 61% of school sixth-forms think the bursary is having a positive impact on participation and 84% of FE and sixth-form colleges and 61% of school sixth-forms think the bursary is effective in targeting those with the greatest financial need. The evaluation report can be found at:

Apprentice bursary scheme for Early Years: An apprenticeship bursary scheme will be transitional ahead of the early years educator qualifications in 2014. It will attract a bursary worth £1500 and there are 1000 places available. Applicants will need a position in a nursery delivering early learning places for 2-year olds. Further details are at:

First World War: The centenary of the First World War will be celebrated by cultural events and a website has been set up with all the events which can be accessed at:

Professional Bodies


Education and Training Foundation (previously FE Guild)
Education and Training Foundation: Sir Geoff Hall, former New College Nottingham principal and chair of the Information Authority has been appointed as the interim chief executive.

LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service):
2013 Leadership Toolkits: LSIS have announced the 2013 versions of the Leadership Toolkits for leaders and managers in independent specialist colleges, adult and community learning, work-based learning and offender learning. There are four toolkits containing more than 100 modules of interactive content which can be found at:

A Legacy of Learning: An evaluation of the LSIS initiatives to enhance the performance of further education and skills providers over the last five years. With the era of LSIS coming to a close they asked the sector through questionnaires and follow-up interviews to reflect on the achievements made through their improvement services. The response can be read at:

The following LSIS Publications can be found at:
Higher Education in Further Education: Sector update June 2013 at
Further Education College workforce data for England: An analysis of the Staff Individualised Record data 2011-2012 at
Clerking in the new era: Implications for College Governance at
Using QCF Units and Qualifications to deliver a response offer that meets local needs at
Functional Skills - six months into delivery at
Work Based Learning Workforce survey 2011/12 at
Communicating through change: a note for senior leaders at

IfL (Institute for Learning)
Implementing 16-19 Study Programmes: The IfL has been commissioned by the DfE to conduct new research into the innovative approaches teachers and trainers are putting in place to deliver 16-19 study programmes. A link to the online survey can be found at:

157 Group look at Curriculum design in FE: A Report 'Curriculum redesign in further education colleges: exploring current challenges and opportunities' reports on the methods that teams within colleges use to adapt their curriculum to the needs of local employers and learners seeking to move in to employment. It can be read at:

Skills Funding Agency
Government's Spending Review 2015-16: The SFA response is that 'the headline for FE and skills is a fair settlement that remains challenging, but allows for the planned reforms over the next few years. The statement prioritises the young, the unemployed and the delivery of Apprenticeships and traineeships'. George Osborne's Speech to Parliament on the Spending Review can be found at:

SFA Quarter Three Performance Review: The results of the review mean that all 16-18 Apprenticeship growth requests were funded and

all 19+ Apprenticeship growth requests were funded where the full allocation of Apprenticeship funding has been met. The SFA will allocate a further £12m to support adult Apprenticeship places and £6.4m in 16-18 Apprenticeships for the remainder of the 2012/13 contract year. They will also consolidate these increases in providers’ Maximum Contract Values (MCVs) for the 2013/14 contract year. Details 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 the Spending Round for education?
Policy Tracker for June 13
Tackling the attainment gap
Labour sets out it's thoughts on the school system
HE's High Five
Making sense of the GCSE reforms
Next steps in school funding reform
A new vision for careers guidance in England?

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