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WMCOP Bulletin June 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 this month with a new short Ofsted Inspection process and a new Common Inspection Framework which take effect from September 2015. Ofsted has published a handbook giving guidance for FE on the new process - see below.

Ofqual have published guidance on the new GCSE, AS and A level regulations and grading levels, together with timelines. They have also published guidance on the National Reference Tests and a new prototype register for qualifications. A move to a more academic core curriculum of EBacc subjects features in speeches by both Nicky Morgan and Nick Gibb. New Statutory guidance on keeping children safe in education has been published.

The Government is increasing the number of apprenticeships and giving them equal legal treatment with degrees and increased the National Minimum Wage for apprentices and a list of technical and vocational qualifications for teaching from September 2015 has been published.

The Education and Training Foundation has set up a new society for professional membership, the Society for Education and Training.

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)

Government targets on Apprenticeships: The Government will protect the term ‘apprenticeship’ in law to strengthen their reputation, help working people and ensure apprenticeships are recognised as a career path equal to higher education. They have announced their intention to: give apprenticeships equal legal treatment as degrees; a commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 will be enshrined in law and public sector bodies will be set targets to help reach 3 million apprenticeships. Further details at:

New Apprenticeships at AIM companies: A new scheme to place apprentices in companies quoted on AIM, London Stock Exchange’s growth market for ambitious small and medium businesses has been launched. Further details at:

International higher education: Jo Johnson sets out the Government's aims for international higher education in a speech at the Going Global 2015 Conference on International Higher Education. His speech can be read at:

Current models of collaboration: post-14 further education: This report reviews established and successful collaborations in further education. It aims to increase sector-wide knowledge about existing models which can be repeated elsewhere and can be read at:

Further education: measuring the net present value in England: This study measures the economic benefit of further education (FE) in England in terms of increased wages to individuals and increased profits to firms. The aim of the exercise was to produce a framework for estimating Net Present Value which could be continually updated as better and more up-to-date evidence became available. It can be read at:

National Minimum Wage: report on the 2015 apprentice rate: The Government's response to the Low Pay Commission's recommendation is a higher increase of 57p, taking the rate from £2.73 an hour to £3.30. The full Report can be read at:

Statistical Data: June 2015:
Public expenditure on research and innovation 2013 to 2014: Data showing the distribution of research funding and grants in 2013-14 has been published at:

Further Education Statistics: June 2015: Data on 24+ Learning Loans is not available this month but the data on learner participation, outcomes and level of highest qualification held can be found at:

Graduate labour market statistics: January to March 2015: These statistics provide information on graduate and non-graduate earnings and employment rates for England and can be found at:

FE data library: apprenticeships: Information on the number of apprenticeship starts and achievements to 2014-15 can be found at:

(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:

Initial teacher training criteria - Schools: Statutory guidance on the entry, management, quality assurance, and employment-based criteria required to provide initial teacher training can be read at:

Keeping children safe in education: Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children and safer recruitment. This replaces the 2014 guidance and can be found at:

Post-16 courses database: operational guide: A guide to putting course information on a national database available to potential students has been published at:

Preparing children for a successful future through the Ebacc: A speech by Nicky Morgan discusses changes to the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) including: a goal for all pupils starting year 7 this September to study the EBacc subjects when they reach their GCSEs; a change to the grading system from this September that a 'good pass' will be set at grade 5 (the old system of A* to U has been replaced with a new scale of 9 to 1); and a working group on classroom management chaired by Tom Bennett. Her speech can be read at:

Nicky Morgan discusses the future of education in England: Nicky Morgan speaks at the Sunday Times Festival of Education on the Government's vision for education for the next 5 years at:

Nick Gibb: the social justice case for an academic curriculum: A speech by Nick Gibb sets out the Government's rationale for promoting an academic curriculum. It can be read at:

English Baccalaureate (EBacc): What the EBacc performance measure is, and the criteria qualifications must meet to count towards it can be found at:

GCSE science from 2016: This publication sets out the learning outcomes and content coverage required for GCSE specifications in single science subjects at: and combined science at:

Professional Bodies

Education and Training Foundation

Society for Education and Training: The Education and Training Foundation has launched a new society for professional membership, the Society for Education and Training (SET). The Society is a new membership organisation for practitioners working in further education and training. SET will provide development including: access to educational content, with support to apply it in practice; Facilitating active face-to-face and online communities; supporting members’ involvement in their own practitioner research and Building recognition for ongoing professional development through refreshed membership levels, enhancements to QTLS and higher or specialist statuses for experienced practitioners. Further information can be found at: and the SET website is at:


New era for Ofsted inspection: Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector introduced changes to inspections at a conference in London. The changes take effect from September 2015 and mean that good FE and skills providers are inspected every 3 years under a new short inspection model which starts from the premise that the provider is still good and focuses on ensuring those standards are being maintained. They typically last one day. Details can be found at: A Guide to the changes can be found at:

New Common Inspection Framework: A new framework for Ofsted inspections has been launched that encompass registered early years settings, maintained schools, academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills providers so that common judgements and common terminology can be used across all these sectors. The Framework can be accessed at:

Further education and skills inspection handbook from September 2015: Guidance for inspecting further education and skills provision under the common inspection framework from September 2015 can be found at:

Future of education inspection launch events: Materials from the Ofsted launch events of the common inspection framework can be accessed at:

Monthly management information: Ofsted's further education and skills inspections outcomes: May 2015. This data can be found at:


Reformed GCSEs and AS and A levels: A speech by Glenys Stacey, Chief Regulator of Ofqual on the thinking behind Ofqual's revision of qualifications, the introduction of the new grading structure and the new National Reference Tests. The speech can be read at:

Timeline of changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels: An overview of what changes will be made to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications between 2015 and 2019 can be found at:

New GCSE grading structure: a postcard: An easy to digest summary of the coming changes to the grading of GCSEs can be found at:

GCSEs (9 to 1): requirements and guidance: Rules, regulations and guidance for GCSEs graded 9 to 1 can be found at:

National reference tests: an overview: The first reference tests in English and maths will take place in March 2017 and in future years will be used when awarding GCSEs. Further details at:

Improving how you search for information about qualifications: Ofqual prototype of an improved register of regulated qualifications is up and running. They would like your feedback. The press release is at: and the register is at:

(Skills Funding Agency)

On target for a higher skilled workforce: June figures show that since the start of the academic year 2013 to 2014, over 22,000 higher apprenticeships have been supported. There has also been an increase in traineeships with over 15,000 started in the first 3 quarters of this academic year. The number of apprenticeship starts August 2014 to April 2015 in the West Midlands is 45,900. Further details at:

Employers' guide to apprenticeship standards: Guidance has been published which introduces employers to the new apprenticeship standards and provides information about the government funding available. It can be found at:

Apprenticeship standards in development: A document giving all the occupations approved by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to develop an apprenticeship standard can be found at:

Apprenticeship training agencies: A List of apprenticeship training agencies approved by the SFA can be found at:

SFA subcontracting: using funding to offer education and training: Subcontracting SFA funding, the information you need to send, what is a subcontractor and who is on the subcontracting list can be found at:

Individualised Learner Record (ILR): check that data is accurate: Information about the Funding Information System (FIS), to help further education (FE) providers validate ILR data can be found at:



WMCETT's Sector News gives weekly updates on education and can be found 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 'Unravelling the Education Bill'.