Skip to main content

WMCOP Bulletin March 2009



Welcome to the first edition of our Community of Practitioners' Bulletin - your link to what's happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

There is a lot going on at the moment with new legislation, strategies and reports and from this newsletter we'd like you to share your views on the direction that teaching and learning is moving forward. 

There are also some calls for help in Swap Shop and we'd like to hear 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:

Latest Discussion Document

News from the Profession

Swap Shop


Out and About


Latest Discussion Document:

Our second discussion document is 'Just suppose teaching and learning became the first priority.....'  by Frank Coffield which can be downloaded at

In this article Frank Coffield asks us to imagine a learning and skills sector (LSS) where teaching and learning have really become the number one priority.  He sets out to explore this proposition and its most likely consequences.  It is his personal slant and in his words 'I am aware that I am swimming against the prevailing tide but, as Malcolm Muggeridge once remarked, only dead fish swim with the stream'.  

We hope you enjoy reading it - let us know your thoughts and comments by emailing  

News from the Profession: 


The 'Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning' Bill has been published putting apprenticeships on a statutory basis and setting out young people's entitlement.  For a summary of the new Bill see

New Opportunities White Paper to increase support for individuals from child, through school, transition from compulsory education through further and higher education to work and lifelong learning.  For more information see

Marriage - it's your choice.  Information and posters available from the Every Child Matters website at

WBL: Latest Train to Gain and business information has now been brought together on

The DIUS Newsletter is online at

LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service).  There's lots going on this month that would be useful to look at!

Statement of Strategic Direction
LSIS has launched its first statement of strategic direction.  This document sets out its proposed vision, mission and aims centred around the two core themes of working with providers to develop their staff and their professionalism and working with providers to develop their capacity to improve.  It also outlines the kind of organisation LSIS will be and how it will work with the sector and partners.  This is a really important document and LSIS are involving the sector by inviting feedback.  For the full statement of strategic direction and how to give your feedback to LSIS see 

National Improvement Strategy (NIS)
On 10 December 2008 LSIS launched a consultation on behalf of the sector on a new approach to the National Improvement Strategy.  This new approach is to build consensus among providers and partners for a manageable number of core self-improvement principles based on trust and ownership.  They hope that there will be sufficient consensus in support of these principles and that these will inform the corporate plans of the national partners.  The NIS underpins LSIS's statement of strategic direction and it is useful, therefore, to read these two documents together.  There is a link from the document above or to go directly to the document use  The IfL are coordinating views on the National Improvement Strategy - see below or go to

We would also very much like to hear your views on

Workforce Development
A new report published on 21 January 2009 by the CBI and LSIS entitled 'Reaching Further: Workforce development through employer-FE college partnership' calls for better and closer links between employers and FE colleges.  The report shows that almost half of firms (47%) have links with FE colleges and that more than 50% of employers lack confidence in their being enough skilled people to meet future demand.  It puts the case for greater collaboration and contains examples of how employers and FE colleges can work effectively together to boost the skills base.  The report can be downloaded  at

Good examples from your own practice and experience can be shared by emailing us at

Skills for Life
DIUS has passed responsibility for managing the Skills for Life magazine, Update, and the national conferences to LSIS.  Update is published three times a year and provides a forum for articles, news and calendar events for everyone involved in Skills for Life.  The SfL area can be accessed from

LLUK (Lifelong Learning UK) and SVUK (Standards Verification UK)

An evaluation of the PTLLS course (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) was carried out by York Consulting Ltd on behalf of LLUK. 

The objectives were to: determine how PTLLS courses fitted in with existing provision and practices; establish the issues arising for teachers, learners and managers in the different learning environments of the tests and trials; produce a report with key recommendations for further development of PTLLS courses. 

The report concluded that overall PTLLS courses was welcomed and highlights some of the issues such as a lack of consistency in terms of needs assessments, support available for trainees, mentoring and information and guidance. 

It makes three main recommendations: 
a focus on information and dissemination to prevent and solve confusion concerning the aims of the award, demands, progression within the framework, accreditation and recognition of prior learning and funding;

regarding content, the proportion of microteaching and self-directed learning needs to address feedback concerned with managing the delivery of legislative issues within the recommended contact time indicated for PTLLS;

ensuring that learners receive a minimum level of support (mainly in terms of careers/employment advice and ongoing mentoring) to ensure standards are high and consistent across providers, which in turn is likely in many cases to require a culture change, achievable through disseminating the benefits of mentoring and support to the learners' experience. 

Whew!  Do read the full evaluation on: and let us know your views on  I'm sure you'll have lots to say.

Learning and Development National Occupational Standards

The Project Board will meet in March after which details of the new Standards will be released for consultation events in April and May - watch this space!

Interactive guide launched for 14-19 Diploma practitioners
LLUK and the Training and Development Agency for Schools have produced an updated electronic resource for the 14-19 Diploma workforce.  'Involving Business in Diploma Lessons: A Guide for Teachers (2nd Edition) offers tools and support for those involved in engaging with local employers and delivering applied learning in FE colleges and schools.  The resource can be downloaded at:  There are also other useful guides etc on this page.

The LLUK e-bulletin can be accessed via:

Institute for Learning (IfL)

As mentioned above, the IfL want their response to the National Improvement Strategy (NIS) consultation to be informed by the views of their members.  The document can be downloaded at and IfL invite you to share your thoughts on the proposed principles via Reflect on

IfL have launched their first five year strategy setting out how it will work with us, its members, to make a difference.  The strategy says it will:
'offer benefits that you value, to help you continue to teach or train to the highest standards;
increase your professional status as teachers, trainers and assessors and ensure that you are entrusted with your serious and vital professional role, for the benefit of learners, society and the economy;
enable your collective voice to influence policy and decision-making.'

Download the strategy  from: and see the video at and let us know your views on


Ofsted News - Adult Learning and Further Education section.  The following articles may be of interest:

High flying students benefiting from mock working environments -leisure, travel and tourism is the focus of a new good practice Ofsted survey at

A wide gender divide in information communication technology - high standards are being maintained, but women are losing out according to a new Ofsted survey.

Literacy and numeracy are the building blocks to helping offenders - Ofsted publishes two reports on learning and skills for prisoners.

Ofsted's newspaper for learning and skills.  There are a number of interesting articles in this publication well worth having a look at.  It can be downloaded at:


JISC's (the Joint Information Systems Committee) newsletter 'Inform' is on Green issues.  It is produced by JISC to raise awareness of the use of information technology (ICT) to support further and higher education in the UK and can be found on:

Sector News

For the latest from the educational press see WMCETT Sector News

Your chance to ask others in the COP for Teacher Educator resources, ideas etc for particular projects or share great finds

Call from Debbie Reardon at Warwickshire College who would like numeracy resources which can be presented in a virtual form using Camtasia Studio 5 software - anyone who can help please email

Request from Jim Crawley at Bath Spa University for Teacher Educators willing to complete an online questionnaire as part of an Action Research Project (linked to the SWitch CETT) to enhance support for prospective, new and experienced teacher educators - link is

WMCETT would like recommendations for good video/DVDs to use for teaching observation training.  There is a lot of stuff out there - some quite expensive, but what is good and why do you think so?  Email

Excellence Gateway.  What are your favourite resources on the Gateway?  Let us know what they are, how you use them and the target group.  Email   Has anyone used the e-learning tools suggested on the 'Top E-Learning Tools of 2009 You Shouldn’t Teach Without' forum at


Jill Hardman at WMCETT recommends 'Who Cares about the White Working Class?' published in January 2009 by The Runnymede Trust at

This article is a new study on the white working class and ethnic diversity in Britain,  It is a response to Hazel Blears' call for white working class voices and grievances to be heard.  Leading thinkers on race and class challenge how the arguments about white working class disadvantage and underachievement, for example in education, are being presented.  They show this serves to hide the real impact of both class and race inequality in our society.  Really interesting and useful to brush up your thinking on race, class and education, especially the first 3 chapters.  Share your views by emailing

Conferences and Events

Three Counties Professional Development Partnership are holding a Showcase Event at The Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford on 7 July from 10.30 to 3.30pm.  Colleagues in the partnership colleges will be exhibiting and presenting new ideas and activities.  For more information contact

Books, journals, websites etc

Niace have announced the launch of the new website from The Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) at

They state 'The Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) is a growing national alliance of voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises involved in learning and training.  It aims to offer a coherent 'voice' from and for the Third Sector providers across government departments and other important bodies, and a forum for developing Third Sector ideas and proposals.'

14-19 Diploma - 5 videos from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) are on YouTube at:

Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment Training in FE - Free modular e-learning resource which is certificated and one day workshop developed to support FE providers in line with the 'Staying Safe: Action Plan' (published by DCSF).  Download at

Call for Reviewers:  
Phase 2 of the Gold Dust project will be launched in April, if you would like to be part of this review please contact