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WMCOP Bulletin March 2012

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Welcome to the March 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 have a large number of important changes and reports. The main reports are the interim Lingfield report into Professionalism in FE which, if accepted, will have a huge impact on the sector, in contrast to this is the Evaluation of FE Teachers' Qualifications report and the response to it by the IfL to become a voluntary professional body once again. There is good news from IfL that QTLS is now equivalent to QTS and from LSIS that the Staff Individualised Record is now easier to complete. New Standards for apprenticeships include a minimum 12 month length and there are grants for small businesses employing their first apprentice. The new National Careers Service has also been launched. HEFCE funding and numbers have been agreed for 2012-13 and 2013-14. An Indepent Commission has been set up on adult education and vocational pedagogy; new A Level reforms are under discussion as are the qualifications which will be included in the schools performance tables.

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 of Business, Innovation and Skills)


'Professionalism in Further Education' Interim Report of the Lingfield Independent Review Panel: This interim report recommends changes from September 2012 that:
. take away the statutory obligation for teachers to register with the IfL and give LSIS responsibility for professionalism of FE staff with the transitional funding from IfL used to refund part of the second year fees paid by FE staff.
. Revocation of The Further Education Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development and Registration, England Regulations and The Further Education Teachers’ Qualifications, England, Regulations, replaced with largely discretionary advice to employers on appropriate qualifications for staff and continuous professional development
· Simplification of and re-naming the in-service teaching qualifications
· An appropriate government body to take on responsibility for keeping a register of staff who have been found guilty of gross misconduct by the authorities, so that they may be excluded from future employment in the FE sector.
A final report, which will consider professionalism more widely, will report in the Summer.

John Hayes commented that "Moving away from an approach that enforces professionalism through regulation, to one that gives colleges and providers the freedom to decide how best to achieve high standards of teaching and learning is consistent with our policy of giving colleges freedom and power. It is also important that we empower staff to take responsibility for their own professional development - supported where they choose by voluntary professional body membership."

The interim report can be found in full at:

Evaluation of FE Teachers' Qualifications (England) Regulations 2007: March 2012: Publication of a Report by GHK Consulting for BIS evaluating the effect of the FE Teaching Qualifications 2007 has been published. It looks at the effect that the introduction of these Regulations has had on the FE sector and gives an interesting insight into the qualifications which are undertaken by the sector and whether the Regulations have affected professionalism. The Report can be found at:

FE Colleges to be Independent bodies: The National Statistics Office (ONS) has made the decision that further education colleges should no longer be classified as part of central government by changing the public sector classification they made in October 2010. Further details at:

Impovement to quality and standards of apprenticeships: John Hayes announced a series of major reforms to drive up quality and standards and asked the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to develop an action plan to ensure every apprenticeship meets the rigorous standards apprentices and employers expect. The written ministerial statement – Further improvements in the quality of apprenticeships – can be found at and the main points can be found at:

New Standards for apprenticeships: John Hayes has announced new apprenticeship standards: Apprenticeships will last for a minimum of 12 months; the new standards will come into force for all age groups from August 2012, subject to consultation with providers and employers; For those aged 19 and over, apprenticeships will last between one to four years unless prior learning or attainment has been undertaken. He also announced that small businesses employing their first apprentice will be eligible for a £1500 grant and that the National Apprenticeship Service is offering up to 40,000 Apprenticeship Grants to businesses who take on an apprentice aged 16 to 24 years old. Details at:

Apprenticeship Numbers: Statistics published in March show that in the first half of 2011-12 academic year 256,500 people started an apprenticeship. This included 79,100 young people aged under 19; 77,100 19-24 year olds and 100,300 adults aged 25 or over. News Release is at: 

National Minimum Wage: The Government has accepted the independent Low Pay Commission’s (LPC) recommendations for this year’s National Minimum Wage rates. The following rates will come into effect on 1 October 2012: The adult rate will increase by 11p to £6.19 an hour; The rate for 18-20 year olds will remain at £4.98 an hour; The rate for 16-17 year olds will remain at £3.68 an hour and The rate for apprentices will increase by 5p to £2.65 an hour. The report can be found at:

National Careers Service Launched: The new National Careers Service has been launched to provide information and advice for young people through the use of a helpline and website; offer face to face advice to adults in local community locations; provide local labour market information; provide tools such as a CV builder and Skills Health Check on the website; allow people to open a Lifelong Learning Account which gives information and advice on skills, careers and financial support online. Further details at:

HEFCE Funding 2012-13: HEFCE will allocate £5.3 billion to 129 universities and HE colleges and 186 FE colleges for the academic year 2012-13. The funding is allocated as follows: 3.2 billion for teaching; 1.6 billion for research; £150 million for knowledge exchange; £265 million in capital grants and £125 million in special funding. Further details can be found in 'Recurrent grants and student number controls for 2012-13 at:

HEFCE Allocation of student places through the 'margin' process for 2012-13: HEFCE has allocated 20,000 places divided between 190 universities and colleges: 9,643 places have been distributed between 35 HE institutions and 10,354 places between 155 FE colleges. Details of the allocation can be found at:

Student finance arrangements for Higher Education in 2013/14: The Government has announced the arrangements for 2013-14. The main points are:
· Maximum Maintenance Grants for low income students attending full-time courses will be increased in line with inflation.
· Maximum charges for tuition and maximum tuition loans will be maintained at 2012/13 levels.
· Maximum Fee and Course Grants for part-time and full-time distance learning students who started their courses before September 2012 will also be increased in line with inflation.
· All other grants and loans for living costs will be maintained at 2012/13 levels in 2013/14.
For an article on finance arrangements from BIS see: Details of funding is at:

Publication of Participation Rates in HE: “Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 2006/07 to 2010/11 (Provisional)” include data on 17-30 year old English domiciled first-time HE entrants to UK HE institutions and English, Welsh and Scottish FE colleges who remain in HE for at least six months. They can be found at:

Budget: A summary of the Budget can be found at: Areas of particular interest to FE are the introduction of Enterprise loans to help young people set up and start their own business; the UKHE Research Fund to be set up and the move to a Regional from a National pay structure for public sector workers. The Growth Plan education and skills measures which accompany the Budget are: setting up the HE Global online portal, now complete; Project Enthuse to improve the quality of science teaching in schools has just started; improving the quality of apprenticeship programmes; speeding up the apprenticeship vacancy advertising service; endorsing the Ofqual/OFT review of the operation of the qualification market; publishing destination data on 16 and 18 year olds; funding to support the development of work experience models in FE and elsewhere; employer kitemarking of STEM courses; an improved careers portal as part of the new Careers Service; piloting of undergraduate STEM ambassadors; and focused funding for adult literacy/numeracy courses. Details of these can be found at:

BIS Capability Action Plan: The Action Plan outlines the Department’s key challenges and shows where it is succeeding against key growth priorities areas and areas for improvement. It can be read at:

Independent Commission on adult education and vocational pedagogy: It has been announced that Frank McLoughlin CBE, Principal of City and Islington College, will chair this Commission which will present its final findings and recommendations in Spring 2013. Further details at: 

Report by BIS on Women on boards: March 2012: First annual review tracking progress in increasing the number of women on FTSE company boards. Reports back on each of the recommendations produced in Lord Davies’ women on boards report published in February 2011 . The report can be downloaded at:


DfE (Department for Education)


Proposed A Level Reforms: Research into the views of interested parties on the current A level curriculum and proposed reform and the intention to give universities a larger say in their development can be found at:

Reform of 14-16 Performance Tables from 2014: A list of the qualifications which will be included in school performance tables from 2014 can be found at:

Tougher tests for trainee school teachers: Literacy and Numeracy test are being reviewed for trainee school teachers. The new tests will be introduced in September 2013 for trainees who are starting training from 2014. For more details see:

Interim Nutbrown Report into early education and childcare qualifications: Professor Cathy Nutbrown has published an interim report considering how to strengthen qualifications and career pathways for people working in early education and childcare. It can be read at:




Staff Individualised Record (SIR): The Staff Individualised Record (SIR) will now be easier to complete as the previous 31 fields have been reduced to 18 following a review. Further details at:

LSIS Refined Priorities: LSIS has published its 'Refining our Strategy 2012-2015' which can be read at:

Deaf Learner Voice Scheme: LSIS has launched bi-lingual interactive Deaf awareness training, created and led entirely by Deaf learners. Further details at: 


IfL (Institute for Learning)


IfL Members with QTLS now able to teach in schools: From 1 April 2012, members of the IfL with Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status are recognised as qualified to teach in schools. The
2003 Regulations have been amended by Parliament so that holders of QTLS who are IfL members have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and may be appointed to permanent positions as qualified teachers, without any further induction requirements. See article at:

IfL a voluntary, professiona membership organisation again: The Institute for Learning (IfL) has confirmed that it will again operate as a voluntary, professional membership organisation, in light of the interim report of an independent review of professionalism in the further education and skills sector. Details at:

Professional Trainers are essential for good apprenticeships: Following a BBC Panorama documentary about apprenticeships, the IfL has responded that professional teachers, trainers and assessors are essential for the delivery and assessment of high-quality apprenticeships and should be qualified in teaching as well as their subject specialism. Article at:




Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
Next Steps in School Funding reform
What happened in the world of education in March
Interim report on FE Professionalism
UCAS report back on proposals to reform the admissions process to HE
Budget 2012
Ofsted tackle national literacy standards
OECD report on developing school leaders and teachers
A new model of FE?
Some recent developments in the world of HE

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