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WMCOP Bulletin May 2012

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Welcome to the May-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 sees the publication of responses to the Government's consultation on Reforms to the Higher Education White Paper, The core priorities for the Skills Funding Agency being set under a new interim Chief Executive, a review of apprenticeships launched following both apprentice and employer surveys on apprenticeships and the new StartUp Loan scheme launched.

The revised Ofsted Inspection framework has been published for both Initial Teacher Education Inspections and also for Further Education and Skills whilst the Department for Education have launched a new school-led Teacher Training programme and more University Technical Colleges have been approved. LSIS have confirmed that their Qualifications and Skills team will continue and set out their agenda for next year whilst IfL have published the responses to their survey on the revocation of the FE Workforce Regulations.

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)


Reforms to Higher Education White Paper: BIS have published their response to the Higher Education White Paper which include changing the limit on the number of students needed for an institution to become a university from 4,000 to 1,000 with immediate effect; instigating a review into how existing quality assurance arrangements affect alternative providers, including further education colleges offering higher education and plans to bring alternative providers and further education colleges that do not receive Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding, into the formal student number control system. There is an article at: and the Government Response in full is at:

Skills Funding Agency Core Priorities for 2012-13: Vince Cable has written to the Skills Funding Agency to confirm the Agency’s core priorities and funding for 2012-13, along with indicative funding for 2013-14. The letter shows the Government's key priorities as set out in 'New Challenges, New Chances' and includes: supporting the FE sector to better meet the needs of its customers; priorities for the National Apprenticeship Service; quality assurance requirements; delivery of National Careers Service; Lifelong Learning Accounts; managing FE capital investment; National Offender Management Service; reducing bureaucracy in the FE sector. The letter can be read at:

The Richard Review of Apprenticeships: Doug Richard has been appointed to lead an independent review into how to build upon the success of apprenticeships. The Review will focus on: what the core components of an apprenticeship are; who are they for; are there elements of apprenticeships which need simplifying; are the qualifications taken within apprenticeships sufficiently rigorous; how can delivery ensure new learning and skills acquisition rather than accreditation of existing ones and whether there are opportunities to improve the value and impact of apprenticeships. The report is due to be published in Autumn 2012. Further details are at:

Apprentice and Employer Surveys: Key findings from the Apprentice Learner Survey show that satisfaction amongst apprenticeships is high. Almost nine in ten apprentices (89%) were satisfied, rising to 92% amongst completers. A second survey of over 4,000 employers also shows high satisfaction rates among businesses with 88% employers being satisfied (with 69% being very satisfied) with the relevance of the training (just 4% were dissatisfied on this measure) and 85% satisfied (with 66% being very satisfied) with the quality of the training provided by their provider (only 7% were dissatisfied). Details and statistics can be found at:

StartUp Loan Scheme follows Lord Young's Report 'Make Business your business': A £10 million StartUp Loan scheme has been launched alongside Lord Young's independent report on enterprise. Any 18-24 year old will be able to get access to finance, support and training to start a business with loans of up to £2,500 available, with a repayment period of up to five years. Further details of the scheme can be found at: and Lord Young's Report is at:

GIF Funding for the nuclear, creative and cultural sectors: John Hayes has announced funds from the Growth Innovation Fund (GIF) to the nuclear and creative and cultural sectors. The National Skills Academy for Nuclear Manufacturing will get around £920,000 to expand its activities and collaborate with other professional bodies to boost companies' capability to develop skills. Within its first three years the aim is to deliver a more skilled workforce, with an increase of 3,500 learners taking up programmes, including more than 500 apprenticeships. The National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural will receive around £1.5 million. This will enable it to expand and open up opportunities for more than 1,200 new apprenticeships and craft training for young people across the jewellery, design and cultural heritage sectors.

The Government's vision for underpinning its industrial strategy with technological advances: In a speech at the University of East Anglia, David Willetts set out a vision for an industrial strategy underpinned by technological advances. In the speech he also announced a number of investments in the areas of science and engineering research which can be found at:

Employer Ownership Pilot: The Government has received 269 bids from employers looking to take part in this new, £250 million fund, pilot to design and develop their own vocational training programmes. The results of the bids will be announced later this year. Further details at:

The Armed Forces Literacy and Numeracy levels report: The Armed Forces Longitudinal Study was undertaken by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and the National Research and Development Centre (NRDC) over three years between 2008 and 2011. It focused on recruits assessed with low levels of literacy and numeracy skills levels at the start of their first two and a half years of training and service. The full study with executive summary can be found at;

New Interim Chief Executive for the Skills Funding Agency: Kim Thorneywork has been appointed interim Chief Executive of the SFA, taking over from Geoff Russell. Kim has worked as a Deputy Headteacher at a Technology College and as an Area Director for the Learning and Skills Council. More recently, she has worked at the SFA as Executive Director of Delivery. Press Release at:

Beecroft Report on Employment Law: This has now been published and can be found at: Vince Cable's comments on it can be seen at:


DfE (Department for Education)


New School-Led Teacher Training Programme: A new ‘School Direct’ programme, starting this September, will allow schools to train top graduates as teachers. They will also be able to choose their accredited provider. In September 2012 more than 900 places will be available on the ‘School Direct’ programme. A new employment-based strand of School Direct will replace the current Graduate Teacher Programme starting in September 2013 with 5,000 teacher training places made available for career changers. Other plans include: giving additional incentives to graduates who train to become primary specialist maths teachers; relating the allocation of places to Ofsted ratings and giving incentives to trainee teachers working in the most challenging schools. The article can be read at: See also Michael Gove's speech at the National College Annual Conference at:

Draft Primary National Curriculum: The draft Primary National Curriculum Programmes of Study for English, maths and science have been published for consultation. The final programmes will be introduced in primary schools from September 2014. Details of the Programmes together with the Report 'The Framework for the National Curriculum - A Report by the Expert Panel' can be found at:

University Technical Colleges (UTCs): Fifteen new UTCs have been approved to open in 2013-14 joining the 17 UTCs which are approved to open in 2012-13. Further details are at:


LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service)


The Qualifications and Skill's work next year and beyond: The Qualifications and Skills team will continue having responsibility for the standards, qualifications and strategic oversight of the FE and Skills workforce in England which includes the teaching and the careers and guidance workforce. This will include guidance and support for the development and implementation of qualifications and the sector workforce strategy including the Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector(PTLLS) certificate to teach in the lifelong learning sector (CTTLS) and diploma to teach in the lifelong learning sector (DTLLS) suite of teacher training qualifications. They will also lead on the new LSIS project ‘Supporting excellence in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in FE and Skills; this will include the appropriateness of qualification requirements for sessional/part-time workers and a new web portal for ITE. Penny Bance, Director of UK Qualifications and Skills announced they will be supporting the development of an apprenticeship framework for learning support practitioners and new apprenticeships for the FE, Work based learning (WBL) and Adult and Community Learning (ACL) sectors including the learning and development apprenticeships. They will continue to support awarding organisations and the Skills Funding Agency on vocational qualifications funding decisions and to act as both the Issuing Authority for Apprenticeship Frameworks and to issue certificates to apprentices who complete lifelong learning apprenticeships. They will also continue working with Ofqual to inform the accreditation of qualifications on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. Full details at:

HE in FE Resources: Resources on the Core and Margin have been developed by the Mixed Economy Group (MEG), with support from LSIS to provide further support to providers to understand the strategic implications of the government’s reform of higher education. They can be found at:

Education Act 2011 regulations: A summary of the regulations on procedures for establishing and dissolving FE Corporations and prescribed bodies list can be found at:

LSIS Funding Opportunities: Funding opportunities are now open for projects on STEM, Emerging Governance Models, Sustainability and Leadership in Technology. Details of all funding opportunities can be found at:


IfL (Institute for Learning)


The future of your profession: IfL member response of more than 5000 members, to their survey on the revocation of the Further Education Workforce Regulations, expressed their deep concerns about the impact of the recommendation to revoke the regulation that requires all teachers and trainers to hold a teaching qualification with 80 per cent saying that removing this national requirement would de-professionalise the sector. Details can be found at:

Declaring your CPD: Members can now declare their CPD for 2011-12 either online or via Reflect. Declarations need to be made by 31 August 2012. Details at:

Report 'Leading Learning and Letting Go: Building expansive learning environments in FE': This report by the 157 Group and the IfL, together with presentations from their seminar in February, can be found at:




A Good Education for all: Reports on responses to the consultation 'A Good Education for all' on proposals for amended inspection arrangements for maintained schools and academies, further education and skills, and initial teacher education, from September 2012 have been published at

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Inspections: The main changes in new framework for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) are: the introduction of a single judgement of 'requires improvement' to replace the current 'satisfactory' judgement; introduce earlier full inspection of ITE partnerships judged as 'requires improvement'; introduce a protocol that limits the number of times a provider can be deemed as 'requires improvement' to 2 consecutive inspections before it is deemed 'inadequate'; change the notice period for inspections to two working days with unannounced inspection to primary ITE partnerships.

Further Education and Skills Inspections: The main changes in the new framework for FE and Skills are that Ofsted will: Only consider a provider to be outstanding for overall effectiveness, if they have outstanding teaching, learning and assessment; introduce a new judgement of 'requires improvement'; introduce earlier re-inspection of learning and skills providers judged as 'requires improvement'; limited the number of times a provider can be judged as 'requires improvement' for overall effectiveness before it is considered 'inadequate'; reduce the notice period for inspections to 2 working days and request an anonymised summary of performance management information. The inspection proposals will be implemented from September 2012.

'Mathematics: made to measure': an Ofsted report launched today emphasises the importance for every pupil to have the best possible mathematics education. Read it at:




Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
The New National Curriculum
The CBI's latest education and skills survey
Policy Tracker for May
Ofsted's new inspection arrangements
Developing the qualification system
Schools to lead on closing the gap (social mobility)
Reforming Special Needs provision
Reporting on apprenticeships

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