Skip to main content

WMCOP Bulletin May 2014

Welcome to the May 2014 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.

This month sees the publication of the new Professional Standards for teachers and trainers together with a Guidance document on how they can be applied in different situations. The Standards cover three areas: professional values and attributes; professional skills; and professional knowledge and understanding and have been mapped to the Professional Educational and Teaching qualifications launched in April 2013.

You should also note that Ofsted have revised the Initial Teacher Education Inspection handbook following the publication of the Professional Standards.

Other news covers: the opening of a new FE college; more funding for higher apprenticeships; new guidance on Traineeships; and the new 'Your Life' STEM initiative. There is also good news that the number of NEETS has decreased and the pilot programme for GCSE Enhanced English is to start in May.

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

BIS (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

New Further Education College to open in September 2014: The Prospects College of Advanced Technology in South Essex is to open in September 2014, the first new FE college in 20 years. It will have 3 specialist apprentice skills training centres for engineering (including rail), building services and aviation and a post-16 campus. Further details at:

Apprenticeships: In Matthew Hancock's speech on apprenticeships he says the Government are: funding an extra 20,000 higher apprenticeships over the next 2 years, as well as giving an extra £20 million to fund employer investment in higher apprenticeships that include higher education courses; for all apprenticeships after 2017 to follow the Trailblazer standards; they are looking at new funding methods especially for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Further details at:

Apprenticeship Reports: The Government has published a report 'Apprenticeships: progression to higher education-2014 update' and the research shows that almost 20% of higher apprentices go on to higher education after their apprenticeships. There are also reports on how health care apprenticeships enable new vocational routes into senior clinical roles and the new level 4 apprenticeship in accounting. Further details are at:

Traineeship: New Guidance: Following the discussion paper 'Traineeships: supporting young people to develop the skills for apprenticeships and other sustained jobs', the Government has now published new guidance on traineeships. The guidance expands traineeships to age 24 and makes them more accessible, including new benefits allowances. Further details at:

New STEM initiatives by the Chancellor: George Osborne launched 'Your Life' a new initiative to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with industries committing to create over 2,000 new entry level positions including apprenticeships, graduate jobs or paid work experience posts. The 'Your Life' website is at:

Matthew Hancock speaks on the academic/vocational divide: At a speech to UKCES, Matthew Hancock sets out the Government's thinking on academic and vocational education and, following the employer owned pilots, establishing a new employer owned fund with the first call for applicants from the car industry supply chain. His speech can be read at: and Employee Ownership at:

Number of NEETs down: The number of people not in employment, education or training has gone down across all age groups, 16-18 and 19-24 year olds. Although the statistics vary according to either Local Authority or those from the Labour Force Survey, both agree that there has been a decrease. The statistics can be read at: Labour Force Survey: and Local Authority:

Need for more UK exchange students to visit China: Vince Cable has called on businesses to support the Generation UK project to encourage UK students to exchange with students in China. Warwick and Glasgow Universities have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding for exchanges. BIS hopes that 80,000 students will take part in Generation UK to China by 2020 up from 5,400 this year.

Social Mobility Business Compact (SMBC): Nick Clegg set up the SMBC to ensure that all young people have fair and open access to employment opportunities. There are currently 150 signatories who want to: raise aspirations by working with communities and local schools; provide opportunities for all young people to get onto the job market and recruit openly and fairly, ensuring non-discrimination and not using informal networks. More details at:

DfE (Department for Education)

Independent Review of Schools Initial Teacher Training (ITT): Michael Gove has appointed Andrew Carter, Head of South Farnham School to carry out a review of ITT. The review will look across the full range of ITT courses and will seek views from those involved across the sector to: define effective ITT practice; assess the extent to which the current system delivers effective ITT; recommend where and how improvements could be made and recommend ways to improve choice in the system by improving the transparency of course content and methods. Further details at:

Teaching Schools: The Government has established over 500 teaching schools following the White Paper 'The importance of Teaching' to support other schools to improve teacher training, professional development and classroom practice. Further details at:

National Scholarship Fund for teachers and SEN support staff: This fund is open to teachers and SEN staff in schools, technical colleges and academies to study at a higher level to deepen SEND knowledge and support. Further details can be found at:

The Importance of Maths and Science: Elizabeth Truss's speech on the importance of maths and science, particularly post 16 and the low number of girls taking these subjects and the 'Your Life' project. Her speech can be read at:

New schools assessment packages: A new package of assessment methods designed by schools for schools was given development funding. There are 9 packages being developed to replace the current levels in September. Further details at:

Professional Bodies  


Education and Training Foundation

New Professional Standards: The new professional standards for teachers and trainers have been published. They aim to 'set out clear expectations of effective practice in education and training; enable teachers and trainers to identify areas for their own professional development; support initial teacher education; and provide a national reference point that organisations can use to support the development of their staff'. There are 3 areas: Professional values and attributes; professional skills and professional knowledge and understanding. The Standards and Guidance can be found at:

Graduate ITE Scheme: This is a scheme for those who wish to change careers to the education/training sector, particularly in English, maths and SEN. Three lead providers have been named to deliver an on-the-job, fully funded route into teaching, leading to a post-compulsory PGCE. Further details at:

The GCSE English Enhancement Programme: The pilots for this programme are being rolled out in May and June prior to teaching GCSEs in September 2014. If the pilots are successful, a wider programme will be available from September 2014.


Initial Teacher Education Inspection Handbook June 2014: Revisions to the framework for inspecting initial teacher education provision have been published following publication of the new Professional Standards. The handbook and associated resources can be found at:


Sector News

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


The Jisc Regional Support Centre West Midland’s annual e-learning conference, ‘Discover-e 2014’ is now open for bookings. This free event will start with a pre-conference overview and activities on the 10th June with the main event taking place over 2 days (17th & 18th June). This online event is aimed at anyone with an interest in using technology for teaching and learning. Details 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:
General Election wish lists
Who would do what under Labour's school plans
Minding the FE-HE gap