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WMCOP Bulletin November 2011

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Welcome to the November 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.

There have been a number of relevant initiatives this month which are of importance so a lot to read. Heading the list is the FE and Skills System Reform Plan which sets out the Government's overall strategy for the sector and the Skills for Sustainable Growth Strategy Document. There is also the Chancellor's Autumn Budget statement and the implications for the sector, the speeches at the AoC conference and the Education Bill. Ofsted has published its Annual Report including a report on ITE and there is a consultation document on the framework for ITE inspections in 2012.

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, DfE and Government News


FE and Skills System Reform Plan: Vince Cable and John Hayes launched the Government's reform plan for skills together with a skills investment statement on 1 December 2011 as below:

'New Challenges, New Chances: Further Education and Skills System Reform Plan: Building a World Class Skills System': This Report sets out the Government's overall strategy for FE and skills for the remainder of this Parliament. It can be read at: and covers:
The role of the National Careers Service
Vocational Education and Training programmes concentrating on English, Maths, Apprenticeships and flexible progression routes to Higher Vocational Education,
Excellence in Teaching and Learning including establishing an independent commission on adult education and vocational pedagogy to develop a -sector owned strategy and delivery programme and an independent review of professionalism in the FE and skills workforce,
Learning programmes and qualifications: improving awareness of the QCF, employer consultation on qualification development and role of National Occupational Standards
Strategic Governance and roles for governors to work with other educational providers and stakeholders
Funding: Lifelong Learning Accounts and FE loans,
Quality assurance, transparency and data management
Global FE

'Skills for Sustainable Growth: Strategy Document': This Report sets out the FE and skills budget for the 2012-13 financial year confirming plans set out last autumn and can be read at:

Autumn Statement 2011: The impact of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on BIS is shown on their website under the headings of Infrastructure, Growth Review and Growing Mid-Sized Businesses. It lists the main areas covered under the BIS brief and can be read at: The main areas for education and training are:
Apprenticeships: requirement to support GCSE English and Maths, further bids for Higher Apprenticeships in 2012 (see below), an employer-led review in quality and standards;
Youth Contract: see below
Work Experience: support for employers offering post 16 work experience especially for SMEs (small and medium size enterprises)
Job seekers: claimants over 6 months to be referred to full-time training for up to 8 weeks while claiming JSA.
Adult literacy and numeracy: pilot of an incentive based funding model
Employers: fund to develop and purchase vocational training (see below) and kitemarking of some key sector courses, mainly STEM, to show courses most valued by the labour market to learners.
HE: Online portal to help HEIs expand abroad; extension of STEM Ambassadors
Innovation and Research: Publication of a new Strategy and fund for science research and development and SMT technology-based developments
Schools: Funding for Free Schools, extra school places and to improve the quality of science teaching.
Ofqual: support to work with the OFT to evaluate the qualification market
Regional Growth Fund and Enterprise Zones: A further £1bn for RGF and support for further Enterprise zones.

The 'Plan for Growth' Progress Update: Linked to the Autumn Statement, BIS has given an update on the Plan for Growth. The areas covered are Planning, Regulation, Trade and Investment, Access to Finance, Competition, Corporate Governance, Low Carbon, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Digital and creative industries, Professional business services, Retail, Construction, Space and Tourism. An eclectic list and updates on all areas can be found at:

Youth Contract: The Youth Contract starts next April with the aim of providing work placements, apprenticeships and advice & guidance for 18-24 year olds over a 3 year period. It also gives support for 16-17 year old NEETs. The initial announcement by Nick Clegg is at: 

Higher Apprenticeships: The successful partnerships have been announced which will support 19,000 higher apprenticeships in specific sectors. A second round of bids to the fund will be invited early in the New Year. For more details see:

£250m Fund for employers to design, develop and purchase skills training: This competitive fund will look at different approaches to engage employees, other firms and supply chains to develop new ways of investing in skills and work with the FE and skills sector. It will have a budget of £50m in 2012-13 with an additional £200m the following year. Details at:

Speeches to AoC Conference: Vince Cable set out the Government's vision for FE in a speech to the AoC conference in November. It particularly concentrated on Apprenticeships, FE in HE and Global FE and can be read at: John Hayes set out further details in his speech to conference at

The Education Bill 2011: The Education Bill has received royal assent. Among the provisions of the Act are the abolition of arms-length bodies including the TDA, QCDA and YPLA. It also exempts schools and colleges from routine inspections, gives teachers pre-charge anonymity when faced with allegations by students; focuses Ofsted on four key areas; extends the Academies and Free School programme including Academies for 16-19 year olds and the new finance model for higher education. Further details can be found at:

HEFCE: Teaching funding and student number controls consultation outcomes: HEFCE have published full details for the implementation of the changes in 2012-13 at Details of funding for 2013 onwards will be published early next year.

2011 Skills for Life Survey: Headline findings: This report compares the skills levels of the population in 2011 with the baseline survey carried out in 2003 and can be read at:

'A Dynamic Nucleus: final report of the Independent Commission on Colleges in their Communities': Baroness Margaret Sharp chaired the commission which was tasked to report on the strategic role colleges can play in leading learning and working within their communities. It suggests that colleges should be more innovative and responsive and in order to do that they need to have a flexible curriculum, good communication with local stakeholders and have a new approach to governance and accountability. The report can be read at:



OFSTED Annual Report 2010-2011: Ofsted has published its annual report which includes the full report and separate reports for each area including a report on Initial Teacher Education. The summary for ITE in FE says that it is still not as high as in the schools sector but key strengths are the high levels of personal and professional support for trainees and areas of further development are in monitoring and assessment of progress and achievement, the need for better data analysis on trainees' outcomes, self-evaluation and improvement planning. Read the reports at:

Raising Expectations for Teacher Training: A consultation document on the framework for Ofsted Inspections for Initial Teacher Education 2012 has been published by Ofsted and can be read at:

NEWS from the SECTOR 

LSIS Policy Updates: LSIS publishes monthly Policy Updates with news from the sectors including: FE and Skills, Economy and Employment, 14-19 and Schools, HE, Local Government, E&D, Voluntary and Community. The November update no 13 can be read at:

The Institute for Learning (IfL) has expressed its concerns about proposed teacher training reforms and the implications of higher and further education funding changes for ITT in the further education and skills sector. See their comments and all IfL Consultation Responses can be found at: 

Policy Watch: This is published by Pearson and gives summaries of the latest news with commentaries and can be found at: Articles for November include:
The Chancellor's Autumn Financial Statement: what did it mean for education and training
The Government announces a new Youth Contract
Ofsted's Annual Report highlights the quality of teaching
Pearson at the AoC Conference
Catching up on 'Growth' Activity
MPs Debate Youth Unemployment
John Hayes addresses the AoC

Sector News: WMCETT Sector News gives weekly updates from the educational press and can be read here