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WMCOP Bulletin November 2013

We welcome you to the November edition of our Community of Practitioner's Bulletin - your link to what's been happening in Teacher Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector in the last month.

This month's Bulletin covers: The introduction of new employer-led apprenticeships, together with an Implementation Plan and Guidance for delivery and assessment; the revised content and assessment objectives for GCSEs in maths and English language and literature; speeches by Vince Cable and Matthew Hancock at the AoC conference setting out the Government's vision for further education now and moving forward; the Labour Party's vision for vocational education and the Whitehead review of vocational qualifications. A new FE Commissioner has been appointed as have the senior management team at the Education and Training Foundation and there is a review of FE Governance.

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)


New Apprenticeships: The Prime Minister announced the introduction of the new employer-led apprenticeships, the first of which are to be delivered from the end of 2014. Apprenticeships will be based on the Princes Trust model and last for a minimum of 1 year. It is hoped all new apprentices will be on the new standards from 2017 to 2018. Details of the Implementation Plan and Guidance for Trailblazers are below.

The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan: The first 8 apprenticeships are being developed by eight 'Trailblazers' who represent a broad spectrum of businesses from a range of different sectors; aerospace, automotive, digital industries, electro-technical, energy, financial services, food and drink, and life and industrial sciences. They will be: based on standards designed by employers; be short and easy to understand; demonstrate competence through independent assessment and more thorough academic assessment; be graded – pass, merit, distinction; have increased maths and English requirements and require a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. The Plan can be seen at:

The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Guidance for Trailblazers: Details of assessment guidelines and timescales can be found at:

Vince Cable's speech at the AoC Conference: The theme was innovation linked to the Government's Industrial Strategy and International Education Strategy. He encouraged links between colleges and LEPs (Local Enterprise Partnerships) on proposals for skills development to bid for money from the £330 million Local Growth Fund for 2016/17; suggested the FE sector should market itself more effectively; recognised the need for college staff to learn new technologies and support from JISC's and FELTAG; additional funding for colleges to have better broadband and the need for vocational education to become a viable professional route. His speech can be read at:

Matthew Hancock's speech at the AoC Conference: Sets out the Government's vision for the FE sector regarding advice and guidance and progress on, and interpretation of, traineeships, apprenticeships, standards and qualifications, their priorities. His speech can be read at:

Labour Party Report on technical education: A Report by Labour's Policy Review 'Transforming further education: A new mission to deliver excellence in technical education' sets out the Labour Party's vision for FE. It includes: Creating Institutes of Technical Education, licensed to offer the Tech Bach and advanced qualifications; a requirement for FE teachers to be qualified and have L2 maths and English; greater links between employers and colleges. The Report can be read at:

Whitehead Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications: A 'Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England' by Nigel Whitehead, commissioned by BIS, has been published. It discusses the current system and makes recommendations and can be read at:

New FE Commissioner: David Collins, former principal of the South Cheshire College Group, has been appointed the new FE Commissioner. The role, set up under Rigour and Responsiveness, is to drive improvement and tackle underperformance in FE colleges. Details at:

Care Leaver Strategy: The Government has published a care leaver strategy, as part of its care leaver's charter, which sets out the support available to them on leaving their placement. The strategy can be found at:

Improvements for college broadband: Funding for colleges to upgrade their broadband was announced at the AoC conference, to install second broadband connections and upgrade bandwidth. Details at:

New Strategy for using Data: A new data strategy set out in 'Seizing the Data Opportunity' and part of the Government's Information Economy Strategy, was announced by David Willetts. The strategy sets out to: create a skilled workforce in data analytics; develop the UK’s data infrastructure that will allow access to high-end computing and help data to be shared and linked to support ground-breaking research. Details at:

Speakers for Schools: Matthew Hancock encouraged more young people to become young entrepreneurs at a visit to Small Heath School. He spoke about the importance of the Speakers for Schools and MyKindaCrowd projects. Further details at:

Start-up Loans: The number of start-up loans to new entrepreneurs has reached 10,000. Details are at:

Investment in R&D: David Willetts discussed the Government's initiatives to support private/public research in the Bledisloe Memorial Lecture. The drive for innovation was funded through Catapults and the Research Partnership Innovation Fund bringing industry and research together, and the Catalyst fund to link research councils to the Technology Strategy Board. New guidelines have been established for reviewing the future business model of public sector research establishments and the science budget protected. The speech can be read at:

Funding for UK Students to study abroad: The 2014-20 EU funding to help students study abroad through the Erasmus programme has been announced as £800 million. Details are at:

Engineering Funding: In response to 'The Review of Engineering Skills' Report by John Perkins, Chief Scientific Officer to BIS, the Government has announced £49 million to: address areas of skills shortage; a training facility at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry; funding for the Tomorrow's Engineers project; development of a new fellowship and a portal on the National Careers Service website. Details at:

Private Sector Employment Indicator: The indicator for Q2 shows an increase of 0.7% to 59.1% in employment in the private sector. Details at:

DfE (Department for Education)

Reformed GCSEs in English and Mathematics: The new content for the Mathematics, English Language and English Literature GCSEs was announced by Michael Gove and details for each can be found below. The announcement by Michael Gove can be found at:

Mathematics GCSE subject content and assessment objectives are at:

English Language GCSE subject content and assessment objectives are at:

English Literature GCSE subject content and assessment objectives are at:

Changes to early entry at GCSE: The first entry only from a pupil at GCSE will count towards a school's performance table in changes introduced by the DfE, this will also apply to offset qualifications including BTEC. Details at:

Michael Gove's speech to the Royal Society on maths and science: sets out his thinking and vision for maths learning and can be read at:

Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Schools Census: The initial teacher training census data for 2013 to 2014 published today shows the increase in the quality of graduates training to be teachers over a 5-year period. Details at:

Professional Bodies


Education and Training Foundation

Appointment of the Foundation’s senior team: David Russell, currently Director of Closing the Gap at the Department for Education, will become Education and Training Foundation Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Mullins who has worked with the Independent Advisory Panel of the Regional Growth Fund and as Chair of the BIS sponsored Industrial Development Advisory Board, will become Chair. Background at:

Supporting college workforce development: teaching maths & English and supporting students with LDD: Details of bursaries and CPD programmes can be found at: and also from Steve Pardoe at WMCETT.


Association of Colleges (AoC)

Review of FE college governance: A review of college governance 'Creating Excellence in College Governance' calls for greater clarity about the role of a governor, improved measures for monitoring College performance and for more volunteers from business to join governing bodies. The Review recommends: College boards and leadership teams review their governance arrangements; a single Operating/Accountability Framework for FE; AoCGC to provide national support and guidance to Colleges on good governance practice; and the creation of a register of Chairs/clerks. Details at:

IPPR Report 'No More NEETS: A plan for all young people to be earning or learning': This report recommends: A youth allowance to replace existing benefits for 18–24-year-olds; A youth guarantee of access to further education or vocational training plus intensive support to find work or an apprenticeship; and it should be locally delivered. The Report can be read at: The AoC supports the youth guarantee and recognises the good work done at colleges at:

 IfL (Institute for Learning)


InTuition Live webinar: A practitioner's guide to Ofsted inspections: The webinar will be on 20 Jan 2014 and is for members of the IfL. Details at:

Education Innovation Conference: The free, two-day, national event takes place on 27 - 28 February 2014 and will offer access to inspirational keynote speakers, CPD training, workshops, and a full exhibition of innovative solutions. Details at:


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

Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
Labour's plans for FE
Developing the computing skills of the future
Some of the key numbers from the AoC Conference
Options for youth employment
Education and social mobility
A new vision for adult education qualifications
Bringing on GCSEs
A further bout of A level consultations
Implementing apprenticeships and youth training
Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in October 2013