Skip to main content Skip to navigation

WMCOP Bulletin November 2016

Welcome to the November 2016 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 the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement set out the priorities for the Government with investment in construction, transport, digital industries, research and innovation meaning a rise in employment in these sectors. He also raised the minimum and living wage. There was support for devolution with money for the Local Enterprise Councils and, locally, the West Midlands Combined Authority and West Midlands Engine strategy who will determine the needs for employment, training and skills in this area in the future. Theresa May's speech to the CBI sets out the Government's vision and industrial strategy.

The Technical and Further Education Bill has been published, together with a factsheet. This builds on the Sainsbury Report and the post-16 skills plan for technical and vocational education. Degree Apprenticeships have received additional funding and there is a research report into supporting entry and level 1 students in post-16 education.

In HE, the Higher Education Research Bill and quality assurance are the top stories with consultations on maintenance and post-doctoral loans.

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

Chancellor's Autumn Statement: The Chancellor has presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament including:
The Personal Tax Allowance will rise from £11,000 this year to £11,500 in 2017-18

Productivity: Increases in the National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over will increase from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour and the National Minimum Wage will increase for 21 to 24 year olds to £7.05; for 18 to 20 year olds to £5.60; for 16 to 17 year olds to £4.05 and for apprentices to £3.50.
There will be Investment in construction, transport technology and infrastructure, broadband and 5g networks and innovative small businesses funding.
An increase in research and development funding for universities and businesses with R&D projects and changes to the 'salary sacrifice' scheme and premium insurance tax
Local infrastructure – The government will award £1.8 billion to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) across England through a third round of Growth Deals, of which £392 million will go to LEPs in the midlands. Awards to individual LEPs will be announced in the coming months. The government will give mayoral combined authorities powers to borrow for their new functions, which will allow them to invest in economically productive infrastructure, subject to agreeing a borrowing cap with HM Treasury.
Devolution: The Government is committed to devolving powers to local areas and is talking to the West Midlands Combined Authority on a devolution deal. A Midlands Engine Strategy will be published shortly.
Departmental Spending: Tax-free childcare will be gradually introduced; money for grammar school infrastructure will be available and funding for medical training places and prison officers.

Department for Education

Technical and Further Education Bill: This bill builds on measures set out in the government’s post-16 skills plan, developed in response to an independent report from an expert panel chaired by Lord Sainsbury. It has 3 main proposals: to extend the role of the Institute for Apprenticeships to cover technical education; the introduction of a new insolvency regime to protect the interests of students and a new measure to require colleges and local authorities to continue to share information such as data on results. Details of the Bill and an Impact Assessment can be found at:

Technical and Further Education Bill Factsheet: A summary of the Bill can be found at:

Robert Halfon: Association of Colleges Conference 2016: The Apprenticeships and Skills Minister speaks to AoC about technical and further education. He cites 'success statistics .... out of 385 colleges 19% are outstanding and 61% are good...the destinations of adult students who complete FE courses: 64% get jobs, 20% go into further learning and 4% go on to university'. He praises the unions and gives his 5 priorities for FE as raising prestige; skills - maths and English; social justices; strong leadership and financial stability and quality - the Technical and Education Bill on employer involvement in apprenticeships and technical education. The rest of this Parliament will focus on consolidating these changes. His speech can be read at:

Millions invested in degree apprenticeships: Universities and colleges across England have been awarded a total of £4.5 million to develop new degree apprenticeships for 5,200 students starting in September 2017. Further details at:

Safeguarding children and young people: A Memorandum of Understanding explains how Ofsted and the DfE will cooperate in order to share sensitive safeguarding information in a safe, secure and responsible manner. Further details at:

Supporting care leavers to thrive: everyone’s business: Edward Timpson's keynote speech at The Prince’s Trust National Care Leavers’ Week Conference 2016 puts forward the Government's support for initiatives for young people leaving care at:

Supporting entry and level 1 students in post-16 institutions: This research document looked to identify good practice in recruiting and teaching students studying at level 1 or below and the types of provision and support that best meet students’ needs. It can be read at:

Higher Education and Research Bill: November update on how the Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation body will work together, can be found at:

Open consultation: Part-time undergraduate maintenance loan: A Consultation on the proposed income-contingent loan (based on earnings) for undergraduate part-time study focused on the details of the loan, including: loan terms, course and individual eligibility and loan implementation. It closes on 16 December and further details can be found at:

Open consultation: Postgraduate doctoral loans: Views on a postgraduate doctoral loan are invited by 16 December. The loans will offer eligible applicants up to £25,000 towards the cost of their studies. The loan will be repaid on an income-contingent basis, and launched in the 2018 to 2019 academic year. Further details at:

English Baccalaureate: eligible qualifications updated to include additional languages. Further details at:

Thousands of children to benefit from music and arts investment: Funding for Music Hubs and other schemes which help 5-18 year olds benefit from music and dance. Further details at:

Statistics: education and training: 2016: Statistics on education and training in the UK, including schools, post compulsory education, qualifications and education expenditure for 2016 can be found at:

Statistics: further education and skills: November update: Statistics covering participation, learner outcomes and highest qualification held in the further education (FE) and skills sector, including the November 2016 statistics can be found at:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

CBI annual conference 2016: Prime Minister's speech: Theresa May's speech at the CBI annual conference to set out her vision for UK business including a modern Industrial Strategy can be read at:

Professional News

Skills Funding Agency (SFA)

Learning Records Service: A number of Guidance documents have been published to help with both organisations and individuals using Learning Records (accessing personal learning records online). They can all be accessed at:

Apprenticeship readiness self-assessment survey: An online self assessment survey, to help providers of apprenticeships understand what they need to do to prepare for the apprenticeship reforms in May 2017, has been launched. The survey is open until Friday, 16 December and can be found at:

Apprenticeship standards: November Update: The latest list of apprenticeship standards developed by employers can be found at:

Qualification achievement rates 2016 to 2017: This Guidance document explains how qualification achievement rates (formerly qualification success rates) are calculated. It can be found at:

Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce)

UK-wide standing committee for quality assessment announced: The committee will confirm the baseline regulatory requirements that will underpin the new quality assessment model being implemented in England and Northern Ireland from 2016. It will also help to develop the Quality Code as an important UK-wide reference point for quality and standards. Further details at:,110713,en.html

Operating model for quality assessment: Annual Provider Review: Guidance on arrangements for Annual Provider Review (APR) in 2016-17 has been published. The APR is a key element of the revised operating model for quality assessment. Further details at:,110581,en.html

New learning gain project: The National Mixed Methodology Learning Gain Project (NMMLGP) will pilot a combination of methodological approaches to measuring learning gain which will explore their:critical thinking and problem-solving skills, attitudes towards their study experience and engagement with their studies. Further details at:,110708,en.html

Teaching Excellence Framework Year Two: HEFCE guidance :Higher education providers are now invited to apply for Year Two of the Teaching Excellence Framework. HEFCE has released guidance and metrics to support providers, and announced further details of panel members and assessors at:,110700,en.html


Further education and skills inspection handbook: Updated Guidance for inspecting further education and skills provision under the common inspection framework for use from September 2016, has been published at:

Initial teacher education: inspections and outcomes as at 30 June 2016: Official statistics covering outcomes from initial teacher education inspections between September 2015 to August 2016 have been published at:

Further education and skills: inspection outcomes: November Update: Ofsted inspection statistics for further education and skills to August 2016 can be found at:

Sir Michael Wilshaw's speech at the at the FASNA Autumn Conference: Michael Wilshaw reflects on the past 5 years and gives his views on the current state of education in schools at:


Letter to head teachers: GCSE grade changes: This letter gives useful links for anyone involved in GCSE teaching and can be found at:

Investigating inter-board comparability of GCSEs: Using step functioning analysis and Rasch modelling to compare GCSE exam standards between exam boards, it was found that comparability was broadly consistent between boards. Further details at:

Accreditation of GCSEs, AS and A levels for teaching from 2017 Update: An updated table showing the status of subjects being accredited for teaching from September 2017 has been published at:

Education and Training Foundation

New tool to improve outcomes for learners with SEND: A new self-assessment tool and guide have been produced by the SEND Workforce Development Project, which can be used for self-assessment, or for CPD towards supporting a whole organisation approach to inclusion for learners with SEND. Further details at:

Future Leadership webinar series: This webinar series connects FE leaders and management with guest speakers within and from outside the sector to stimulate and encourage debate around key issues. Further details at:


 WMCETT: Maths and English learning resilience courses: Subsidised One-day introduction to mathematical or English learning resilience, Three-day coaching skills for developing mathematical or English learning resilience and Four day introduction to maths or English learning resilience + coaching skills
for developing mathematical or English learning resilience are available at venues around England. These courses are for both individuals and organisations and organisations are also invited to host courses. Further details at:

FE Week: FE Week describes itself as 'a lively read, offering a mixture of news, exclusives, expert comment, features, technical information, coffee break snippets and more. Worth a read at

Policy Watch, published by The Pearson Centre, has weekly updates on the latest educational initiatives and can be read at