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WMCOP Bulletin November 2017

Welcome to the November 2017 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.

A lot has been happening again in FE this month! Announcements in the Budget show more money for developing T-levels, students doing level 3 maths, research into teaching maths, adults retraining in digital and construction, and a rise in the minimum wage for apprentices. The Government have announced a review of technical education at levels 4 and 5, a National Leaders of FE team to help struggling colleges, and the appointment of apprenticeship ambassadors.

Careers advice has a raised profile with the Baker clause coming into effect in January and a speech by Anne Milton who also gave a speech outlining her vision on partnership between the Government and FE.

Apprenticeship numbers are down at levels 2 and 3, especially in Business and Ofsted are reviewing the current inspection methodology for apprenticeship training and the level 2 curriculum. Higher apprenticeship numbers are up and a number of new apprenticeships are on offer. The new university, the New Model in Technology & Engineering has received funding and 2018 is the Year of Engineering.

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

Budget 2017

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has delivered his Autumn Budget. The following announcements affect the FE and Higher Education sector:
Extra £20m for colleges to prepare for T-levels
£8.5m to explore new maths resit approaches
Minimum wage rise for apprentices in April from £3.50 to £3.70 per hour
Level three maths funding boost with £600 for every extra student who studies maths at level three.
£76m for adult retraining in digital and construction
£8.5m for Unionlearn to boost learning in the workplace
Further details of these headline announcements will, no doubt, come over the next few weeks!

Department for Education

New programme launched to improve colleges: The DfE has announced a programme to recruit a team of high-performing leaders to provide specialist support to struggling FE colleges. The National Leaders of Further Education (NLFE) will be comprised of experts from the FE sector who will work to improve colleges judged as “Requires Improvement” or “Inadequate” in their most recent Ofsted inspection. Further information at:

Careers Advice: Baker clause: Schools and academies must give education and training providers the opportunity to talk to pupils in years 8 to 13 about approved technical qualifications and apprenticeships from 2 January 2018. The DfE has issued two Guidance documents: 'Technical education and apprenticeships: raising awareness in schools' and 'Example policy statement on provider access' which set out what schools need to have in place to meet the requirements of the amendment to the Technical and Further Education Act. Further details at:

Level 4 & 5 technical education to be reviewed: The review will look across Level 4 & 5 education, focusing on how technical qualifications at this level can better address the needs of learners and employers. This includes ensuring that learners can progress from the government’s new T Levels, and other full time education, into the workplace. It will also consider how these qualifications work for those in the workforce looking to upskill or retrain. Further details at:

Apprenticeship numbers down: Apprenticeship evaluation 2017: employers and learners surveys: Key points: There are fewer apprenticeship starts than needed to meet the Government's 3 million target. Level 2 and 3 apprentices: Level 2 starts are down 11% with Business and Health still the most prominent subject areas. Higher apprenticeships were up 4% at level 3 and 35% at level 4 and above but these accounted for only six per cent of all apprentices. Further details of the learner Survey can be found at: and further details of the employers survey at:

Minister appoints new apprenticeship ambassadors: Anne Milton has announced a series of appointments to encourage people from all ages and backgrounds to consider an apprenticeship. These ambassadors will champion the opportunities and benefits that apprenticeships can offer and will work across the UK to target specific areas and raise awareness. Further details at:

Anne Milton's Speech to Association of Colleges: In her speech Anne Milton set out three objectives for partnership working between the Government and the FE sector. The first is support through collaboration, for example, with the National Leaders programme and through the new Strategic College Improvement Fund. The second is Government's active role by introducing a dedicated programme to help industry experts join the profession. The third is looking at the whole system via the new College Improvement Board, chaired by the FE Commissioner. The speech can be read at:

Anne Milton: Good careers advice helps you to a rewarding career: The Skills Minister sets out the vision for improved careers guidance in which she discusses the 4 themes which will underpin the Careers Strategy. These are: The eight Gatsby Benchmarks that define excellence in the report by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation 'Good Career Guidance'; careers advice and Opportunity Areas; individual, tailored advice, and data including how to make the most of the information available. Her speech can be read at:

2018 Year of Engineering: The Year of Engineering will see government and industry offer young people across the UK a million direct experiences of engineering in a major push to tackle skills gap. The dedicated website is at:

Multi-million pound funding for new Higher Education provider: Universities Minister Jo Johnson today announced funding for a new higher education provider specialising in high-quality engineering courses. The New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE) aims to become the first new ‘greenfield’ university in the UK for 30 years, addressing the growing need for engineering talent in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence and cyber-security. Further details at:

Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework specification: Detailed information about how TEF will operate has been published including: who will be eligible to apply; what the assessment framework looks like; how the assessment data is defined and used; the assessment of providers and what outcomes a provider can expect. The metrics example workbook illustrates how TEF data will be shown to assessors. Further details at:

Building support: the review of the industry training boards: Proposals for the industry training boards, following a departmental review of their form, function and purpose have been published and can be found at:

Education and training statistics for the UK: 2017: Statistics on schools, post compulsory education, training, qualifications and spending including schools, pupils and teachers, post compulsory education, qualifications and education expenditure. The report can be read at:

National College for Teaching and Leadership and the DfE to form one team: The DfE will take on recruitment and support for teachers whilst a new Teaching Regulation Agency will be led by existing NCTL staff. Further details at:

Justine Greening launches new Institute for Teaching: A new schools institute to set up and deliver courses for teachers, especially those in Opportunity areas. Further details at:

Gender pay gap: employers' action and understanding: Research looking at how employers understand the gender pay gap and what actions they are taking to close it, has been published at:

National Citizen Service: guidance for schools and colleges: This guidance gives suggestions about how best to use the NCS in a school or college to help develop the skills and confidence of students. It can be found at:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Record boost to R&D and new transport fund: The UK will see its biggest ever increase in research and development investment and a new fund to transform transport connections within city regions across the country, the PM announced. In the announcement were the objectives of the Industrial Strategy White Paper. These are presented as 'four Grand Challenges that reflect global trends that will shape our future and industries where the UK has an edge, these are artificial intelligence and the data economy; clean growth; healthy ageing; and the future of mobility'. Further details at:

£30 million for business and graduate partnerships: Extra funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships will create new jobs for graduates and help UK businesses to innovate and grow has been announced at:

National minimum wage law: enforcement: BEIS has published a Policy paper on how the scheme to name employers who break national minimum wage (NMW) law works. Details at:

Professional News

Education and Training Foundation

New and interactive SEND resource for FE teachers: The resource – ‘SEN support: research evidence on effective approaches and examples of current practice in good and outstanding schools and colleges’ – provides leaders, teachers and practitioners with access to information and evidence-based practice that can be effective for SEN support. Further details at:

ETF and Oxford Saïd Preparing for CEO Programme launched: Further details of this addition to the Leadership suite of qualifications can be found at:


Amanda Spielman's speech at the Association of Colleges: Amanda Spielman described how Ofsted is aiming to be a force for improvement. She discusses reviewing the current inspection methodology for apprenticeship training; visits to all providers, including colleges, that have been judged as requiring improvement and looking at the further education curriculum offer. The first findings from that research will be published in the New Year but she talks in length about level 2 programmes and what makes a successful curriculum and monitoring student destinations. Her speech can be read at:


Shaping the qualifications landscape: Event brings together employers, trailblazer groups and others to discuss the current qualifications landscape and the changes under way. Alongside the event, Ofqual released a range of reports and guidance to help inform the development of new vocational and technical qualifications. These include:
Findings from a review of nearly 100 apprenticeship assessment plans at:
A review of 27 vocational and technical qualifications assessments found in performance tables at:
A further document reports on how Applied General qualifications are viewed and used by stakeholders at:

They also launched the prototype of a new interactive tool to help navigate the current qualifications landscape which can be found at:

Sally Collier Keynote Speech: FAB Conference 2017: Sally Collier talks to the Federation of Awarding Bodies conference about the reform of vocational and technical qualifications. Her speech can be read at:

Apprenticeship end-point assessments: A collection of documents showing Ofqual's approach to external quality assurance of end-point assessments has been published at:

Regulated Qualifications Framework: transitional arrangements: The attached notice confirms Ofqual's decision to bring all of these rules into force on 1 January 2018 for all remaining regulated qualifications except: Legacy qualifications and certain reformed GCSEs, AS and A levels, for apprenticeship end-point assessments. Further details can be found at:

Accreditation of GCSEs and A levels for teaching from 2018: The November updated list of qualifications can be found at:

BBC Panorama, 13 November 2017: Ofqual's statement on alleged malpractice at training centres as featured in the BBC programme can be read at:

Education and Skills Funding Agency

Employer guide to apprenticeships: Updated guidance for employers showing the benefits of apprenticeships to their business, has been published at:

Thousands of higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies announced: The 'higher and degree level apprenticeship vacancies listed for 2018' outline the roles that over 40 high profile employers say they need to boost the skills of their workforce. A range of vacancies are on offer in areas including engineering, aerospace, cyber security, nuclear science, business management, data analysis, HR, finance and media. Further details at:

Full-time enrolment of 14- to 16-year-olds in further education and sixth-form colleges: Information for further education and sixth-form colleges when directly enrolling 14- to 16-year-olds for academic year 2017 to 2018, has been published at:

higher education funding council for England

Funding bodies confirm shape of REF 2021: Decisions on the Research Excellence Framework provide clarity to the sector on implementation of Lord Stern’s review, following extensive consultation. Details can be found at:,116247,en.html

New web tool launched to promote university-business collaboration: A new online platform to promote and enable university-business collaboration, konfer, has been officially launched. Further details at:,116214,en.html

Financial health of the higher education sector: managing financial pressures and uncertainty: HEFCE has published its latest report into the financial health of the higher education sector, based on forecast information from higher education institutions. Further details at:,116075,en.html


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 Articles include:

Ofsted Watch: ‘Good’ news all round for FE: all inspected providers either maintained or improved their ratings to a grade two. Read the good news at:
Management apprenticeships debate rages: Debate around level 2 qualifications can be read at:
AAC Apprenticeship Awards launched by FE Week and AELP: The AAC Conference will run from March 21-23 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Further details at:
Third of employers unaware of off-the-job rule: Read the statistics and rules at:
The ‘My FE Journey’ campaign: The National Union of Students is campaigning for free or subsidised travel for FE learners to tackle the “huge problem” of poor transport for students. Information at:
CITB retains ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating: The Construction Industry Training Board has held onto its ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, in a report due to be officially published tomorrow. The report, which looked only at its apprenticeship provision that is all run through subcontractors, returned grade ones across the board. The article is at:
Revealed: 3 million apprenticeship target slipping away: FE News analysis shows average monthly starts are down 17 per cent from where they need to hit 3 million by 2020. Read the article at:


Maths and English resilience courses available for hosting now: WMCETT's contract with the ETF to run more subsidised one-day introduction to mathematical and English resilience courses around the country, and also three-day introduction to coaching skills for maths/English resilience has been extended until April2018 and WMCETT are now inviting organisations to get in touch if they would like to host a course - for as little as FIVE of your own staff. There is more information at: