Skip to main content

WMCOP Bulletin October 2013

We welcome you to the October 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.

This month's Bulletin covers: The review of the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers by the Education and Training Foundation; a speech by Matthew Hancock on vocational education which sets out the BIS vision; a speech by Elizabeth Truss setting out the vision for schools; the development of a new maths core programme; a new system of accountability in schools; Witty's report on how universities can support economic growth and there is a rise in the National Minimum Wage.

The Government support for new technologies is shown in: a paper defining 8 new technologies which will receive BIS support; the Challenger Businesses Programme and Smart Cities.

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)


Speech by Matthew Hancock on Vocational Education: This speech to the Edge Foundation sets out the Government's vision for vocational education and colleges in particular. Read it at:

Witty Report into how universities can support economic growth: Sir Andrew Witty has published his report 'Encouraging a British Invention Revolution' on how universities can better support economic growth and drive exports. The Report suggests setting up collaborative 'Arrow Projects' led by universities. The Report can be read at:

Rise in National Minimum Wage: From October the National Minimum Wage will rise to £6.31 for adults, £5.03 for 18-20 year olds; £3.72 for 16-17 year olds and £2.68 for apprentices. The accommodation offset increases to £4.91. Details at:

Traineeship Programme gets more funding: An extra £20 million is being made available for the Traineeship Programme to support 16-23 year olds. Details at:

Apprenticeship Provisional statistics: SFR figures for October show that nearly 860,000 people were on an apprenticeship in 2012/13 with the gold standard of higher and advanced levels attracting record levels of apprentices. The data also shows that there were over 1.5 million apprenticeship starts, for more details see:

Universities UK Report: A Report 'Employer Support for part-time higher education students' shows that staff studying for part-time degrees are more pro-active and willing to take on demanding responsibilities. The Report can be read at:

Technologies of the future get Government funding: The Government has identified 8 new technologies which it will support, these are: regenerative medicine; synthetic biology; agri-science; robotics and autonomous systems; satellites, big data; advanced materials and energy storage. More details can be found at:

Challenger Businesses Programme: This programme aims to identify businesses with new technologies or innovative products and help them to enter and grow in their target markets. The programme is starting with the financial sector through New Finance Org with other areas to follow. Details at:

Smart Cities: A Smart City Forum has been set up by the Government following a report 'Global market opportunities and UK capabilities for future smart cities'. Birmingham is a Smart City which is defined as: 'A smart city uses intelligent technology to enhance our quality of life in urban environments. Cities can use the data in a variety of ways; to save money, minimise waste, measure domestic water usage and manage transport routes'. Details at:

Women on Boards statistics: The latest statistics 'Women on Boards' Report shows that for the FTSE100: 19% of directors are female, a small rise and in order to reach Lord Davies’ target of 25%, FTSE100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next 2 years. The Report can be read at:

Consultation on National Student Survey: Higher education organisations and stakeholders are invited to provide views and feedback on the National Student Survey (NSS) by midday Wednesday 13 November 2013. Consultation at:

DfE (Department for Education)


16-18 Core Maths Package: The guidelines for the new core maths qualifications have been developed. This qualification is for students who achieve a B or C in GCSE maths to continue with the subject; it will count towards the new Tech. Bach and it will also be available for those with an A* and A grade who are not taking A or AS level maths. Separately the International Baccalaureate Organisation announced today that an online version of its maths studies standard level course is to be developed for students in post-16 education from September 2015. Further details on both of these at:

SEN Code of Practice and regulations consultation FE: From 4 October to 9 December 2013, the DfE consultation on the new 0 to 25 SEN Code of Practice and Regulations, and proposals for transferring young people from LDAs to EHC plans, is open at:

Guidance on Work Placements for Colleges: A Report 'Post-16 work experience as a part of 16 to 19 study programmes: Departmental advice for post-16 education and training providers' sets out guidelines for work placements. It can be read at:

Performance Tables for GCSEs: It has been announced that, with effect from 29 September 2013, only a student’s first entry to a GCSE examination will count in their school’s performance tables. Details at:

Tracking 16- to 18-year-olds' education or training involvement: Statistics show that a number of 16-18 year olds are not being tracked by local councils as they move through different education and training environments. More information at:

3D Printers for STEM support: Last year the DfE funded a project in 21 secondary schools to trial the use of 3D printers in STEM and design and technology classes. This has been extended so up to 60 teaching schools can buy 3D printers and train teachers to use them effectively. More details at:

Speech by Elizabeth Truss on School Reform: This speech sets out the Government's thinking on 3 areas - the curriculum, exams, and accountability pre and post 16 years. Read it at:

Scholarships and Bursaries for school teachers: An increase in scholarships and bursaries for graduates with a higher level degree who go into teaching have been announced at:

Reforming the Accountability system for Secondary Schools: David Laws statement to Parliament on reform to the schools accountability system sets out new floor targets and measures for underperformance. Read it at:

Professional Bodies


Education and Training Foundation

Review of Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers: A project steering group has been set up where membership organisations, professional bodies and trade unions are represented. In addition senior managers and experienced teachers and trainers are being invited to join the practitioner group. The review will take place in three phases: Phase One (October to December 2013) – Research into professional standards for teachers and trainers to enable the design of the draft professional standards; Phase Two (January to February 2014) - Feedback from the sector on the draft professional standards; Phase Three (February to April 2014) – Finalisation and launch of the revised professional standards and supporting guidance illustrating how the professional standards can be used. Further details and how to join the practitioner group at:

Maths Enhancement Programme: WMCETT is running maths enhancement programmes for functional maths/numeracy teachers who would like upskilling to teach the GCSE curriculum. For details of the WMCETT programme please contact General details of the maths enhancement programme are at:

Procurement and Commissioning: The Foundation now has a webpage for tenders and invites interested organisations or individuals to register at:


IfL (Institute for Learning)

QTLS and ATLS: The window for declaring your intention to apply for professional status closes on 31 October! Details at:

Revocation of 2007 Regulations: A collection of thought pieces by practitioners and leaders 'Should Teaching Qualifications be left to Chance' in defence of learning excellence delivered by professionally qualified teachers and trainers across England’s further education and skills system, can be read at:


Hefce (Higher Education funding council for England)

Participation in Higher Education: A Report 'Trends in young participation in young participation in higher education' shows increased participation in higher education but wide variances in different regions. It can be read at:

How higher education works in England: A new report 'Operating framework for higher education in England' has been published by hefce, together with a short guide. They can be read at:



Prison Education is not good enough: the National Director for Further Education and Skills, Matthew Coffey gave a speech at Wormwood Scrubs on recent findings that show no prison was rated outstanding for its education and training provision in the last four years. Only 35 per cent were good. He puts forward 6 recommendations. The report can be read at:




UCAS Website: A website to help people, both pre and post 16 years, to choose programme options easily has been recommended and is at:

STEM Conference in the South West: We have been asked to let you know of the conference 'Foundation, Freedoms & Flexibility: a deregulated education & training landscape: Prioritising STEM in the South West'. Further details are 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:
Extending the College 'Brand'
Getting to grips with p/t and growth activity in HE
Counting on the maths
the OECD set out the skills challenge
5 education bites from each Party conference
Keeping track of what happened in the world of education in September 2013