Welcome to the October 2015 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 quieter month focussing on reports and statistics to consolidate and move forward is the flavour of the month. An Ofsted report on apprenticeships suggests there is still a long way to go and that there are too many low skilled roles being classed as apprenticeships. A report on Social mobility found that FE and skills have a positive effect on seven of the social mobility indictors, as well as returns to the Exchequer, when qualifications are achieved. The National Minimum Wage has been revised, new rates are given below.
The Consultation on Adult further education outcome based measures is live until 2 December and experimental data on adult education outcome based measures from 2010-2013 has been published. Attainment statistics for 16-19 year olds have been published as have key stage 4, including GCSE statistics and level 1 and 2 English and maths statistics for 16-18 year olds.
On the qualifications front, Ofqual has set out their vision in a speech by Glenys Stacey and the new Regulated Qualifications Framework is now in operation. Documents summarising how GCSE, AS and A levels are being changed have been published. Lists of qualifications, GCSE, AS and A level which are accredited from 2016 and those which are out of tolerance have also been published.
To support English and Maths teachers, English Pipeline and Maths Pipeline courses are open for booking on the Education and Training Foundation website and Ofsted has published good practice case studies on its website.
We'd welcome your views and any recommendations you have on articles, books or useful websites you've discovered so email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and share your ideas.
See below for:
News from the Profession
(Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
Reviewing post-16 education and training institutions: list of area reviews: Information about the colleges in scope of area reviews as well as the timescales, roles and responsibilities within the review process can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reviewing-post-16-education-and-training-institutions-list-of-area-reviews/reviewing-post-16-education-and-training-institutions-details-of-the-area-reviews
Further education colleges: financial intervention and exceptional support: Actions BIS and the Skills Funding Agency will take to protect learners when a further education college seeks exceptional financial support can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-education-colleges-financial-intervention-and-exceptional-support
Apprenticeship standards: changes to the process for approvals: Information has been published on the changes to the way in which BIS assess and approve bids from employer groups to develop new apprenticeships (Expressions of Interest), draft apprenticeship standards and draft apprenticeship assessment plans. Further information at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standards-changes-to-the-process-for-approvals
More people than ever doing an apprenticeship: More than 872,000 people were employed on government funded apprenticeships during the 2014 to 2015 academic year, with almost 30,000 people working to gain higher or degree apprenticeships. The full data can be seen on the SfA Statistical First Release: 'Further Education and Skills: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held' at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/468259/SFR_commentary_October_2015_ofqual_update.pdf
National minimum wage rates from 1 October 2015: Workers aged 21 and over – £6.70; Workers aged at least 18 but not yet 21 – £5.30; Workers under 18 but above compulsory school leaving age – £3.87 and Apprentice Rate* – £3.30. The Government has issued a Guidance document as it is strengthening minimum wage enforcement. The Guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/calculating-the-minimum-wage
Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE): Sets out the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English apprenticeship framework. The three documents give: The Specification; Information Requirement and Guidance and they can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/specification-of-apprenticeship-standards-for-england
Consultation: Adult further education: measuring success - detailed proposals: This Consultation closes 2 December 2015 and sets out detailed proposals for using new outcome based measures of performance for publicly funded post-19 education and skills, excluding higher education. It builds on the findings of the earlier consultation published in August 2014. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/adult-further-education-measuring-success-detailed-proposals.
Adult further education: outcome based success measures - experimental data 2010 to 2013: This publication presents experimental outcome based measures covering the destinations (into employment and learning) and progression of post-19 learners. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-further-education-outcome-based-success-measures-experimental-data-2010-to-2013
Report: Social mobility: contribution of further education and skills: This report looks at how further education helps learners and their children improve their standard of living. It found evidence that FE and skills have a positive effect on seven of the social mobility indictors. The evidence suggests that FE and skills have a positive effect when qualifications are achieved and shows how adult learning makes a positive contribution to greater social mobility and other outcomes such as returns to the Exchequer and levels of poverty. However, the effects and contribution will be mitigated by contextual factors, including occupational structure, the income distribution, and personal characteristics such as age and gender, sector of work and occupation. The Report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/466420/BIS-15-579-contribution-of-further-education-and-skills-to-social-mobility.pdf
Association of Colleges and CCS develop strategic relationship: The Association of Colleges and the Crown Commercial Services have established a partnership to develop a solution for sourcing regulated qualifications. More information on this at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/association-of-colleges-and-ccs-develop-strategic-relationship
(Department for Education)
Thousands more young people working or learning after 16: Provisional destination measures published by the DfE show the proportion of students going into education, training or employment after A level or similar qualifications rose by 2 percentage points - the equivalent of around 18,000 people. the proportion of students after completing key stage 4 (GCSE) rose from 91% in 2012 to 2013 to 92% in 2013 to 2014. The provisional destination figures can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/provisional-destinations-key-stage-4-and-5-pupils-2013-to-2014
Statistics: 16 to 19 attainment: Statistics on the attainment of 16- to 19-year-olds in England, including exam results and performance tables and provisional data for 2014-15 has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-attainment-at-19-years
Statistics: GCSEs (key stage 4): Statistics on key stage 4 results, including GCSEs, including provisional data for 2014-2015 have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-gcses-key-stage-4
Changes to key stage 4 and key stage 5 statistical releases: A Statement from the Department for Education's Head of Profession for Statistics on changes to key stage 4 and key stage 5 statistics has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/changes-to-key-stage-4-and-key-stage-5-statistical-releases
Level 1 and 2 English and maths: 16 to 18 students - 2013 to 2014: Experimental statistics on English and maths attainment by students aged 16 to 18 who did not achieve A* to C by the end of key stage 4 have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/level-1-and-2-english-and-maths-16-to-18-students-2013-to-2014
Participation in education and training: local authority figures: Databases showing the proportion of 16- and 17-year-olds in education and training to June 2015 have been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/participation-in-education-and-training-by-local-authority
Statement opposing female genital mutilation: Guidance document: This outlines what FGM is, the legislation and penalties involved and the help and support available. The statement is often referred to as a health passport. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-opposing-female-genital-mutilation
University technical college pre-opening guide: This guide contains an overview of all the important tasks UTC proposer groups need to complete between the approval of their application and the opening of the UTC. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/utc-pre-opening-guide
Schools Increased tax-free bursaries and scholarships for 2016 to 2017 announced: Top graduates are being offered up to £30,000 tax free to train to teach the key subjects - like maths and physics in schools. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-graduates-to-get-up-to-30k-to-train-to-teach-core-subjects
New experts appointed to help improve schools initial teacher training: Additional experts to help in the development of a core framework to support those who deliver ITT in schools, especially classroom management and subject knowledge, have been appointed. Further details at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-experts-appointed-to-help-improve-initial-teacher-training
Characteristics of children in need: 2014 to 2015: Information on children referred to and assessed by children's social services between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 has been published and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need-2014-to-2015
Research Report: School improvement: effective school partnerships: Report looking at the evidence available on collaboration and partnerships between schools and their effectiveness in improving schools has been published and can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/467855/DFE-RR466_-_School_improvement_effective_school_partnerships.pdf
Education and Training Foundation
English Pipeline: Following on from the highly successful English Enhancement Programme, these programmes support a range of teachers and trainers through a programme of workforce development supported by specialised resources. There are Professional Development leads in each of the English regions and WMCETT is a delivery partner for these courses. Further details of courses and to book see: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/supporting/support-practitioners/english-pipeline/
Maths Pipeline: Following on from the highly successful Maths Enhancement Programme, these programmes support a range of teachers and trainers through a programme of workforce development supported by specialised resources. There are Professional Development leads in each of the English regions and WMCETT is a delivery partner for these courses. Further details of courses and to book see: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/supporting/support-practitioners/maths-pipeline/
Foundation welcomes plans to reform English and maths Functional Skills: The ETF welcomed the Skills Minister’s decision to commission a programme to reform English and maths Functional Skills Qualifications.The ETF’s review ‘Making maths and English work for all’ found that Functional Skills were “not broken”, but that work could be done to improve their relevance and content, as well as to improve their recognition and credibility in the labour market. The ETF has issued Invitations to Tender for this work. Further details at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/news/
Leadership support in challenging times: The ETF has announced twelve programmes to meet the needs of sector leaders in challenging times. Eight are new and four are successful programmes the Foundation has run previously. These are available to be booked online at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/news/leadership-support-in-challenging-times/
Increasing provision in English and mathematics in FE Colleges: A Report of four case studies into the 16 to 19 study programmes for all young people without a GCSE at grade C or above in English and/or mathematics describes how four general further education colleges tackled this issue through thorough strategic planning. The Report can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/increasing-provision-in-english-and-mathematics-through-planning
Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity: An Ofsted Report 'Apprenticeships: developing skills for future prosperity' reports that many of the courses on offer are failing to give learners the skills and knowledge employers are looking for. Too many low-skilled roles are being classed as apprenticeships and used to accredit the established skills of people who have been in a job for some time. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/too-many-apprenticeships-not-meeting-the-needs-of-young-people-employers-or-the-economy.
The Report can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-developing-skills-for-future-prosperity
First issue of 'Further education and skills inspection update' published: This newsletter will be used to communicate key messages to inspectors and providers and will be published 3 times a year. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-issue-of-further-education-and-skills-inspection-update-published
GCSE changes: a summary: A Guidance document shows the main features of reformed GCSEs to be taught from 2015 onward. It details whether the subject is tiered, has non-exam assessment or if there are any significant changes from the previous version of this subject. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-changes-a-summary
Regulating vocational qualifications: implementing our regulatory strategy: Glenys Stacey's speech sets out how Ofqual see the vocational landscape developing and Ofqual's role in ensuring quality. It can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/regulating-vocational-qualifications-implementing-our-regulatory-strategy
After the QCF: a new qualifications framework: The new Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) is now in operation. In line with consultation feedback, Ofqual have decided to simplify their proposed approach to describing the size of regulated qualifications. The revised approach only uses Total Qualification Time and, where appropriate, Guided Learning. They have decided to adopt the remainder of the proposals, with minor drafting changes to clarify meaning. Further information at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/after-the-qcf-a-new-qualifications-framework
GCSE, AS and A level subjects that are not being reformed: A table listing the subjects that are not being reformed and the reasons why has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-as-and-a-level-subjects-that-are-not-being-reformed
New GCSEs, AS and A levels accredited to be taught from 2016: A list of GCSEs, AS levels and A levels that Ofqual have accredited to be taught from September 2016 has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-gcses-as-and-a-levels-accredited-to-be-taught-from-2016
Out of tolerance report: GCSE, AS and A level, summer 2015: A report into grades that were out of tolerance compared to predictions has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/out-of-tolerance-report-gcse-as-and-a-level-summer-2015
Reform of AS and A level qualifications by Ofqual: A collection of documents showing how Ofqual is currently and is planning to reform AS level and A level qualifications has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/reform-of-as-and-a-level-qualifications-by-ofqual
How qualifications can reflect the FELTAG recommendations: Jeremy Benson speaks to the FELTAG conference about technology in assessment. His speech can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/how-qualifications-can-reflect-the-feltag-recommendations
(Skills Funding Agency)
A guide to apprenticeships: A guide to apprenticeships - provides information for young people on the opportunities, progression and benefits of doing an apprenticeship with case studies from real apprentices. It can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-guide-to-apprenticeships. A Guide for Parents is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-parents-guide-to-apprenticeships
Further education and skills: statistical first release: Final further education and skills data for 2013 to 2014 and provisional further education and skills data for the full 2014 to 2015 academic year can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/learner-participation-outcomes-and-level-of-highest-qualification-held
Apprenticeship standards: list of occupations available: This document provides a list of all the apprenticeship standards that are currently being developed by groups of employers (trailblazers). It identifies their stage of development – including whether they are ready for delivery at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standards-list-of-occupations-available
Apprenticeship standard: further education assessor-coach: Not yet ready to use but standards can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-further-education-assessor-coach
Apprenticeship standard: further education learning mentor: Not yet ready to use but standards can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-further-education-learning-mentor
WMCETT's Sector News gives weekly updates on education and can be found at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/othercourses/wmcett/resources/sectornews
English Pipeline: WMCETT is running a number of the English Pipeline courses and these can be booked via the ETF website at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/supporting/support-practitioners/english-pipeline/
Maths Pipeline: WMCETT is running a number of the Maths Pipeline courses and these can be booked via the ETF website at: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/supporting/support-practitioners/maths-pipeline/
Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre, it comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at http://uk.pearson.com/home/policy-watch.html. Topics this month include: Developing the higher level skills route; Ofsted raise questions about Apprenticeships; Conference lessons 2015 and the Weekly Policy Eye reports.