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WMCOP Bulletin October 2016

Welcome to the October 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 there is good news from Ofsted for Initial Teacher Education with 99% of providers good or outstanding. Robert Halfon has written to colleges and training providers updating them on the FE reform programme and Ofqual have published their vision for accreditation of vocational qualifications. Area reviews are also prominent with waves 4 and 5 starting, a letter from the FE Commissioner and guidance for providers published.

Statistics show that there are more young people in apprenticeships this year and statistics on the achievements and destinations of 16- to 18-year-olds for the 2015 to 2016 academic year have been published.

Student satisfaction with universities is high in HE, the Teaching Excellence Framework specification for year 2 has been published and Hefce is developing the next Research Excellence Framework.

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

Department for Education (DfE)

Further education reform: update for colleges, October 2016: Robert Halfon, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, writes to colleges and training providers updating them on the FE reform programme. In this letter, the Minister puts forward his thoughts on apprenticeships, Lord Sainsbury’s report on Technical Education, along with the Post-16 Skills Plan, the need to eradicate the bullying of transgender students, issues around literacy and numeracy and area reviews. His letter can be found at:

Post-16 education and training institutions: list of area reviews: Updated information to include waves 4 and 5: A list of FE colleges, sixth-form colleges and providers taking part in the area reviews of post-16 education and training institutions has been published at:

Area reviews: FE Commissioner letter (October 2016): Further Education Commissioner Sir David Collins CBE writes to all chairs and principals in the further education sector to share his thoughts on the progress of the first 3 waves of area reviews. Further information can be found at:

Further education area reviews: guidance for providers: October Updates: Updated guidance about the area reviews of sixth-form and further education colleges and how to carry out recommendations has been published at:

Government plans to make the UK one of the most digitally-skilled nations: The Government has announced plans to make an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to make training in basic digital skills free for adults lacking relevant qualifications. Further details at:

Teaching Excellence Framework: year 2 specification: Information about how the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will function in year 2 of its operation has been published at: To see all the relevant documents relating to the Teaching Excellence Framework go to:

Higher Education and Research Bill: UK research and innovation: Information for a new governing body called UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) including its role and purpose, funding principles and governance structures and Innovate UKs role in the new structure as 1 of 9 UKRI councils, has been published at:

Funding support for EU students: European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Further details at:

More young people in apprenticeships than ever before: Statistics show a rise in the number of apprenticeships with around 905,000 people in an apprenticeship this year. The figures also show that there were over 130,000 starts by under 19-year-olds, 27,000 higher and degree apprenticeships and 23,900 Traineeships started during the 2015 to 2016 academic year. Further details at:

Future of apprenticeships in England: guidance for trailblazers of an updated link to online proposal submission form and added October submission deadlines has been published at:

Social mobility package unveiled by Education Secretary: Six areas, identified as the most challenged when it comes to social mobility, will have access to funding to address the biggest challenges they face. Opportunity areas will see local partnerships formed with early year's providers, schools, colleges, universities, businesses, charities and local authorities to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Further details at:

Further education and skills: statistical first release October 2016: Further education and skills data reported for October 2016 has been published at:

A level and other 16 to 18 results: 2015 to 2016 (provisional): Statistics on the achievements of 16- to 18-year-olds for the 2015 to 2016 academic year, including: A levels, other academic level 3 qualifications, technical and applied level 3 qualifications and below level 3 English and maths qualifications. These can be found at:

Statistics: destinations of key stage 4 and key stage 5 pupils: Annual figures for young people who went into education, employment or training destinations the year after they completed key stage 4 or key stage 5 have been published at:

Participation in education and training: local authority figures: Databases showing the proportion of 16- and 17-year-olds in education and training in June 2016 have been published at:

Professional Organisations

 Ofsted and Ofqual

Ofsted: 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. The proportion of ITE partnerships that were good or outstanding is now 99%, up one percentage point compared to the proportion at the end of August 2015. This rise is largely due to the high proportion of partnerships judged to be good or outstanding this year. Further details at:

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

Vocational Qualifications – Benefits and Opportunities: Speech by Phil Beach of Ofqual: This speech sets out Ofqual's vision for accrediting vocational qualifications now and for future reforms including functional skills, apprenticeships and the new technical qualifications. Further details at:

Education and Training Foundation

National programme launched to improve the delivery of independent end-point assessment in apprenticeships: A large-scale programme, funded by the Department for Education and commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation, is today being launched to improve capacity to deliver independent end-point assessment in apprenticeships. Interested organisations can book for workshops. Further details at:

First ResearchEd FE conference in partnership with ETF: ResearchED is a grass-roots, teacher-led organisation aimed at improving research literacy in education. Further details at:

Your chance to have a say on how the ETF is doing: The ETF has launched its annual Perception Survey, which runs until the 26 October. This survey is entirely confidential and is conducted for us by RCU, an independent research company. Further details at:

Skills Funding Agency

Early recruitment of higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies for 2017: The spreadsheet above shows you the higher and degree apprenticeship vacancies that employers have on offer for 2017. Further details at:

SFA funding allocations to training providers: 2016 to 2017: Funding values for colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers with a contract for 2016 to 2017 have been published at:


'Graduate satisfaction with undergraduate choices': Most graduates are happy with the choices they made when they went to university, according to a report published by HEFCE. In general though, students from ethnic minority groups are less satisfied. Further details at:,110539,en.html

HEFCE to develop the next REF: Following the publication of Lord Stern’s Independent Review of the Research Excellence Framework and confirmation from Jo Johnson, HEFCE will work with the other UK higher education funding bodies to develop the next REF. Further details at:,110463,en.html


WMCETT: WMCETT is involved in organising two CPD events in the next couple of months. The Professional Exchange day on November 17 follows a series of CPD days held earlier this year covering subjects of interest/concern in FE, and will involve feedback, sharing of effective practice and new materials, and there is more information here. The Collaborative Practice Development Day will include a choice of workshops by expert facilitators, plus case study presentations and Q&A sessions; there is information and a link to book here.

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