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WMCOP Bulletin September 2012

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Welcome to the September 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 is the start of the new academic year and we wish you a very successful and interesting one. The Bulletin starts the new year with details of bursaries for initial teacher training, the news that a consultation on the new teaching qualifications opens next month, dates for Q/ATLS and details of the revised LSIS strategy statement. We also give details of the Cabinet reshuffle which changes the emphasis for the lifelong learning sector and at some of the Government's recent growth initiatives. There are also reports on studio schools, university technical colleges and academies and the ongoing discussion around this summer's GCSE results. In case you missed it at the end of last year there is also a link to the revised Common Inspection Framework which came into effect this September.

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)


Cabinet Reshuffle: Vince Cable remains as Secretary of State for BIS and David Willetts is still the Minister of State for Universities and Science. John Hayes, Minister responsible for skills and FE has moved to be the new Minister of State for Energy and the position of Minister for Skills and FE as this has been replaced by a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills (jointly with the Department for Education), Matthew Hancock. Michael Gove remains the Secretary of State for Education with David Laws coming in as Minister of State (schools) (jointly with the Cabinet Office). Other positions can be found for BIS at: and for Education at:

Local Enterprise Councils (LEPs) receive a boost: An interim £5 million funding package will be made available immediately for all LEPs to draw upon for the remainder of this financial year. This will be followed by up to £250,000 per LEP per year for the following two years. The funding will be provided on a 50/50 basis by BIS and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). LEPs will be invited to bid for matched funding for 2013/14 and 2014/15, setting out how they would be able to offer a cash match from public or private resources. Details on the scope of the match will be discussed with LEPs shortly. Details at:

Support for Small Businesses taking on Apprentices: Jeweller and social entrepreneur Jason Holt was commissioned in February this year to review ways to make apprenticeships simpler and more accessible for small and medium businesses. His research pointed to a lack of awareness about the benefits of taking apprentices on, and how to recruit and train them and his report can be found at: The Government's response is the Revisions to the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) details of which can be found at:

Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP): 34 Companies successful in the first round have been announced. They will receive a share of £67 million from Government and will match the funding by a combined total of £98 million and are expected to create: 11,000 apprenticeships, including 4400 for 16-18 year olds; 27,000 full time equivalent non-apprenticeship vocational training opportunities and 49,000 other learning or training opportunities, including work experience and work placements. More successful firms will be announced in October with a further launch of the scheme in the autumn. Details can be found at: The EOP, together with the aerospace industry's joint funding of 500 Masters Degrees, was also mentioned as part of Vince Cable's speech outlining his vision for the future of British industry which can be found at:


DfE (Department for Education)


Key Stage 4 (GCSE) Statement: Michael Gove made a speech to the House of Commons on the revision of GCSE examinations removing modular assessment and the division into foundation and higher tiers and allowing only one exam board per subject. It is planned to call new qualifications in the core academic subjects, English Baccalaureate Certificates and success in English, maths, the sciences, a humanities subject and a language will mean that the student has the full English Baccalaureate. The first year of teaching of new certificates in English, maths and the sciences will be in September 2015 with other subjects following. Further details of his speech can be read at: There is a consultation now open which can be found at:

New Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges (UTCs) open: There are 11 new Studio Schools and three UTCs open this September which makes a total of 16 studio schools and 33 UTCs now open. For further details on studio schools, their website is at: and for UTCs the website is:

Academies: September figures show that 282 academies open this month, taking the total number to 2309 which has risen from May 2010 when there were 203 academies. Failing schools have been specifically targeted by the Government with 130 sponsored academies open this month bringing the total number to 501. There are now 54 per cent of secondary schools which are either already academies or in the pipeline to become academies with 14 academies for children with special educational needs opening this month taking the total to 56, compared to just one last September. More details can be found at:


LSIS (Learning and Skills Improvement Service)


Initial Teacher Education Fee Awards Scheme: LSIS with BIS are offering a fee award scheme to first year ITT trainees of an HEI validated qualification. The scheme offers £1,500 towards the fees of those training to teach basic maths/numeracy and basic English/literacy (including functional skills) in the FE & Skills sector, and £1,000 towards those training to teach other subjects. Although it supports individual trainees, the organisation delivering the training has to apply on their behalf. A second round of funding will open towards the end of this month. Funds are limited and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Further details are at:

FE Teacher/Trainer Qualifications: The review of teacher training qualifications within the Further Education (FE) and skills sector is being conducted by LSIS, ahead of the final report from the Lingfield Review. LSIS is running a number of events from October and there is an online survey. Further details are at:–haveyoursay.aspx

Initial Teacher Education projects: Following an invitation to bid for projects to develop partnerships of ITE providers, employers and other organisations, LSIS has funded 16 projects to pilot new models of delivery that also support the priority areas of English and Maths, and STEM. They are due to start delivering new FE teacher training programmes from September 2012.

Supported employment national occupational standards: The NOS for Supported Employment were developed by LSIS this year, and are now in place. They are Europe’s first national occupational standards for staff working within supported employment model to help practitioners who provide personalised support for people with disabilities and/or disadvantages in order to help them to seek, access and retain employment. Further details at:

Gazelle group of colleges 'Towards Enterprising Futures': For the past year, the Gazelle group of colleges has been working with LSIS to take forward the entrepreneurship agenda in the sector. The most recent activity was a two-day workshop in July at the University of Warwick entitled “Towards Enterprising Futures”. Ideas considered were around the development of learning companies; the move towards entrepreneurial learning; the need for new technology systems; and the wider student experience opportunities that are evolving because of a more entrepreneurial curriculum. LSIS will be working with Gazelle on a new workshop called “Entrepreneurship as a strategic driver for change”. This is aimed at senior leaders from any college who would like to explore the opportunities of developing an entrepreneurial culture within their organisation. Details at:

Common Inspection Framework (CiF): The new CiF comes into effect this September and LSIS are offering support for colleges by: focused events delivered by Ofsted inspectors, a range of resources and tools to support quality improvement and a new publication produced by Ofsted. Further details can be found at:

LSIS Strategy 'Focus on Improvement 2012-2015: The revised document sets out the LSIS strategy with three main aims: to equip the sector to achieve outstanding teaching and learning; to ensure the sector has excellent leadership and management and governance and to mobilise effective and timely intervention both to avoid and resolve cases of failure. Details at:


IfL (Institute for Learning)


Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS): The dates for applying for QTLS/ATLS this year are: Intention of expression for Spring 1 September to 31 October with applications made by 28 February 2013 and Intention of Expression for summer 1 December to 31 January 2013 with applications made by 30 June. West Midlands Regional IfL, Anne Schofield is holding a workshop on 4 October, anyone interested please contact her at:

Ofsted and Ofqual


Common Inspection Framework for FE and Skills from September 2012: A revised framework was introduced from September 2012 and can be found at:

Initial Teacher Education Inspection Handbook: This was published on 29 June 2012 and sets out the statutory basis and framework for ITE inspections in England from September 2012. It provides instructions and guidance for inspectors conducting inspections of ITE. It sets out what inspectors will do and what ITE partnerships can expect, and provides guidance for inspectors on making their judgements. In case you missed it see:

Driving up standards of literacy: With government surveys suggesting that the UK’s standards in English have slipped in comparison with other countries, in March this year, Ofsted called on providers of early years, schools and further education and skills to renew a national drive for higher standards and for more engagement with parents and learners. This looks at the findings from Ofsted's latest reports on literacy and features two case studies showing what good practice in literacy looks like. For details see:

GCSE Results: Statement from Ofqual: A statement from Ofqual on the achievement rate for GCSEs this summer can be found at:




Policy Watch: Published by The Pearson Centre comments on the latest initiatives and can be read at: Topics this month include:
Reforming GCSE
The Government's 'new' industrial strategy
What does the OECD's latest report tell us?
What's coming up for the world of HE?
What's coming up for FE and Skills?
What's coming up for Schools?
Keeping track of what happened in education in August

Sector News: WMCETT's Sector News gives weekly updates on education and can be found here.

Spotlight Training for the Unemployed: Published in September 2012 as part of the BIS FE and Skills Newsletter it can be read at: