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WMCOP Bulletin September 2016

Welcome to the September 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.

The big news this month is the changes in Government post EU Referendum. The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, has re-shuffled the Government departments so that FE and skills is now part of the Department for Education, under Justine Greening. Higher Education still has a brief in both the Department for Education and the new Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department.

It is September and a number of announcements are about funding, course information and statistics. The ITT Bursaries for maths and English and the maths subject knowledge enhancement guidance have been published. There are timelines for FE college legal requirements, GCSE, AS and A levels; guidance on technical qualifications, the latest GCSE, AS and A levels to be accredited, GCSE grading standards and how the top GCSE grades will be awarded. Draft subject content for maths and English Functional Skills qualifications has also been published by the ETF.

Apprenticeship funding proposals from May 17 and the Apprenticeship Levy have been announced as has the date of National Apprenticeship Week in 2017 and the latest register of recognised training providers.

In HE the Government has responded to the Research Excellence Framework review and the Teaching Excellence Framework has been updated. There is a Report on participation in HE for 2015.

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

The landscape has changed since the June Bulletin! There is a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, who has reshuffled the Cabinet, government departments, ministers and their responsibilities. The changes which affect FE and skills education are that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills no longer exists and FE now comes under the Minister for Education, Justine Greening. The new Government departments which have responsibility for further and higher education are as follows:

Department for Education ministerial appointments 2016:
Secretary of State for Education, Minister for Women and Equalities - Justine Greening
Minister of State for School Standards - Nick Gibb
Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills - Robert Halfon
Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation - Jo Johnson (joint with BEIS, see below)
Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families - Edward Timpson
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities, and Early Years - Caroline Dinenage
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System - Lord Nash
Further details and biographies can be found at:

The departments for Business, Innovation and Skills and Energy and Climate Change have been merged to create a new department, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with Rt Hon Greg Clark MP as Secretary of State. The Departmental brief is 'to develop a comprehensive industrial strategy; continuing to ensure the UK remains at the cutting-edge of science, research and innovation; tackling climate change; and ensuring affordable, clean and secure energy supply for the UK'.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS): ministerial appointments 2016
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry
Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (joint minister with Department for Education)
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property
Margot James MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers, and Corporate Responsibility
Jesse Norman MP, Minister for Industry and Energy
Further details can be found at:

Department for Education

Post-16 skills plan and independent report on technical education: Published by BIS prior to government changes: The government’s vision for technical education, based on the work of Lord Sainsbury’s independent panel. This report can be found at:

Justine Greening visits Walsall College: Education Secretary Justine Greening was given a tour of Walsall College in her first official visit (Thursday 21 July) since being appointed to the role. Further details at:

Further education initial teacher training bursary: 2016 to 2017: Guidance and form for initial teacher training (ITT) providers claiming bursaries for the 2016 academic year has been published. These only apply to maths and English subjects and can be found at:

Mathematics subject knowledge enhancement guide: 2016 to 2017: Guidance and form for initial teacher training providers applying for subject knowledge enhancement programmes for the 2016 academic year. Subject knowledge enhancement programmes: help applicants gain the depth of subject knowledge needed to train and teach their chosen subject; only apply to mathematics; are only for pre-service, post-graduate programmes; specifically support programmes which allow trainees to teach maths to GCSE and level 3. Further details at:

Timeline for sixth-form and further education colleges: mandatory: Information to help sixth-form and further education colleges understand and plan for the compulsory legal requirements they must meet can be found at:
Timelines for other educational establishments can be found at:

14 to 19 technical and applied qualifications: technical guidance: These guidance documents explain the: requirements of the technical and applied qualifications for 14-16-year-olds and for 16-19-year-olds that are included in performance tables and the process for submitting qualifications to DfE. They can be found at:

School and college performance tables 2016: statement of intent: The information that the Department for Education (DfE) will publish in the 2016 school and college performance tables has been published at:

Further education maintenance loans (technical and professional): Summary of the responses received, along with the government’s statement that they will consider the responses and respond in the Autumn. The report can be found at:

National Apprenticeship Week 2017 date announced: The National Apprenticeship Service has announced that the 10th annual National Apprenticeship Week will be taking place from 6 to 10 March. Further details at:

Apprenticeships: proposals for funding from May 2017: Proposals for how the apprenticeships support package for employers in England will work from May 2017 have been published at:

Apprenticeship levy: how it will work: August update: Details of which employers will be affected by the levy, how much they will pay, and what happens once they've paid the money, can be found at:

Employers and training providers to road-test the new digital apprenticeship service: As part of a pilot employers and training providers will be able to test the service from start to finish to make sure it meets their needs. Further details at:

Performance points: comparing KS4 or 16-to-18 qualifications: An introduction to calculating the points for a key stage 4 or 5 (16-to-18) qualification has been published at:

Jo Johnson: Universities UK annual conference 2016: Universities Minister Jo Johnson speaks to members of Universities UK about the future of higher education. His speech can be read at:

Nick Gibb: the importance of education research: School Standards Minister Nick Gibb addresses the ResearchED national conference. His speech can be read at:

GCSE results day: Statement from Minister of State for School Standards Nick Gibb on the GCSE results can be read at:

English Baccalaureate: eligible qualifications: Updated list of qualifications that count towards the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) has been published at:

Higher Education and Research Bill: student protection plans: Student protection plans will set out what students can expect if their course, campus or institution closes. Further details at:

Universities: Teaching Excellence Framework: Update: an update to publications and documents related to the Teaching Excellence Framework, a system for recognising excellent teaching in higher education, has been published at:

Teaching Excellence Framework factsheet: Information about the timing of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and its impact on tuition fees has been published at:

European Baccalaureate: guide for higher education institutions: A summary of the European Baccalaureate for UK university and higher education admissions officers or employers of graduates with this qualification, can be read at:

Schools: Initial teacher training: government response to Carter review: The reports of, and government’s response to, 3 expert groups tasked with developing: a framework of content for initial teacher training (ITT); behaviour management content for ITT and standards for school-based ITT mentors, have been published at:

Level 1 and 2 English and maths: 16 to 18 students, 2014 to 2015: Experimental statistics on level 1 and 2 English and maths in 16 to 18 study by students who didn't achieve A* to C by the end of KS4, have been published at:

Statistics: NEET and participation: Annual Update: Young people’s participation in education, employment and training and those not in education, employment or training (NEET) has been published for 2015 at:

Statistics: participation rates in higher education 2006-2015: The latest statistics for participation in higher education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been published at:

Further education and skills statistical first release (SFR): Further education and skills data reported for January 2014 to present has been published at:

Statistics: initial teacher training: schools: Statistics on initial teacher training recruitment, allocations and performance data in schools 2014-15, has been published at:

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Thousands of young people become their own boss with a Start Up Loan: Since 2012, government-backed Start Up Loans worth over £40 million have helped more than 7,500 under 25 years old get started. Further details at:

Research Excellence Framework review: This independent review makes recommendations on the future operation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The review can be read at:

Professional News

Ofsted and Qfqual

Further education and skills providers falling short in protecting learners from risk of extremism: The report, ‘How well are further education and skills providers implementing the ‘Prevent’ duty?’, praises general further education colleges and sixth forms for making good progress in implementing the Prevent duty. However, it finds that a worrying number of providers, particularly independent learning providers, small providers and those working in isolation, are struggling to implement the duty. Further details at:

Ofsted's further education and skills inspections outcomes from December 2015: September Update: Management information showing in-year and most recent inspection outcomes has been published at:

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

Setting the grade standards of new GCSEs in England: 2017 & 2018: Consultation outcome decisions by the Government on grade standards of new GCSEs can be found at:

How the top grades will be awarded in new GCSEs: Ofqual has confirmed how GCSE grades, including 8 and 9, will be awarded. Further details at:

First National Reference Test to be held in spring 2017: The first National Reference Test (NRT), which will be taken by about 18,000 students, will be held in February and March 2017. Each year a sample of students will take the same test so it will show, over time, if there is any change in how students perform at a national level. Further details at: See also An overview of the National Reference Test at:

Timeline of changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels: Update: Latest overview of what changes will be made to GCSE, AS and A level qualifications between 2015 and 2019 has been published at:

Variability in GCSE results for individual schools and colleges: Now that GCSE results for summer 2016 have been published, Ofqual has also published the year-on-year variation in the same subjects in summer 2016. This information can be found at:

Vocational and other qualifications quarterly: January to March 2016: This bulletin covers all vocational and other types of qualifications (excluding GCSEs, GCEs and the Diploma and its components) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It can be found at:

Ofqual's response to government's post-16 skills plan: Ofqual welcomes the ambition set out in the government’s post-16 Skills Plan to create a technical education system that meets business needs. Further details at: Please note: this is pre Government reshuffle.

Skills Funding Agency and Hefce

Apprenticeship standards approved for delivery: September Update: A list of all the apprenticeship standards approved by the SFA that are ready for employers and training organisations to use has been published at:

FE data library: education and training: Information on education and training by participation and achievements has been published at:

2016 to 2017 Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data: Information about learner data that publicly funded colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers (FE providers) must collect and return in the 2016 to 2017 funding year has been published at:

Register of apprenticeship training providers: Proposals for the new register which organisations must apply to join if they want to deliver apprenticeship training from May 2017 have been published at:

Apprenticeships: proposals for funding from May 2017: Proposals for how the apprenticeships support package for employers in England will work from May 2017 were published in August at: The first support package is due to be announced in October.

Hefce Report: Inequality persists for graduate employees: Evidence shows that three-and-a-half years after leaving university 97 per cent of graduates were in employment or further study, but differences persist across demographic groups. Further details and the report can be found at:,109517,en.html

UK Universities focus on delivery and spur economic growth: This year’s survey of interaction between UK universities and business shows that the total value of knowledge exchange interaction between UK universities and their partners across the economy has risen by over 6 per cent to £4.2 billion in 2014-15 (from £3.9 billion in 2013-14). Further details at:,109441,en.html

Education and Training Foundation

1,000 users of our maths and English modules… and counting! Since their launch in April 2015, the ETF free online maths and English modules have been a hit, used by over 1,000 teachers in the further education and training sector. In a recent survey, 85% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that completing the modules was a good use of their time and they valued the benefits of the resource. Further details at:

Sir Frank McLoughlin joins the ETF as new Director of Leadership: The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) today announced the appointment of Sir Frank McLoughlin, CBE, as its new Associate Director for Leadership. Further details at:

Subject content for Functional Skills: Draft subject content for maths and English Functional Skills qualifications was published in August and following consultation, a final report, including recommendations for draft standards and subject content will be prepared and a copy published on the ETF website. Further details at:


WMCETT: Maths and English learning resilience courses: WMCETT is delighted to announce that we have won funding from the Education and Training Foundation to run more subsidised one-day introduction to mathematical resilience courses around England, and also develop and run some further courses for maths and English practitioners. The current prices are for courses BOOKED before October 17 and RUN before the end of November - after that the ETF are increasing the prices of all their courses across the board. Book as soon as possible to guarantee these lower prices.

 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