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Sector news, 12 - 25 April 2015

Teachers selling lesson plans online BBC news, 14 April 2015

Teachers in the UK, who have often complained about long hours at home making their own class materials, are selling their lessons online. The TES website is running a digital marketplace for teachers to sell their lesson ideas to other teachers. The website of TES Global - formerly The Times Educational Supplement - is offering teachers a digital platform to make money out of their lesson plans and teaching materials. The idea of teachers sharing ideas and materials for lessons online has expanded rapidly, with up to a million downloads per day of free material through the TES website. But there is a move to commercialise this, with teachers able to put a price tag on their lesson ideas. There are about 3,000 teaching materials on sale so far, such as material for primary science and poetry for £1 and resources on food technology and physics for £2. These are accompanied by teachers' reviews and ratings.Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman cautioned that teachers needed to be careful, as if they were employed in a school there was a question of intellectual property and schools needed a protocol.

Workplace complexity requires careers guidance and skills provision overview FE Week, 13 April 2015

In this article, Anthony Mann, director of research at the Education and Employers Taskforce, looks at the issue of careers advice with the demands of employers for workers with certain skills becoming ever-more complex. People have skills now unwanted, and employers cannot move into new fields as they cannot find the skills they need. He said the workplace was changing and there was a need for a strategic response to the challenges it presented.

The TES Further Education Podcast - Episode 33 TES, 17 April 2015

In this regular feature, David Russell, chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), is the guest on the TES FE podcast, where he is interviewed by Sarah Simons about the Foundation’s priorities, the new membership body and whether the sector should brace for imminent implosion.

Functional Skills first reveals just 63pc achievement FE Week, 20 April 2015

Nearly 40 per cent of under 19 Functional Skills (FS) enrolments at general FE and tertiary colleges and independent learning providers (ILPs) failed to achieve their qualification last academic year, it has been revealed. The figure is based on the Skills Funding Agency success rates tables, published this month, which for the first time included FS data. It has prompted a call from a range of academics for the government to provide added support for FS teaching to boost 16 to 18 success rates from 64.3 per cent for general FE and tertiary colleges and 52.9 per cent for ILPs (see page 7 for more FS provider type success rates). A total of 119,640 enrolments did not achieve their learning aims. Professor Ed Sallis, whose Education and Training Foundation review of non-GCSE English and maths provision, including FS, concluded last month, said: “I believe the results show lecturers and trainers need more practical support and training to deliver FS successfully and that more work needs to be done on developing the pedagogy of vocational maths and English.”

Councils fail to promote sector’s SEN provision FE Week, 17 April 2015

Councils are facing a call to better promote FE provision for learners with special educational needs (SEN) after a survey revealed just one in eight families were told about options outside local authority control. The results of the survey run by the National Star College, a specialist FE institution in Gloucestershire, revealed that 88 per cent of parents were not told about alternative options, including general and specialist FE colleges. A further 30 per cent of the 1,600 respondents said they had been “stopped or discouraged” from visiting, being assessed for or applying for places at colleges and other institutions outside council control. It has prompted a call from Association of National Specialist Colleges (Natspec) chief executive Alison Boulton for councils to provide better information for families.