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Sector News, 28 April - 2 May 2008

The language of integration.  Education Guardian, 29 April 2008

A new DEMOS report commissioned by the Association of Colleges London, has proposed some changes to how Esol works in order to meet the needs of more vulnerable.

Amongst a number of policy changes DEMOS requests a change in the tax credit system (which is used to assess those who qualify for fee remission), the removal of the six months wait for asylum seekers before they can get free tuition and a requirement that Esol should reflect learners' needs by using needs assessment to establish the levels of funding required by each learner.

It's not easy teaching troubled students.  Education Guardian, 29 April 2008

Comment on a visit to a large FE college to study entry level courses for 16-18 year olds.

Refers to the difficulties faced by the College with some students, and how the good teachers have managed to overcome these.

College of hard knocks.  Education Guardian, 29 April 2008

Summary of a recent union survey showing a disturbing trend of violence and threats towards lecturers.

Reading poetry at Yale…in my sitting room. Education Guardian, 29 April 2008

Diana Kleiner, director of the Open Yale course, reports on the Distance Learning available on  Seven departments, astronomy, English, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology and religious studies offer introductory courses via the internet.

Examiners yet to make decision on setting diploma grade boundaries. TES, 2 May 2008

The diploma is being introduced in five subjects at three levels from September.  Difficulties include how to amalgamate pupils' performances across different elements, which can be taken with different exam boards.  Edexcel is concerned that a repeat of the Curriculum 2000 A-level marking crisis could be repeated.

Adult learning has the right funding to keep it on course. TES, 2 May 2008

Response by Bill Rammell, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education to Alan Tuckett’s report in FE Focus, April 18, “Adult learning in free fall”. Bill Rammell argues that current Government trends mean an end to adult learning is not the case.  Three quarter of a million adults enrolled on courses other than those who took part in skills programmes.  He states that over the next three years there will be £210 million per year of protected adult funding.