Message from Katherine Burns, Principal
Work is now under way on the curriculum plan for the 2021/22 academic year. As set out in the ACL strategic plan, the focus will be on providing a curriculum that adds social and economic value. The four strands of this are:
- Deliver an offer to improve skills for work
- Deliver an offer to improve social inclusion and mobility
- Deliver an offer to support good health and personal development
- Improve digital participation and inclusion
We will deliver this in a way that ensures we are fit for the future whilst providing a safe, inclusive and high-quality learning experience. The country has huge challenges ahead and people will be struggling in terms of employment, skills as well as health, wellbeing and social isolation. ACL can be part of the recovery and our curriculum plan will reflect the part that we have to play.
Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth
The long-awaited FE White Paper (Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth) outlines how the government proposes to support people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs. The intent is to realign the whole system around the needs of employers. This is so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future, in the sectors that the economy needs, including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing. It also reconfirms the committed £2.5 billion budget for the National Skills Fund. So, all this is very timely in terms of looking to economic recovery as well.
Where the needs of employers are front and centre, they propose the development of new Local Skills Improvement Plans. This is to give employers a central role in working with FE colleges, other providers, and local stakeholders in order to shape technical skills provision so that it meets local labour market skills needs. Along with new accountability structures to underpin this, and making available £65 million strategic Development Funding to support colleges to reshape their provision to local need, this is an attempt to both give institutions more autonomy at a local level and also join up the fragmented skills ecosystem.
As well as making £2.5 billion available to support apprenticeships, they will also launch an online matching service to help levy-paying employers find small employers to transfer funds to. For apprentices with significant prior learning, they intend to reduce the duration of their apprenticeship and reach occupational competence more quickly.
The government also plan to change the law, so that from 2025 people can access flexible student finance in order to train and retrain throughout their lives, which will be supported by funding in 2021/22 to test ways to boost access to more modular and flexible learning. This is part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, and whilst the entitlement will focus on L4+ qualifications, L2/L3 ones have been the subject of a recent consultation that ended mid-January. So along with the 400 (so far) L3 qualifications that will be fully funded from 2021, it will be interesting to see how this all joins up in term of a truer lifelong learning journey.
The Paper can be accessed here
Learner Wellbeing Afternoon Tea
We would like to invite all learners to take part in our virtual Afternoon Tea! Please encourage your learners to join.
This online session will be held on Teams on Fridays, every fortnight, at 2:00-3:00 and is available to all ACL learners.
Our afternoon tea is a place to socialise, meet other learners, ask some questions, and find some information about wellbeing and our provision.
- 12th February 2:00-3:00
- 26th February 2:00-3:00
- 12th March 2:00-3:00
- 26th March 2:00-3:00
- 9th April 2:00-3:00
- 23rd April 2:00-3:00
- 7th May 2:00-3:00
They can find the link to these sessions in ‘Your Wellbeing’ area on VLE.
Video recording for tutors and assessors
ACL are to carry out an action research project into the effectiveness of using video recording as a tool for tutor and assessor self-reflection.
Most people hate listening or watching themselves on a recording, but getting over this initial feeling, can allow us to be far more productive through watching ourselves at distance and observing our teaching objectively to plan for future enhancements.
It’s useful for:
- Understanding how your students learn and the best ways to teach them
- Picking up on both good elements and areas for improvement in your teaching.
We are looking for 6 tutors or assessors to volunteer for this. It will involve
recording your own practice (needs only to be parts of sessions), analysing it for yourself, and then talking to a colleague or mentor about what you have noticed.
Areas for reflection might include:
- How clearly do I communicate the big ideas in a lesson?
- Am I interacting with students effectively?
- How much time do I spend talking about things that don’t need to be talked about?
If you would like to be a part of this or have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
Try something New
We are planning to include tips for staff wellbeing in newsletters as a regular item and include ideas for hobbies and activities. If you have any tips or ideas for interesting hobbies you would like to share with other staff, please send ideas (with photos if possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This BBC Worklife article offers tips to keep well when we can’t go out.
Do you have children using the internet? This site has easy to use guides to help you understand how to you set up the controls and settings to keep them safe.
Festival of Learning nominations 2021 – deadline 9th February
Nominations are now also open for the 2021 Awards, please do take the time to nominate the most inspiring and well-deserving learners/staff.
The awards celebrate the many benefits learning can have for everyone, and recognises individuals, tutors, employers and learning provision who have used learning to change their lives and the lives of others.
Nominate now – https://www.festivaloflearning.org.uk/2021-nominations/
Personal Development Courses to support staff delivering apprenticeships
A series of online Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses, fully-funded by the Department for Education, is now available to all apprenticeship providers and their workforce.
The Apprenticeship Workforce Development (AWD) offer, from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), provides trainers and leaders with the teaching skills, subject knowledge and confidence needed to deliver successful apprenticeships for the benefit of learners.
Eight AWD CPD courses will be available through the ETF’s Professional Development Platform (PDP), with the first four available now:
- Assessor to Teacher: Understanding How We Learn
- Assessor to Teacher: Deciding How to Teach
- Effective Technical Teaching: Enhancing Pedagogy and Professional Practice
- Apprenticeship Leadership: Developing Your Team
In February, four more courses will be launched on the PDP:
- Effective Technical Teaching: Effective End Point Assessment
- Technical Curriculum Design: Effective Curriculum Design in Practice
- Technical Curriculum Design: Principles and Models of Curriculum Design
- Apprenticeship Leadership: Effective Use of Resources
Welcome to ACL’s Staff Tea Room!
A Team in ACL Teams for staff to come and meet, share ideas and best practice, ask questions and join drop ins. You can also just catch up and chat about anything!
TeaRoom upcoming dates:
- 3rd Feb 9am
- 8th Feb 2pm
- 16th Feb 9am
- 25th Feb 1pm
Any questions about it, please contact Jo Loss or Karen Gowlett.
Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
Katherine Burns, ACL Principal
Christian Norman, VP Curriculum & Learning
Teresa Ablewhite, VP Quality & Compliance
Claire Maynard, Business Operations Manager
Amanda Rawlings, Commercial Manager
If you have any feedback or queries relating to this email, please contact email@example.com