News at a glance
Left-wing candidate eyes up UCU leadership
The University and College Union's left-wing group has nominated Mark Campbell, branch officer at London Metropolitan University, to stand against general secretary Sally Hunt. Mr Campbell will stand for UCU Left in elections later this year. In a statement, the group said he believes that "UCU has a key role to play in mobilising a wide coalition of forces that are opposed to the Government's dystopian agenda". Ms Hunt used her conference speech earlier this year to criticise divisive factions in the union which distracted from the struggle for pay and conditions, widely interpreted as an attack on UCU Left.
Dyslexia-friendly college scoops award
Cornwall College has become the first FE institution in the county to be awarded the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark. The accreditation, from the British Dyslexia Association, is awarded to organisations which meet rigorous criteria proving that they integrate dyslexia-friendly practice into their work. At Cornwall College, an initial assessment helps identify sufferers, who benefit from an extensive support programme. Dyslexia co- ordinator Melinda Hudson said: "This is a great achievement and something which we have been working hard on over the last two years."
High hopes for hi-tech engineering centre
Work on Kirklees College's new pound;7.5 million engineering centre got under way last week. The facility, which is due to open in September 2012, will provide hi-tech equipment for engineering and motor vehicle students. Principal Peter McCann said: "This is an exciting time for our community. The engineering and motor vehicle centre in Huddersfield will attract future generations of skilled workers to the region and will help to bolster the supply of much-needed specialist skills in this area."
Online tool for tracking training launched
Lifelong Learning Accounts, a Government-run online system for individuals to track their studies and learn about their entitlement to funding and loans, launched this week. The accounts, available at www.direct.gov.uklifelonglearningaccount, also include a CV-builder, localised course and careers searches, and a diagnostic tool for identifying skills needs. FE minister John Hayes said: "Lifelong Learning Accounts will encourage individuals to learn, and keep on learning. I want the accounts to help build a national community with the desire to seek out knowledge and skills and invest in their own success."
SFA hands pound;900k to adult learning projects
Some 27 organisations have secured pound;900,000 in funding from the Skills Funding Agency to offer informal adult and community learning opportunities, to "help make the Big Society a reality". The new Adult and Community Learning Fund, which is managed by adult education body Niace, has already distributed a total of pound;2.25 million to 59 organisations, which started work at the beginning of this month. Among the schemes are projects to improve the communication skills of young mothers in east London, encouraging young people to become interested in the design of their neighbourhoods by working with local architects, and an initiative to teach people who are HIV-positive about healthy living.