Phil Revell on what not to miss in a trawl through the latest items in the in-tray

21st September 2001 at 01:00
TTA assesses ICT training

Most schools have already signed up for ICT training under the lottery-funded New Opportunities Fund scheme, but what has been missing so far is a quality standard to assist them in choosing a training provider.

The Teacher Training Agency has now published a quality assessment of all the providers. The report is available on its website and, while the TTA claims that the quality of training has risen during 2001, it is clear that some providers are still being chased to improve their provision. Some well-known companies have come under fire.

The summaries give a brief description of the training offered alongside an account of the quality-assurance process. A clue for heads still to sign up for the training could be the number of times a programme has been reviewed. Some trainers have had repeated visits by inspectors.

The full list can be found at: www.canteach.gov.ukhome.htm Golden Jubilee

Do remember that the current school year for teachers will be one day short of 195. Monday, June 3, 2002 is the Queen's Golden Jubilee and a bank holiday. Spring bank holiday is the following day and most local education authorities have switched the summer half-term to June to avoid a 10-day shutdown. But teachers are still entitled to celebrate a royal celebration, hence the shortened year.

Funding for sixth forms

Guidance on sixth-form funding arrangements has been issued by the Learning and Skills Council. The LSC will take on responsibility for funding school sixth forms in England from April 2002. Ministers have already given schools a guarantee that funding for sixth forms will be protected in real terms, provided that their pupil numbers do not fall.

Schools will continue to receive all their post-16 funding routed through local education authorities, without new audit arrangements. LEAs will not be able to "top slice" the funds and schools will retain the power to distribute monies internally as they see fit - including using post-16 money to subsidise mainstream 11 to 16 courses.

The first funding allocation will cover a 16-month period from April 2002-July 2003 to bring future funding in line with the LSC's funding year. From August 1, 2003, the LSC will fund all bodies on a standard August to July funding period. The LSC will notify schools of their provisional allocation for 2002-03 in December 2001.

See the full guidance document on www.lsc.gov.uk

Tests in January

Edexcel has decided to increase the number of January tests for vocational A-levels and general national vocational qualifications. In determining which tests to offer, the board has, for the first time, tried to ensure that students on these programmes can sit at least half of their compulsory units. Full lists will be sent to examinations officers in October.

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