LSIS Regional Update West Midlands April 2011

West Midlands
April 2011
LSIS Regional Update
RDM Sue Blake
Mobile: 07920710584
LSIS enquiries team:
Tel: 02476 627953
Useful LSIS Links
LSIS Website:
LSIS Events Calendar:
The Excellence Gateway:
The latest funding opportunities can be found on our
website on the last page:
News Stories
Regional Response Fund
Thank you to all 17 applicants. Following a heavy reading and scoring period and a moderation
meeting attended by the regional panel we agreed to support five projects across the region.
These are:
Association of Colleges
The Birmingham Employment & Skills Training Network
Worcestershire, Herefordshire & Shropshire Training Provider Network
West Midlands Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training
Walsall Adult & Community College
Further updates and information will be provided over the coming months.
Congratulations to the seven providers receiving Vocational Curriculum 14-19 Grants, we
eagerly await the outcomes.
Feedback from the sector
Thank you to all of you who attended to the Regional Conversation at the end of last year. I was
delighted to see so many providers turn up to give honest and frank feedback on LSIS services.
One immediate action following the meeting was the release of the Regional Response fund.
LSIS are keen to continue these Conversations so we have set the next one for 30th June. If
you are interested in attending please send me an email and I will save your contact
details for when further information is available.
LSIS Accounts – update
LSIS Accounts were re set on 1st April.
Direct contract holders with the SFA will get an automatic allocation and account holders for
these organisations should now have been notified.
Any organisation that delivers SFA funded provision but is not a direct contract holder will need
to apply for an Account and will be given a set allocation upon successful application. The form
to do so is available on the LSIS website after 31 March.
Organisations that have previously held an Account but are not automatically eligible from April
onwards can still apply (as above) but they will need to meet certain criteria, details on the
website. Detailed FAQs
Improvement Adviser Service (IAS)
The IAS offers a range of support to enable providers to improve their provision through the use
of specialist Advisers, High Quality Mangers or Beacon providers with relevant skills and
expertise. All Advisers are experts in quality improvement.
The service covers five categories of provider. Those identified as:
 Unsatisfactory by external inspection
 Falling below Minimum Levels of Performance (FE only)
 In need of financial recovery support; for FE Colleges
 Satisfactory, but wish to improve grades and success rates
 Aspiring to Excellence
 Functional Skills Support
To request support, please complete the application form for IAS support and send it by email to
Sue Blake. Applications can be made by individuals or by existing groups or networks. This
service is currently offered free to organisations.
Organisational Health Check
A number of providers including Colleges, Training Providers and ACL organisations have
already undergone an OHC and have found it very useful in identifying key challenges. An
OHC uses a SWOT analysis to enable organisations an opportunity to receive objective
feedback in relation to meeting their current and future strategic requirements. A team of trained
senior practitioners, drawn from the learning and skills sector, will tailor the support to
organisational needs.
Providers are encouraged to apply for an OHC ASAP as availability will be limited. Full details
Gateway applications to be sent to Sue Blake
Teaching and Learning Programme Update
LSIS Learning Fairs
The LSIS Learning Fairs go from strength to strength - providing regional networks of peer
support for improving teaching and learning and supporting CPD. Drawing on the work of LSIS
change agents, these provide opportunities for delegates to learn from examples of effective
practice and to share experiences and expertise with each other. They also offer guidance on
CPD and information about funding opportunities from LSIS. Planned and delivered in
association with the CETTS, JISC RSCs, IFL and others, the four regional learning fairs have
been well attended with over 320 delegates to date.
Building on the success of our events from the last two years, the focus of this year’s annual
teaching and learning fair is ‘Leading change in teaching and learning’. The event is planned
for Monday, 11 July 2011 at the Institute of Education, London.
This event will bring together up to 600 institutional managers and teaching and learning
practitioners to discuss, challenge, explore and develop a whole organisation approach to
leading change in teaching and learning. For more information, and to register, click here.
Teaching and learning grant schemes
There has been huge interest in new grant streams now available through the Teaching and
Learning programme, with over four hundred application received!
Competition has been fierce, with some streams being heavily oversubscribed. Over one
million pounds has been invested in Teaching and Learning in the sector, made available
through the following funds:
Teaching and Learning Cascade Training – 68 projects
Improving Teaching and Learning - 30 projects
Improving Teaching and Learning through Technology - 53 projects
STEM Fund – 130 projects
Modular programme for change agents
LSIS is developing a new modular programme for the training and professional development of
existing and prospective change agents. Work is proceeding to develop three pathways
through the training programme:
Pathway 1: Resources and approaches to support existing advanced change agents
Pathway 2: Resources supporting existing SLCs, PDAs, and E-Guides to become ACAs;
Pathway 3: Resources to support aspiring change agents – empowering organisations who
currently have no change agents to develop SLCs, PDAs or E-Guides.
The new programme recognises that change agents may fulfil a number of roles within their
organisations (for example by working as an SLC, PDA, and E-Guide) and will allow participants
to follow programmes of training and development that are relevant to their own needs. LSIS is
currently also working with IfL to develop a new recognition scheme that will allow ‘designated
trainers’ within provider organisations to deliver CPD and training leading to the accreditation of
LSIS ‘change agent’s - SLCs, PDAs and E-Guides. In the first instance ‘designated’ trainers will
be required to hold an LSIS Advanced Change Agent certificate or have attended an advanced
professional training programme and meet a number of specified quality criteria.
It is anticipated that the new programme will be launched at the Annual LSIS Teaching and
Learning Fair to be held later this year.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
LSIS Regional STEM Centres’ aim is to improve the quality of teaching and learning through the
medium of the national STEM agenda. Working with national partners, including the Science
Learning Centres, National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and the Royal
Academy of Engineering, key themes for improvement include equality and diversity, ‘space’ as
a focus for exploring subject development, progression into and from STEM subjects, and the
use of technology to improve teaching and learning in STEM.
Now six months in to their action plans, STEM Centres are establishing a strong presence in the
regions, with STEM Champions working with providers to identify and address CPD needs.
Over 150 provider-led projects have been funded by LSIS to support STEM improvement
activity at a practitioner and whole organisational level. The Centres will also contribute to a
coherent regional support offer by working alongside other LSIS teaching and learning activity,
including the Learning Fairs.
Flexibility and Innovation Projects
FIF projects from earlier rounds are now starting to mature: below is a list of those projects
which completed in February. Work has begun to ensure that any tangible assets: reports,
products or otherwise, are accessible through the Excellence Gateway. We are aiming to start
this process alongside the redesign of the Gateway planned through April to August. In the
meantime, copies of the reports can be provided on request.
If you’re interested in more information about any FIF project please contact Michelle Larke on
02476627949. Use the links below to read the original project synopses.
Provider led projects that completed and reported in February are listed below.
City of Sunderland’s interactive Photo Voltaic e-learning programme
WAMITAB’s (Waste Management Industry and Training Advisory Board)
Black Country Training Group’s
One partner project, The Association of Learning Providers, completed their project:
Maximising the Use of Sector Expertise for Self Improvement, too in February.
Details of all Flexibility and Innovation Fund projects can be found at
Learning and Learner Support
LSIS have been working with the learning and skills sector to develop resources to support the
development and delivery of career learning, information, advice and guidance (CLIAG). This
includes a new on line resource which is available free of charge on our VLE and was launched
at our event on the 22nd March in London. We have also developed a series of CPD modules for
providers to download and use to support staff development. These will be available on the
Excellence Gateway shortly.
Sign post to learning. An equal chance for D/deaf learners
LSIS has been working with learners from Doncaster College for the Deaf, Westgate College for
Deaf People, Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education, City Lit and Stockport Colleges,
also stakeholders including Skills Funding Agency and the Young People's Learning Agency to
organise a genuinely learner-led event highlighting what D/deaf learners want and need from
the learning and skills sector in order for them to achieve alongside their hearing peers. For
more information please see the following link:
The Regional Coaching Ambassadors project is building momentum with some places still
remaining at events across the country. There are 8 Regional Coaching Ambassadors now
working together to advocate coaching as a method of change and to shape how the sector
leads change, by;
 Enabling more of the sector to tap into coaching & mentoring strategies and skills
Supporting the sector to build their capacity to coach and mentor each other
Building and making links to established networks across their region to promote
coaching mentoring, including the LSIS coaching & mentoring programmes available.
For further information, please see*
Coaching Workshop participants may enrol via LSIS so that LSIS accounts may be applied.’
Advanced Coaching Programme
The Advanced Coaching programme has been designed for internal coaches. It consists of
three one day modules. In addition participants will also receive four hours of one to one
mentor coaching, tutorial support and two and a half days of supervision as part of the
programme. The cost is £2000 per person. Your organisation will benefit from saving money
and also the flexibility of having on demand coaching. In addition you will benefit from challenge
and support needed to take initiatives forward and develop transferable coaching skills.
Leadership Toolkits
March 8th 2011 saw the dissemination event of the Leadership Toolkits support grants at the
Studio in Birmingham. Twenty three learning providers presented the impact the online
leadership resources have had on improvements to their organisation and their learners. Case
studies will be available from the event in June 2011 on the Excellence Gateway and
leadership learning environment.
Executive Leadership Development Programme
The Executive Leadership Development Programme (for Principals and Chief Executives) has
been recruiting for its next round. The 12 month programme builds on the strengths of its
predecessor, the Principals Qualifying Programme, by offering exposure to leading-edge
research, networking opportunities and executive coaching amongst other things. The
programme has been designed by participants as ‘transformative’ and ‘life-changing’ as it dwells
on the individuals own development in the context of organisational change. With around 220
alumni of the programme (including its predecessor) over 9 cohorts, it has now established itself
as the industry-standard leadership programme in the sector. For more details please contact
us at or for more detailed information please contact Dr Roman Wolczuk at
Leadership framework
LSIS provides programmes for leadership development across the range of levels of leadership
in the learning and skills sector. The provision for first line and middle managers has recently
been re-designed to enable greater choice, flexibility and personalisation. Four major leadership
themes have been identified which form the core of the framework:
Personal development as leader and manager
Leading people
Leadership, vision and direction
Leading quality Improvement.
The modules are available for first line managers with the option of Chartered Management
Institute (CMI) accreditation at level 5 and for middle managers with CMI accreditation at level
7. Each module comprises 30 hours of blended learning, including pre-course activity, two days
of face to face input, and additional online learning with the option to complete a piece of work
for assessment for those who wish to register for the CMI qualification.
The modules will be available from April 2011 as open programmes based in central
Birmingham or as an in-house, tailored version for providers on their own premises.
For further information please contact
Leadership and Management
The outputs from the management development grants (‘Developing and sharing effective
practice in management development’) are due to be uploaded by the five providers
(Northampton College, Leeds City College, Lewisham College, Xaverian College and York
College) to the Excellence Gateway by the end of March. Each provider will upload their own
resources into the resource bank, and we will create news items for the front pages of the
Excellence Gateway and the LSIS corporate site.
The mentoring grants project (‘Mentoring to become Executive Leaders’) is now engaged with
20 principals/chief executives/heads of service who are serving as mentors for us, and over 55
mentees who are all in senior positions across the sector wishing to make the final step into the
top jobs. A wrap-up session is taking place at the end of March, and reports from mentors and
mentees will be collated and will inform a final report which explores if and how a mentoring
scheme could be sustained into the future. For further information, please contact Kate Evans:
Support for collaborative contracting (Minimum contract level)
Toolkits and resources
The Support for collaborative contracting programme offers six toolkits containing a wide
range of resources. They offer practical support for providers in the learning and skills sector,
who are considering partnerships or collaborative working. You can find up-to-date references
to policy, useful tools, links to information and examples of good practice.
Each toolkit is based on a theme:
 managing risk;
 partnership working and planning;
 shared leadership and governance;
 shared services;
 sub contracting; and
 quality management.
You can download the resources as word or PDF documents on:
Details of all Flexibility
and Innovation Fund projects can be found at
Community Development Roadshows
They are day events offered free of charge and will be taking place at the following times:
 3 May – Goodenough College - London
 11 May – Motorcycle Museum - Birmingham
 16 May – Town Hall – Manchester
WM Regional Conversation
 30 June – venue tbc