ESCalate Bulletin No. 24 (9 December 2005)


  1. Introduction
  2. Forthcoming events
  3. Calling for External Examiners or potential examiners
  4. Professional Bodies and Associations - Useful resources for students and staffing FE and HE
  5. Development grants update
  6. Student Award 2006
  7. Widening Participation to University Study Through Flexible Delivery. 21st October 2005
  8. The 15th Scottish Forum on Lifelong Learning. 4th November 2005 at Glasgow Caledonian University
  9. HE in FE – Getting Involved
  10. Report from the ESCalate Initial Teacher Education Project, based at St Martin’s College
  11. Information services from the National Foundation for Educational Research
  12. Education in the media
  13. Book reviews
  14. Contributing to ESCalate


Welcome to the last ESCalate bulletin of 2005. We hope that before you depart for your well earned festive break, you will read our bulletin, and find out how our Development Grants are evolving and how your students could be in with a chance of winning £250.

We welcome any feedback you may have, either as a response to our publication pieces, thoughts on the new website, or whatever you may wish to tell us about. Please do get involved; see for more information or email us at

Read on to find out more….

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Forthcoming events

  • Preparing students to work in schools facing challenging circumstances: evidence from research and practice, part of the ITE Seminar Series, click here for more information (26th Jan)
  • Becoming a teacher-educator: improving the induction and professional development of new university-based lecturers in initial teacher education, part of the ITE Seminar Series. Click here for more information (10th March)
  • Research to Reality: Early Childhood Studies Degree Network. Click here for more information (14th March 2006).
  • Getting on after getting in - Enhancing the Teaching Experience of recently appointed HE teachers in Education, Psychology, Social Policy and Social Work. Click here for more information (30th March)
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Calling for External Examiners or potential examiners

Sheffield Hallam University are in need of at least one External Examiner for two new education courses recently launched:

  • BA (Hons) Education and Disability Studies
  • BA (Hons) English and Education Studies.

If you are interested or know someone who may be please contact Dr Paul Garland, quoting ESCalate on 0114 2252360.

Our External Examiner database is accessible to all registered members of ESCalate. It is in a password-protected area of the ESCalate web site and allows individuals who wish to become External Examiners, to record their interests and personal details. Registration is an easy process, just go to the front page and complete your registration.

The area is accessible to Heads of Education Departments who are registered members of ESCalate looking for examiners for their programmes.

While we offer this as a brokering service, the responsibility for recruitment and appointment is solely that of the enquiring institution.

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Professional Bodies and Associations - Useful resources for students and staffing FE and HE

ESCalate currently has two part time cataloguers working to update our resources and add additional links. If you are part of an association or professional body that you think others working in Education would find useful to know about, please send the details (and keywords for the cataloguers to use to create the ‘search’) to Mel Woollett at

Useful resources for students and staffing in HE in FE

If you have been using resources available through the Internet that deserve a wider audience, please send details to Mel Woollett at

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Development grants update

Our most recent round had an unprecedented 18 bids and results about who will be offered funding will be available shortly, once the proposers and their teams have been contacted. We plan to offer 30k to at least 6 projects in total and have letters sent out by the end of December 15th You are invited to be in touch with if you have not heard by 17th December.

From early in January 2006 the proposed changes to the development grant funding will have been finalised by the ESCalate senior management and will be posted on the website Homepage.

At this stage it is most likely that the development grants will remain largely the same but drop to just one round per annum to allow ESCalate to develop its range of funding and offer a number of small postgraduate student grants of up to 2k each. In addition, it is anticipated that one larger Research award of up to 10k will be offered to a team offering an innovative project. For both the student and Research grants, expressions of interest of 500 words are likely to be sought in the first instance to gauge interest and possible themes.

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Student Award 2006

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest in this competition again this year - and special thanks to those who have already offered to be judges. Judges in the past have told us that this is an enjoyable and interesting task, by no means onerous, so if others would like to be involved, we’d still welcome further offers as it is very important that the judges reflect the variety of institutions and Education courses available in the UK.

The deadline for student entries is 17th February 2006 so there is still plenty of time to encourage your students to take part and have the opportunity to win £250, as well as be in with a chance of winning an overall prize of a Toshiba laptop.

You are most welcome to email the contacts below to check details or query the suitability of ideas.

Please click here for more information

Please let Jane Tuffill know if you are willing to be a judge, or would like some publicity to be sent to your institution.

The winners of the Subject Specific 2006 Higher Education Academy Subject Centre Network Student Award will be presented at the Higher Education Academy Conference in July 2006.

If you have any further queries, please address them to or to

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Widening Participation to University Study Through Flexible Delivery. 21st October 2005

London Conference Judged a Success

With over seventy delegates attending the recent Widening Participation to University Study Through Flexible Delivery conference held in London on 21 October by DAICE in partnership with ESCalate, the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Education, the positive feedback received so far clearly marks the conference as a success.Liz Thomas from HE Academy presenting at an ESCalate Stirling event

Delegates from across the UK gathered to hear keynote speeches from Professor Mike Osborne, Head of DAICE, and Dr Liz Thomas, Higher Education Academy Senior Advisor on Widening Participation. The Director of FACE, Professor John Storan, University of East London, led the final plenary session.

The conference explored the range of flexible delivery practices within Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning and provided practitioners with the opportunity to present case studies, which highlighted the use of flexible delivery as a method of widening participation to university study.

Those attending the event were treated to a wide variety of presentations and workshops, covering such issues as: enriching the HE curriculum; supporting the development of the flexible curriculum; teaching teachers to deliver flexibility; making flexibility work in an inflexible system. By highlighting such ‘best practice’ examples the conference helped to determine whether methods of delivery currently used reflect and mirror the current drive towards widening flexible provision.

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The 15th Scottish Forum on Lifelong Learning. 4th November 2005 at Glasgow Caledonian University

The event was sponsored jointly by the Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning (CRLL) and ESCalate, through the research section at the University of Stirling. The keynote speakers were Professor Paul Ramsden, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Academy (‘Opportunities and problems for institutional research related to the student experience’) and Professor Mantz Yorke (‘The potential of institutional data in focusing quality enhancement’). The key speakers were supported in discussion by a panel of experts comprising Professor Michael Mannion, Glasgow Caledonian University, Professor Andrew McAuley, University of Stirling, and Professor Simon van Heyningen, University of Edinburgh. The forum was well attended and presented an opportunity for delegates to explore issues raised by the speakers during a series of workshops which covered a variety of themes, including:

  • Student Experience and the Learning Process from Examination to Implementation.
  • Changes in Student Motivation.
  • Earning and Learning: How does term-time working affect student’s adjustment to University?
  • Establishing Institutional Research programmes.
  • Supporting ‘non-traditional’ students in an ‘elite’ university.
  • The Role of Institutional Research in Monitoring and Influencing Policies in Widening Participation.
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HE in FE – Getting Involved

As part of their remit, ESCalate (Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Education) research staff at University of Stirling take a responsibility for developing and enhancing resources related to the delivery of Higher Education within Further Education. In this area there will be a number of focussed activities, which are intended to build active working relationships with a wide range of key figures in the delivery of higher education within further education institutions.

Plans are underway to hold a series of four regional one-day consultative seminars/focus groups, intended to build active working relationships with a wide range of key figures in the delivery of higher education within further education institutions and identify future areas in which ESCalate can work alongside practitioners and institutions delivering HE in FE. These events are provisionally earmarked to be held in Cardiff, Perth, Birmingham and Belfast during March/April 2006.

It is envisaged that the events will take the form of a morning and afternoon session addressing two key areas:

  • Practitioner Requirements for Delivery and Development of HE in FE will assist practitioners’ and policy-makers’ raise key issues and concerns and identify support needs for the future delivery and development of HE in FE.
  • The HE Academy Professional Standards Framework for Teaching: Implications for the Training of Teachers in FE will highlight the Professional Standards Framework for both for teachers in FE and staff development practitioners in education departments in HEIs.

If you would like more information on this programme or would like to involved in, contribute to the discussion or participate in any of the events, further details can be obtained from:
Dr Derek Young,
DAICE, Airthrey Castle,
University of Stirling,
FK9 4LA,
Phone: 01786 467949.
Fax: 01786 466131.

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Report from the ESCalate Initial Teacher Education Project, based at St Martin’s College

St Martin's Logo

New Co-ordinator

The ESCalate Initial Teacher Education project is pleased to welcome a new co-ordinator to the team. Her name is Alison Jackson and she started work at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster at the beginning of November. Her brief is to contribute to ESCalate’s work in support and advice on pedagogy, curriculum enhancement and staff development in relation to teacher education, in particular e-learning, bridging the gap between University and school-based learning, the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda and supporting teacher educators. Her background is in secondary school education, she was Head of Modern Languages in a large comprehensive school for many years, and she has recently developed her broader interest in education by further study and research into Newly Qualified Teachers. If you would like to contact her, her e-mail is;

Consultation on the review of standards for classroom teachers
On November 10th Sam Twiselton and Alison Jackson from St. Martin’s College represented ESCalate at one of the Training and Development Agency for Schools’ (TDA) Consultation Seminars on the review of standards for classroom teachers. This seminar was held in Manchester and was the final seminar of twelve, which have been held all over the country. The purpose was to consider the framework and design guidelines to underpin the development of coherent and progressive standards for qualified teacher status, induction, senior teacher (that is to say threshold and beyond), advanced skills teacher and excellent teacher (in the context of higher level teaching assistant standards and leadership standards). The framework and design guidelines were to be used to test against some of the current standards and the seminar was to inform the development of a draft set of coherent and progressive standards for classroom teachers.

This was a tall order for one day and, because of the scope of the review, it was not possible for the discussion groups to cover every aspect of it or to deal in great depth with every point of the standards. However, the whole day was given over to discussion groups and there was plenty of lively debate and plenty of valuable points were raised and noted. There were representatives from a wide range of institutions; these included teachers and Head teachers from Primary Schools and Secondary Schools, advisors on CPD, a representative of the DfES, colleagues from universities and colleges. The rationale behind all the consultation is to give clarity and provide a coherent and progressive framework for classroom teachers and there is a strong emphasis on ‘the new professionalism’.

The first draft of the standards will now be written and it is vitally important that individuals and groups continue to comment. There will be another chance to comment through an on-line questionnaire from January to February 2006 before they are finalised. You will be kept informed of the process through the ESCalate web-site.

ITE Seminar Series 2006

1. Preparing students to work in schools facing challenging circumstances: evidence from research and practice.

Thursday, 26th January, University of Derby, 10am – 4pm, £30

The keynote speakers for this seminar are Dr. Neil Simco, St. Martin’s College and Dr. Des Hewitt, University of Derby. The day promises to be invaluable for anyone involved in the training of teachers, as the workshops offer such things as the use of drama in schools facing challenging circumstances, supporting students to influence children’s behaviour through theory and practice and professional concerns regarding rights and responsibilities in the light of Every Child Matters and schools facing challenging circumstances. The work of the ‘Successful Teachers in Schools in Challenging Circumstances Project’ can inform practice and give inspiration to all colleagues, even if their circumstance are not as challenging!

2. Becoming a teacher-educator: improving the induction and professional development of new university-based lecturers in Initial Teacher Training.

Friday 10th March, University of Birmingham, 10am-4pm, £30

The purpose of this day is to critically consider the induction and professional development of new university-based teachers as they establish their identity as academics. Contributors are Peter Boyd and Kim Harris from St. Martin’s College and Dr. Jean Murray from Brunel University. This seminar is aimed at those with leadership responsibilities for the induction and professional development of teacher educators plus ‘new’ teacher educators themselves. There will be an opportunity to follow up the work of two ESCalate funded projects which investigated the journey of new teacher educators and to contribute to the production of guidelines with which education departments may review their practice.

3. There will be a third seminar later in the year on Every Child Matters

This seminar will consider the implication of Every Child Matters for learning and teaching in Initial Teacher Education. Further details of this will be given as they become available, but in the mean time, to register your interest, please use the contact details below.

Further details of all contributors, programmes and booking forms are available at or contact Kate Wenham 01524 384232

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Information services from the National Foundation for Educational Research

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is the largest independent educational research organisation in Europe. Most of its research is sponsored by local, national and international policy makers and a substantial part is available though its website

In 2005 it re-launched its website to improve dissemination of research to users all over the world and special focus has been made to reach researchers, lecturers, students and information professionals through the development of “Your NFER” portal pages. These bring together research and information services relevant to them and have proved very popular and easy to use.



Information professionals

All research is classified into 32 research areas and six educational levels allowing users to browse resources and a new advanced search allows users to also search by document type. An increasing amount of research reports, conference papers and documents are now available to download which has obvious benefits, particularly for researchers and students. For publications that are available to buy, an online bookshop has been added to the site to make purchasing publications easier and quicker.

Over the last 2 years NFER has developed a free monthly email bulletin called nferdirect, containing news of new reports and publications from NFER. This is received by over 1000 users all over the world including researchers, lecturers, information professionals, policy makers and students.

Complementing nferdirect is a monthly current awareness bulletin called ontheweb, which has details of new research and policy documents from leading research organisations, government agencies and departments and all documents featured are downloadable. Other key benefits of ontheweb include:

Currency - reports are generally no more than 6 weeks old

Items are featured before they may be added to educational research databases

Quality - documents are assessed for their usability for academic research or study

Scope - over 500 websites are regularly searched and each issue features around 150 publications

Nferdirect can be viewed or subscribed to from

Ontheweb can be accessed from

The NFER library offers a range of services. The library catalogue is available to search and NFER welcomes visits by appointment and enquiries from researchers and students

Eurydice at NFER is the national Eurydice Unit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is part of the European information network on education, providing reliable, comparative information on education in Europe. All documents are available in English.

Eurydice at NFER also manages the International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks Internet Archive (INCA) website This contains descriptions of government policy on education in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland (forthcoming), Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Wales. It focuses on curriculum, assessment and initial teacher training frameworks for pre-school, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education in schools (3-19 age range).

The NFER also manages the Current Educational Research in the UK (CERUK) database which contains details of research at PhD level or that is sponsored. An email alert service will be available early in the New Year.

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Education in the media

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Book reviews

Interested in reviewing a book? Check out the book review section of the website to find out all the books that are available; this is updated regularly.

Once you have registered as an ESCalate member, you can request two books to review at any one time, through the members’ section on the web.

Do keep an eye on this section of the website:

If you would like to know more about the book reviews, please email

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Contributing to ESCalate

Thank you for reading until the end, please do let us have news of developments and activity in your department, or look out for the next bulletin.

Next Bulletin: February 2006

Deadline for Copy: 18th January 2006, emails to

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