ESCalate Bulletin No. 30 (1 February 2007)


  1. Introduction
  2. ESCalate events
  3. External Events
  4. New resources on the web
  5. Congratulations to the following who have been offered grant funding from the autumn Development Grant round
  6. Grant Application Reminders
  7. Event Reports
  8. Student Award 2007 - "What advice would you give to students starting your course?”
  9. Website Developments
  10. Education in the Media
  11. Book Reviews
  12. Contributing to ESCalate


Welcome to the February ESCalate bulletin, packed full with details of all the forthcoming events; event reports; and calls for Expressions of Interest.

Just as a reminder the Research and Postgraduate Student Grants, Expressions of Interests are due in at 9am on April 16th. Details are available online under Projects & Funding. The forms are found in the Members area of the website, under ‘My Projects’.

The Student Award 2007 deadline is fast approaching, please promote this competition to your students as it’s an opportunity for them to win £250, all expenses paid attendance at the HEA Annual conference, and a chance to win a top of the range Toshiba laptop. Details are available online under Students/Students Award.

You may be aware that JISC has award £12 million to digitise some resources from the British Library; we are interested to hear from anyone who is planning to make use of these resources, and would like to pull together case studies. If this sounds interesting please keep an eye on the ESCalate website News section, as we anticipating announcing possible funding from Friday 19th February.

If you would like to attend any of the ESCalate events below or submit an Expression of Interest, you need to become a member on the ESCalate website first. This is a simple process that doesn’t take long, and you can choose how much you hear from us! Please note that you are not automatically registered for any events when you first register, as you need to actually log into your account to register for an event or submit a grant application/ Expression of Interest.

If you experience any problems registering to become a member or to attend an event, please contact Jane Tuffill.

Happy reading!

By Jane Tuffill

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ESCalate events

  1. CPD in Northern Ireland – hosted at Stranmillis University College on 28th February 2007. All the details and registration information is available online.
  2. PGCE M Level seminar – Due to demand this is a second seminar hosted at Liverpool John Moores University on 2nd March. All details are online.
  3. CPD in North Wales – First of two welsh events, this event is hosted at North East Wales Institute (NEWI) on 14th March. All information is available online.
  4. PDP across the professions – hosted at Friends Society in London on 16th March. Please go to the website to read more detials.
  5. 3rd ITE conference - hosted at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster campus on 18th May 2007.
  6. The new standards for classroom teachers - University of East London on 7th June.

New events are being added all the time; there are three ways to keep up to date:

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External Events

Education for Sustainable Development Showcase Event, 10-11 July 2007 at University of Bradford.

This major conference has a number of aims:

  1. To showcase the work of the HE Academy's ESD project, including small grants
  2. To bring together stakeholders from across the HE sector
  3. To evidence and discuss holistic approaches to SD (curriculum/campus/community, themes, and disciplines)

Other external events are advertised on the website.

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New resources on the web

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Congratulations to the following who have been offered grant funding from the autumn Development Grant round

  1. Dr Mike Calvert, York St John University.
  2. Dr Steve Coombs, Bath Spa University.
  3. Farhana Zaman, Nottingham Trent University.
  4. Keith Webb, Huddersfield University.
  5. Sue Oostuizen, Cambridge University.
  6. Dr Alexis Taylor, Brunel University.
Further details about all these projects may be found on the ESCalate website, under Projects & Funding/Current Projects.
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Grant Application Reminders

Postgraduate Student Grants.

Deadline for Expressions of interest is 9 am, 16th March 2007.

More information is available online under Projects & Funding/ Postgraduate Student Grants.

Students can bid for up to £2000 (minimum £250) per project. A simple online Expression of Interest application form is available but you must register as an ESCalate member first. If you are invited to work your Expression of Interest form into a full proposal we may require an opportunity to discuss the project by phone or in person at our expense.

We are likely to fund projects that address one of the following themes: Globalisation, Higher Education Policy, e-Learning, Vocationalism, Widening Participation, Employability, Student Perspectives, Pedagogy and Pedagogic Research, Race and Ethnicity or Academic Activism. However, if you have another theme you would like considered, we are open to discussion and you are welcome to telephone Julie Anderson on 0117 331 4290 or email.

Please note that Students need to have a mentor at their Institution to take the project forward.

Research Grants

Deadline for Expressions of interest is 9am, 16th March 2007.

More information is available online under Projects & Funding/ Research Grants.

We are now offering a further year of funding with the 2007 theme of ‘Sustainability in Education’. This funding is available to all staff in UK universities and colleges delivering HE programmes in Education related studies, including HE in FE settings.

The funding, up to 10k, is to enable you to research a project, work with fellow staff in your department and/ or across institutions.

An application form for your team Expression of Interest can be made online but you must register as an ESCalate member first. The form is located in the members area of the web.

We want to fund projects that address our new theme of ‘Sustainability in Education’ in whatever form; however, it is likely that funding will be awarded to projects that offer particularly innovative work or work that is likely to make a significant impact on the community. If it would be helpful, we are happy to discuss your ideas and you are welcome to telephone 0117 331 4290 or email Julie Anderson to talk over possible work.

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Event Reports

M Level PGCE - 9th January

This important initiative for Initial Teacher Education is high on our priority list. The first seminar looked at staff development, school-based research, curriculum structure and content, student induction and support and admissions processes and support; it took place early in January at the University of Gloucestershire. The event was very well attended and a great success; you can find the ideas generated n the workshops on the Help Directory Sharing Ideas section.

Many thanks to the University of Gloucestershire for their excellent hospitality and to the delegates for their commitment to the production of useful materials to share with the community. The day got off to a stimulating start thanks to James Rogers, the executive director of UCET who explained the results of their survey into M level PGCE.

The seminar proved to be so popular that we are immediately putting on another seminar on the same topic, this time at Liverpool John Moores on 2nd March 2007. The seminar will follow on the work started but is designed to stand alone so that it is not necessary to have attended the first seminar. We hope to look particularly at the question of what M level really means and the student experience. Watch the event website for further details.

One last point about M level PGCE – we are hoping to engage in a research study tracking the progress of M level. This is very much in embryonic form at the moment but if you would like to register interest (with no obligation) please write to Alison Jackson.

Videopapers in Professional Assessment and Learning- 19th January 2007

Elisabeth Lazarus and Dr Federica Olivero from University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education, presented their findings into recent research on ‘Videopapers in Professional Assessment and Learning’. This seminar also included a practical element of demonstrating how to make a Videopaper and looking through two actual Videopapers by students reflecting on their teaching practice.

The audience enjoyed the event, with the majority rating the seminar very good or outstanding. Elisabeth and Federica would welcome any thoughts you may have on this area of work can be contacted on &

The seminar itself was filmed and subject to editing, we are hopeful to have some resources from this event available to view on the ESCalate website. Keep an eye on this site for more details.

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Student Award 2007 - "What advice would you give to students starting your course?”

All contacts will shortly be receiving postcards to distribute to their students. If you would like to receive more copies please email Jane Tuffill with your address and the amount you would like.

Deadline March 16th!

The full competition title is, ‘The Higher Education Academy Subject Centre Network Student Award 2007’, but referred to as Student Award 2007 for short, reflects the fact that the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Subject Centres are working together to raise the profile of this competition for students.

The title the students are being asked to write about is: "What advice would you give to students starting your course?” It is designed for students at any stage of their course, to encourage them to reflect on the expectation and reality of their Higher Education, or HE in FE experience. Students are being asked to offer a mature critique of their learning experience so that their writing not only provides additional valuable insights into their thinking and perceptions on entering HE, but may also offer useful ways forward for development of a department or a course team wanting to reflect on recruitment, retention and the student experience.

The overall competition winner from all 24-Subject Centres will win a Toshiba laptop, with runners up receiving goody bags. ESCalate is also offering the top Education student entry £250, with smaller prizes for runners up.

On our website you will find further information, the submission form, marking criteria and general award information.

So, do please get involved!

If you have any further queries, please address them to Julie Anderson or to Jane Tuffill

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Website Developments

The new Help Directory, specifically designed for teacher educators has more contributions. There are two Busy Guides, one on M level PGCE and one on Desktop Video Conferencing and more in the pipeline.

Colleagues from Further Education have contributed some interesting tips and we have started to share practice on M level PGCE and Every Child Matters.

If you would like further details of how to contribute to any section of the Help Directory, see the web page or contact Alison Jackson.

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Education in the Media

Smart boards 'don't boost grades' (BBC website, 30th Jan 2007)

Many graduates 'lack soft skills' (BBC website, 30th Jan 2007)

College lecturers strike over pay (BBC website, 29th Jan 2007)

Young ask leaders to fund schools (BBC website, 26th Jan 2007)

Ethnic minority degrees 'mystery' (BBC website, 26th Jan 2007)

Jose Mourinho for head teacher? (BBC website, by Mike Baker, Education correspondent, 19th Jan 2007)

Watchdog's worry over exam grades (BBC website, by Colette Hume, BBC Wales education correspondent, 24th Jan 2007)

Brown looks to keep lid on teachers' pay (TES Online, Jonathan Milne, 26th Jan 2007)

Tackle racism head-on (TES Online, William Stewart, 26th Jan 2007)

Vicious circles - Jade Goody’s behaviour in Big Brother is indicative of a bullying culture among some girls. We look at this phenomenon that often starts in the classroom. (TES Online, Kate Figes, 26th Jan 2007)

Schools must 'confront the problem of marginalised white pupils' (Times Online, Alexandra Frean, Education Editor, 24th Jan 2007)

University: Who needs it? As more and more pupils go to university – and pay ever more for the privilege – many are questioning whether they are getting a fair return. (Sunday Times Online, by Peter Millar and Sian Griffiths, 28th Jan 2007)

A difficult patch - Disagreements over research are straining the relationship between the Treasury and universities (The Guardian online, Jessica Shepherd, 30th Jan 2007)

Nobel prize winners join calls to open research to all (The Guardian Online, Richard Wray, 30th Jan 2007)
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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 up to 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 or would like to recommend a particular book, please email Jane Tuffill

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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: April 2007

Deadline for Copy: 18th March 2007 emails to Jane Tuffill

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