News at a glance
Kenyan athletes feel the chill ahead of Games
Athletes from Kenya's Olympic team have been preparing for the 2012 Games at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's Bristol campus. Hundreds of students and residents turned out to watch the athletes, including Commonwealth Games 400m gold medallist Mark Muttai (pictured), in action in a public training session. "So far we are doing good," he said. "We have fantastic facilities to train with and we believe with these facilities we are going to do better than we could have done without them. Sometimes it's been very cold, but we adjust."
AoC makes improved pay offer
The Association of Colleges has made an improved pay offer to staff in the FE sector. The association had initially offered a 0.5 per cent increase, provided that colleges ended automatic incremental pay progression. This demand has now been withdrawn after further negotiations. The final offer on the table is an increase of £200 for staff earning less than £15,000 a year, or an increase of 0.7 per cent for staff earning more than this. It also provides for a minimum hourly rate of £7.30. The trade unions representing staff in the FE sector are now consulting their members on the latest proposals.
Bursaries of up to £1,500 for trainees confirmed
Details of a new bursary system for FE trainee teachers have been confirmed. Bursaries of £1,500 will be available to those who intend to teach basic maths and English and who are undertaking initial teacher training courses accredited by a higher education institution. Teachers training in other subjects will be eligible for bursaries of £1,000. The news was welcomed by Institute for Learning chief executive Toni Fazaeli, but she called for more support to be made available. "We still believe that the bursary system in our sector should be similar to that available for trainee schoolteachers, and that there should be financial support for trainee teachers undertaking awarding body routes to teaching qualifications," she said.
College to open free school with a 'rural ethos'
A land-based college has been given the green light to open an 11-16 free school with a "rural ethos". Hadlow College in Kent has received 160 applications from parents and the new school is expected to open in September 2013. A spokeswoman for the college said the school would provide a "unique facility" for Kent. "The new school will be situated on the Hadlow College campus in Hadlow, near Tonbridge. It will have its own entrance and recreational areas, with secure access to the main campus together with access to appropriate curriculum resources," she added.