Review of FE teacher qualifications launched

Further education leaders have told of their concerns about new proposals for industry teacher training.

A review of teacher qualifications for the FE and skills sector by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) includes 19 proposals aimed at creating a simpler system. It is due in place in September next year.

Among the proposals are three generic and three specialist qualifications, along with qualifications at level seven, including one for continuing professional development.

The review has been welcomed by Jill Stokoe, education policy adviser at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

It is particularly helpful that LSIS has recognised the role of FE teachers as both subject specialists and teachers.”

“We are pleased LSIS has reviewed teacher training qualifications for the FE and skills sector, including evaluating and responding to stakeholders’ views,” she said.

“It is particularly helpful that LSIS has recognised the role of FE teachers as both subject specialists and teachers.

“But we are concerned LSIS’s work will be wasted if FE is deregulated and the government revokes the requirement for FE staff to have teaching qualifications.

“We firmly believe that they should have these qualifications so will vigorously argue the case for them to be retained.”

The University and College Union (UCU) is planning to canvass opinion on the proposals with its own three-hour consultation at its head office in London’s Carlow Street from 11.30am on October 31.

Its general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “We agree there is a need to review the training qualifications . . . as our members have complained of unnecessary duplication of material within the three existing qualifications.

“We have some concerns about potential changes to the balance of the three elements of the course — content, teaching practice and observation of teaching.”

The proposals within the review, carried out on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), were drawn up between July and September when LSIS met with stakeholders and teacher educators.

LSIS chief executive Rob Wye said: “The importance of this review goes beyond the FE and skills sector.

“The teachers and trainers of tomorrow will help to shape the workforce of tomorrow, so it is vital we hear from everyone who is involved with these qualifications.”

The proposals will be the focus of a host of open events across the country, the first of which took place in Birmingham on October 18. London hosts the second event on  November 8, before another one in Taunton on November 13, then Leeds on November 15 and London again five days later.

The deadline for feedback is Friday, November 26.  Visit www.lsis.org.uk to give feedback on the proposals.

Toni Fazaeli, chief executive at the Institute for Learning, goes into detail on the
proposals in an expert piece here.