Ruth Mathias raises concern about the government decision, which was implemented earlier this month, to remove the requirement for FE lecturers to have teaching qualifications.

The decision to remove the requirement for teaching qualifications for FE lecturers mean candidates with no prior teacher training, or professional teaching qualifications, could now secure lecturing roles in FE colleges.

Widespread concern over the negative impact this could have on the quality of teaching and professionalism in FE colleges — which will in turn affect students, representatives from the Institute for Learning, the University and College Union and the National Union of Students — has put pressure on the government to reverse the decision.

The fall in top grades for the second year running, following the recent A-level results, marks a new trend of falling top level grades.

This trend surely highlights the need for measures to be taken to improve the standard of teaching, rather than legislation that could lower standards.

Many senior figures agree with this viewpoint across FE.

We believe very strongly in maintaining a high standard of teaching across FE

Theresa Ann Drowley OBE, chief executive of Redbridge College, said: “The removal of teacher qualifications will be detrimental to the profession and to learners in colleges.

“Teachers who go through the process of gaining teaching qualifications provide reassurance regarding their ability to write and research. This college will continue to require teaching qualifications in our efforts to move the college forward and deliver a quality process.”

Jayne Stigger, head of maths and science at Nescot College [North East Surrey College of Technology], said: “Qualified teaching staff actively enable the development of the whole student, motivating and applying specialist techniques to differentiate learning to suit the student.  The removal of the need for qualified staff will actively work towards lowering the standards that FE professionals have worked tirelessly to improve”

It’s feared the removal of the requirement for FE lecturers to have teaching qualifications could negate the positive impact of the 2012 Ofsted changes within the FE sector.

Coming into effect on September 1, last year, these changes were implemented to provide greater focus on the quality of teaching and learning in colleges.

More time is now spent observing lessons and a more robust inspection criteria was supposed to support head teachers and principals in their work to provide the best possible education for pupils and learners.

Morgan Hunt is proud to be one of the top recruitment agencies in the UK, offering specialist recruitment services to a wide range of clients.

We will not be changing our criteria in regards to recruiting FE lecturers, as we think this would undermine our efforts to supply high calibre candidates to FE clients, as Sue Cooper, director of education at Morgan Hunt, explained.

She said: “There is a considerable amount of government investment in initiatives to reduce the number of Neet (not in employment, education or training) young people and increase their employability.

“This latest decision by the government to remove the teacher qualifications requirement for lecturers in the FE sector seems contradictory to that mission. We believe very strongly in maintaining a high standard of teaching across FE.”

We will therefore still require a teaching qualification from all candidates.

 Ruth Mathias, web editor of Morgan Hunt Education recruitment agency