Frank McLoughlin to head Commission on adult vocational learning

Frank McLoughlin CBE, the principal of City and Islington College, will chair an independent Commission on adult education and vocational pedagogy.

The Commission will have the aim of improving adult vocational education; setting out recommendations to ensure adult learners can receive the highest possible standards of teaching and training, and the best learning experience.

It will bring together industry, teacher training colleges, professional associations and leaders and practitioners from the further education sector.

Mr McLoughlin has been Principal of City and Islington College since July 2002. He brings over thirty years of experience to the Commission, having joined the further education sector as a part-time lecturer in 1980.

His appointed was revealed by skills minister John Hayes, who said: “It is great news that Frank McLoughlin has agreed to chair this Commission.

“His wealth of experience in delivering further education and skills in a challenging inner-city environment gives him the right credentials to lead work which will shape the future of teaching and learning for adults in England.”

Mr McLoughlin said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Minister has asked me to Chair this extremely important Commission.

“It presents a once in a generation opportunity to raise the status of adult vocational teaching and learning and promote its nature and heritage in its own terms, sitting firmly alongside the academic model.”

Lynne Sedgmore CBE, executive director of the 157 Group, a body for which Mr McLoughlin is a former chair, said: “This is a timely and crucial commission to develop an enhanced pedagogy for adult vocational education.

“Effective teaching and learning is a vital element in enabling the FE and skills sector to flourish and 157 Group is keen to contribute to the commission’s work in any way it can.”

The Institute for Learning (IfL) has welcomed Mr McLoughlin’s appointment.

IfL’s chief executive, Toni Fazaeli said: “IfL has long been calling for greater prestige for the vocational, and for an independent inquiry into world-class teaching and training in further education and skills.

“IfL’s priority is to engage and draw on evidence from our members, the expert vocational teachers and trainers who can and do make the difference for vocational learners, and their success.

“Our preparatory work, which includes an action research project involving nearly 150 teaching and training professionals across the country, is already well under way.

“It is crucial that young people and adults of all ages should have access to the best possible teaching and learning, to ensure that they have the skills they need for fulfilling working lives and for well-being.”

The final findings and recommendations of the Commission are due to be published in Spring 2013.

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