The Skills Minister has launched an independent review into the professionalism of the further education (FE) and skills workforce today.

John Hayes MP has confirmed the review will be chaired by Lord Lingfield, alongside an expert panel led by David Sherlock CBE, former head of the Adult Learning Inspectorate.

“As we reform the further education sector to ensure it is fit for the 21st century, it is right that we also work to raise the status of FE professionals,” Mr Hayes said.

“We want to give the best support to those who teach in the sector.”He added: “I am delighted to announce that the respected educationalist, Lord Lingfield, has accepted my invitation to lead this important work.”

The independent  review, which will take evidence from the FE sector starting this week, is expected to report in the spring.

The terms of reference include reviewing the current arrangements used to facilitate professionalism in the FE sector, as well as proposing how they can be changed or improved.

The terms also include the following ‘key tasks’:

* Review progress made with professionalising the FE and Skills workforce following the introduction the reforms stemming from ‘Equipping Our Teachers for the Future’;

* Investigate if lessons can be learnt from the way professional status is facilitated and regulated in other sectors;

* Examine the appropriateness and effectiveness of the current regulations;

* Examine the role, functions, benefits for members and governance of the Institute for Learning as the sector’s professional membership body, its regulatory functions and how effectively it is facilitating the achievement of a professionalised workforce, and, where relevant, the contribution of other partner bodies;

* Consider what is the fairest, most efficient and appropriate way of meeting the costs of facilitating a professionalised FE and Skills workforce;

* Make recommendations for any changes and improvements required to enable continued progress in raising the professional standards and status of the FE and Skills workforce, to support continuing professional development, and to engage and give confidence to all key stakeholders.

Other  members of the panel include Dawn Ward OBE, Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire College  and Dan Wright, Chief Executive of First4Skills.

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