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Data published in the 2017 Further Education (FE) Workforce Data For England report by the Education and Training Foundation showed that over 60% of FE teachers spend no time at all on CPD, particularly those that work part-time. Furthermore, of those undertaking CPD activities, an average of only 15 hours per year is spent on professional development. This has been a cause for significant concern among the sector, both for the quality of teaching and learning, as well as for staff engagement and development.
Furthermore, the Department for Education (DfE) has highlighted the need to ensure FE teaching staff are reaching their full potential, if the UK is to fulfil its potential in building a world-class skills system. A new DfE-funded £8 million T Level Professional Development Programme, being developed by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), will help teachers prepare for the roll out of the T Levels in 2020 and offer an opportunity for them to update their industry knowledge. The University and College Union (UCU) has described CPD as “essential”, urging college leaders to ensure that all teaching staff have the opportunity to keep up to date with pedagogical developments. While external training opportunities tend to be the chosen method, more must be done to enhance internal development, both to broaden opportunities to a wider range of staff, and to enhance data collection around CPD being undertaken.
The Professional Standards for teachers and trainers, developed by the Education and Training Foundation in consultation with practitioners and providers from across the FE sector, offer a benchmark for what is expected from teaching staff. This clear structure provides a base for providers to develop a well thought-out CPD programme for staff, although at present utilisation is limited.
Without investing in effective CPD opportunities for staff, the FE sector will face numerous issues as it transitions to the T-Levels system from 2020. It is therefore imperative that college leaders and the FE sector as a whole places greater emphasis on an investment into professional development for all teaching staff to ensure that the FE sector is able to provide students with the skills they need in today’s ever changing workplace.
This one day forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss the importance of developing effective CPD programmes across Further Education (FE) to raise teaching standards and improve attainment. This is especially important now in light of recent reforms and the introduction of T Levels in 2020. In addition participants will hear from best practice case studies about the importance of partnership working between the FE and Higher Education (HE) sectors to strengthen teacher training and discuss the importance of implementing the Education and Training Foundation’s Professional Standards.
Key speakers confirmed:
• Steve Frampton, President, Association of Colleges
• Paul McKean, Head of Further Education and Skills, Jisc
• Sarah Harrison, Teacher Development Programmes Manager, Chartered College of Teaching
• Tricia Odell, Head of QTLS and ATS, Education and Training Foundation
• Jenifer Burden, Director of Programmes, Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
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