3 new films on the schools White Paper

03 Dec 2010

 I have just completed three videos for Teachers TV looking at key aspects of the recent education White Paper.

These 8 minute films analyse the reform proposals and offer reaction from key experts. The programmes examine:

  1. the proposed changes to teacher training
  2. the reforms of monitoring and accountability
  3. the changes ahead for the curriculum and assessment

My interviewees include: Professor Chris Husbands, Director-designate of the Institute of Education; Sue John, head teacher of Lampton School; Christine Blower, General-Secretary of the NUT; Mary Bousted, General-Secretary of the ATL; and Warwick Mansell, author and journalist.

The first programme - on teacher training - is now up on the Teachers TV website: www.teachers.tv/videos/education-white-paper-teacher-training

I will post links to the others as they appear. 


User Comments

Alison Iredale - 03 Dec 2010

FE initial teacher training

Hi Mike. There has been a lot of discussion about changes to school teacher training, but I wondered if you have picked up the urgent concerns from our sector regarding the implications of changes in HEFCE funding and student support. The following is from a briefing note by ACET and The Consortium for Post Compulsory Teacher Training:

Not all initial teacher-training is funded by the TDA. Teacher training for the Lifelong Learning Sector (FE, work-based learning, adult education etc.,) is funded through HEFCE or SFA for those courses that are validated through an awarding body. There are approximately 20,000 trainees preparing to work in this sector.
2. The training of high quality teachers for the Lifelong Learning sector is vital to the development of a skilled workforce and was recognised in the Leitch report:

“We won’t create world class skills in Britain without world class trainers. This shines a spotlight on LLUK. By setting the standards for those who train the trainers; you play an essential role in unleashing the talents of every person, company and sector in our economy.”

3. The withdrawal of funding from this area of work will lead to a collapse of University and College training for teachers for this sector, and to the consequent impoverishment of the education received by young people and other learners in the sector. The withdrawal of funds for adults in FE colleges for courses at level 3 and above (i.e. including teacher training course) and the requirement for them to take out a loan to pay their fees, will have a similar effect in FE institutions.
4. Teacher training for this sector is endorsed through SVUK (Standards Verification UK) and, when followed by appropriately documented practice, leads to Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS) after conferral by the Institute for Learning (IfL).
5. Staff are required to have QTLS to teach in the FE colleges and in funded organisations.
6. Two main forms of University and College training lead to QTLS after conferral by the IfL:
a. Pre-service, usually full-time.
b. In-service, part-time. Part-time in-service is the most common form of teacher training for this sector, accounting for approximately 90% of trainees.

7. Trainee teachers may be graduates or non-graduates – because teachers of some subjects in the Lifelong Learning sector need degrees, whereas others need vocational qualifications at level 3 (e.g. construction trades, engineering technicians etc.).
8. Currently, universities and directly funded FE colleges receive HEFCE funding for these teacher training courses. FT students have access to bursaries, which cover the cost of fees and some living expenses. The number of bursaries is controlled by HEFCE, which effectively controls the no. of training places. PT students’ employers have access to grants, which contribute towards fee costs.
9. Under the new regime, fees would have to rise to circa 6k, to cover the loss of HEFCE funding (this would need to be considerably more to actually cover the cost in full – current funding is equivalent to Band C). For FE institutions, the loss of income would lead them to apply a similar funding regime in order to cover their costs.
10. The assumption is made that both in-service graduates and non-graduate students will have access to loans. These staff often work part-time only in FE and continue to work full or part-time in their original vocation. Students and the economy generally benefit from this arrangement; FE students are trained by active practitioners. Many such teachers will see that the cost of paying for the qualification more than outweighs the financial benefit of their part-time work, and will choose not to participate. There will be a significant loss of expertise to the sector and the national skills agenda.
11. There is considerable inequity in the proposals to withdraw funding from teachers for this sector, who need parity with school-teachers, if we are serious about valuing and improving vocational training.
12. FE colleges, as employers, will not be able to pay the fees for in-service staff, once HEFCE/SFA funding is removed from these courses.

All college principals have been asked to lobby their MPs ahead of the debate on white paper, and it would be really great to have a piece on this from you.

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