Second date with the Education and Training Foundation by Carolyn O'Connor @clyn40

On Thursday the 26th March the second practitioner advisory meeting took place with the Education and Training Foundation. This was a follow up meeting from the one held in January and the opportunity to see what had been done with our input and advice given in the first meeting. The main focus of this meeting was to look at the membership package on offer. We would be looking at the first draft on what was on offer to an individual who works within further education and/or the adult learning sector.

As I mentioned in the first blog the ETF had looked at responses from their online survey. They have also been doing research with small focus groups in addition to the one I am currently part of. The ETF share this information on their website if you wish to look into further.

During the day we discussed the new features of the membership and read over the draft proposal. Some of the areas looked at was CPD, QTLS and professional standards. CPD covered some key areas within FE and adult learning, these were motivational strategies, using ILT, improving maths and English (ETF are very focused on this at present and currently running courses to support practitioners who deliver these), practitioner research and professional standards.

On my table we looked at the professional standards section. At present there are twenty professional standards (see here). We looked at the wording of each and how one could assess if you were meeting these standards. A discussion took place on using a possible self assessment tool that would then link into CPD. For example if an area of weakness was flagged up you could be signposted on the site to the relevant support, guidance or resources needed. At present I am unsure of the consequences if as a member you fail to meet these standards.

Each table discussed, analysed and evaluated the different CPD areas and what the membership offered. This was then presented back to the whole group and further discussions took place. The ETF will be looking at the feedback and using it to consider the membership proposal.

There was one area that caused much discussion towards the end, this was QTLS. This is an ongoing concern for all who teach in FE and adult learning as we are in limbo at present with the whole “you don’t need to be qualified in FE” thing. Interestingly the question was asked “why couldn’t it just be QTS?” This was something I had not really given much thought to, but I had certainly pondered over what the difference was. We have not really ascertained the best way to achieve QTLS and to be honest does it have any value given our current government opinion to anyone teaching in FE? Another question to consider is if QTS costs nothing, why does QTLS have a price? IFL charged for QTLS and I am assuming the ETF have inherited it and want to see what people think before giving it an overhaul. As a consumer I don’t mind paying for something if I know roughly how the price was arrived at. QTLS is something that will really need looking into further once the general election has taken place. If anyone has any further thoughts on QTLS or even views on QTS in FE please do share.