From education to employment

Technical Teaching Fellowships application deadline approaching

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The deadline to apply for the Technical Teaching Fellowships for 2024/25 is now less than a month away, with applications closing at 5pm on Friday 24 November (2023). Awarded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 following a rigorous selection process, the Fellowships are open to exceptional technical teachers in the FE and Skills/post-16 sector.

Following a review of the impact of the Technical Teaching Fellowships programme, the Fellowships are now included in the Royal Commission’s portfolio of permanent awards. As a result, eligibility has been extended to include practitioners in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – as well as England – and an increased number of Fellowships – up to six – will be awarded annually.

Fellows are recognised as outstanding practitioners, with high-impact teaching practice, who deliver effective outcomes for their learners and apprentices of all ages and levels, and in diverse subject specialist areas and industry sectors. They play an important role in driving quality improvement in FE technical teaching and training, facilitating CPD for sector colleagues and sharing effective practice, thought leadership, and resources. Through these knowledge exchange and transfer activities, they enable others to develop their pedagogy and professional practice so that they can meet current needs, and plan to meet the future needs, of individuals, businesses and communities.

Successful applications are characterised by:

  1. The demonstration of highly effective approaches to improving teaching and learning in technical education, with the potential to help other teachers to teach better.
  2. The promotion of the professional standards of the FE and Skills sector and workplace.
  3. Demonstrating how an applicant will use the Fellowship to become a positive national role model and inspire others to emulate their practice.
  4. Evidence of the planning and delivery of professional development opportunities which will share effective practice in technical teaching and impact positively upon the pedagogy of other teachers.
  5. Plans to maximise reach, engagement, and impact, by raising the profile of the Technical Teaching Fellowship programme and involving employers, professional associations, learned societies, skills groups or other partners to support and extend activity and practice.

On being awarded a Fellowship, successful applicants will:

  • Receive an award of £5,000 – £15,000 to support knowledge transfer activity and to ensure remission time is guaranteed by their employing organisation.
  • Develop ‘Pathways to Impact’ activity action plans, to maximise the benefit of their Technical Teaching Fellowships.
  • Attend two one-day developmental workshops over the 2024/25 academic cycle.
  • Be allocated a programme mentor to support them for the duration of the programme.
  • Be expected to disseminate their work at national conferences and via regional networks.
  • Contribute to the delivery of a final report, written to engage and motivate technical education in their area of practice.

Awardees become alumni of the Royal Commission and will also be made Fellows of the Society for Education and Training (SET).

Cerian Ayres, National Head of Technical Education at the ETF, said:

“With less than a month until the deadline for applications for the 2024/25 Technical Teaching Fellowships, it is time for those intending to apply to finalise and submit their proposals.

“The importance of STEM skills and the development of a talent pipeline are recognised in the strategies of each of the four nations of the UK and high-quality STEM teaching and training are fundamental to that goal.

“The extension of eligibility for the Fellowships to colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales announced in March – and the collaboration we have undertaken with the administrations, agencies and colleagues in those countries to promote them – means we are looking forward to even greater interest in the programme this year, and the Fellowships’ success manifesting itself more widely in the future.”

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM FRS FREng, Commissioner and chair of the Industry and Engineering Committee of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said:

“An effective and highly regarded FE sector is vital to developing and maintaining the skilled workforce so needed by businesses across the UK. I am delighted that these awards recognise and celebrate outstanding teachers in Further Education. I have been particularly impressed by the way previous recipients have used their Technical Teaching Fellowships to extend the visibility and reach of their work. Through working with employers, driving curriculum developments, sharing best practice and inspiring others, they are supporting wide-spread improvements in technical teaching to the benefit of many learners.”

Technical Teaching Fellow Rosa Wells, who is FE Principal at Birmingham University College, said:

“It was an honour to be awarded a Technical Teaching Fellowship; the fellowship has supported me to achieve personal career goals, whilst also benefitting the institutions that I worked in. The research I was given the opportunity to develop, and the networks I have been linked to, have also had a positive impact on colleagues, apprentices and learners that I directly work to support. In addition, the wider sector has benefitted locally, regionally, and nationally through partnership working. As well as being given a platform to share my knowledge and experiences, I am now part of a community of practitioners whose ideas cross-pollinate and raise the profile of technical education in the FE and Skills sector more widely. I encourage anyone thinking about applying to grasp this opportunity.”

Further details, including the application form, are available on the Technical Teaching Fellowships programme page of the ETF website. Potential applicants can contact ETF National Head of Technical Education Cerian Ayres to find out more.

The Technical Teaching Fellowship programme was launched in June 2018. It exists to celebrate, develop and disseminate exceptional practice in technical teaching and is designed to support and empower the industrial and technical expertise of individuals who support the progression of learners to higher levels of technical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) study and employment.

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