Teacher training development is actually a big thing, we will need 35,000 new teachers a year, slightly more than that now I guess. Very easy to remember the number we need, it’s the size of the British Navy, which means we are recruiting two teachers a minute, every day of the year.
Probably 90% of my time is spent trying to make sure that people understand the pathways, progression routes and the multitude of qualifications that we have and that they are all fit for purpose, but sometimes those purposes are quite different.
There is a kind of pendulum of attention amongst politicians. Sometimes we are very focused, in recent times we’ve been very focused on the college sector, in recent times we’ve been very focused, I think, on schools and the Scottish Government’s reforms to the governance of schools, and in that, in my view, I think probably apprenticeships and skills and vocational education has not had as much attention from myself and my colleagues as perhaps it merits.
In terms of what QAA offers to support the quality assurance of apprentices and apprenticeships, our starting point is always the UK Quality Code for higher education, this is the core document in the UK that sets out the baseline requirements for quality and standards. It covers all students across the UK irrespective of their location of study, their mode of delivery, so as such it automatically encompasses apprenticeships that involve an HE qualification, such as degree apprenticeships. So as soon as degree apprenticeships came on the scene they fell within the scope of the Quality Code. It’s a sector-owned document, so we develop it entirely collaboratively working with providers and there are 19 expectations in there at the moment which cover all aspects of quality and the standards sort of mapped across the student journey and all of those will apply to apprenticeships.
Professor Timothy Quine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Exeter, addressing the Westminster Employment Forum Keynote Seminar: The future for higher and degree apprenticeships - expansion, integration and standards