Online CPD programme launched to support staff delivering new essential digital skills qualifications

A new programme of online training and community support has been launched today by @E_T_Foundation to support teachers and trainers who will be delivering courses related to the new legal digital entitlement. This will fund all adults with no or low digital skills to study on specified qualifications free of charge – initially essential digital skills qualifications from 2020 and then new digital Functional Skills Qualifications from 2021. The programme to help prepare staff is being run by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) with funding from the Department for Education.

The core of the new programme consists of 20 short, online training modules covering the five skills areas of the new national standards introduced in April 2019, together with an online community of practice to enable peer-to-peer support. Practitioners will be invited to assess their readiness to teach courses for the new entitlement through an online self-assessment tool as a first step. The whole offer is hosted on the ETF’s Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, which has been designed to make training easy to access anytime, anywhere and on any device, especially mobiles.

The online programme is complemented by a series of face-to-face workshops and online webinars which are already underway.

Vikki Liogier, National Head of EdTech and Digital Skills at the ETF, said:

“Today’s launch is a significant step forward in providing support for teachers and trainers who are preparing to deliver the new digital skills qualifications as part of the digital entitlement. We have worked closely with representatives from across the FE and Training Sector to design all aspects of the programme, and early feedback from user testing and the workshop programme shows that it is being well received.”

It is envisaged that the programme will be particularly useful for those practitioners who will need to deliver the essential digital skills as part of other courses or in specific teaching contexts. There are learning guides on the platform for teachers and trainers working with ESOL learners and learners with SEND, as well as those teaching Preparation for Life and Work (PLW) courses and working in Offender Learning. The online offer also includes teaching exemplars in the training modules and a series of scenarios offering more extensive ideas for learning activities.

The online community of practice will be key in helping practitioners to share queries, information and resources. The aim is to develop communities for different groups of practitioners such as those working in ESOL or Offender Learning to enable context-specific peer-to-peer support.

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Further information can be found on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform.

Places are still available on the face-to-face workshop in Bristol on 26 February and Leeds on 10 March. Search for Essential Digital Skills on the ETF booking system to find out more.

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