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Government to launch FE Guild after Lord Lingfield backing

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has announced plans to form an FE Guild after the concept received backing from Lord Lingfield’s review into the sector.

Lord Lingfield’s review described how such a guild would enhance the status of FE by providing a single body to set professional standards and codes of behaviour, as well as developing qualifications.

Speaking at the launch of the review in East London, Hancock said: “I want our FE colleges to be a beacon of excellence, open to the best teachers and providing high quality training.

“We have asked the Association of Colleges to take forward their partnership’s proposals for a guild that will support and enhance the professional standing of those who teach in further education, and I look forward to working with them to develop these.”

In addition, Lord Lingfield’s review recommended giving more freedom to high performing colleges and providers through chartered status awards.

Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Lord Lingfield’s review is a welcome acknowledgement of a mature sector ready to be freed from over-regulation; a sector with a vested interest in the continuous improvement of its workforce for the benefit of both staff and students. 

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“This report reinforces the autonomy of colleges, embodied in the proposals for an FE Covenant, a Guild and Charter status, which could be a prelude to a more proportionate and appropriate means of building and sustaining excellence in colleges.”

It was also recommended that teachers of English and Maths, as well as those working with students with learning difficulties or disabilities, should have specialist qualifications.

Graham Hoyle, chief executive of Association of Employment and Learning Providers AELP), said: “Together with the AoC and other partners, we have high ambitions for the Guild working with colleges and independent providers to make the UK have the best FE and skills system in the world. One of the strengths of the bid is the aim to develop teaching and learning skills that will go beyond the traditional classroom based model, which will enable the sector’s workforce to operate across the full range of ages and qualification levels.

“The FE Guild will have a clear remit to promote and sustain links with business both nationally and locally so that the sector becomes increasingly the provider of choice for more employers. We also believe that the Guild can add value by attracting members from outside the core BIS sponsored provider group. We will develop benefits and services which will aim, for example, to attract non-state funded trainers and training organisations.”

Natalie Thornhill

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