From education to employment

Hope Looks Forward to Further Education Improvements

As the new college year starts, Skills Minister Phil Hope welcomed the launch of new teaching materials and techniques to make Further Education more stimulating.

The resources are part of a £31million teaching package and build on more traditional text-book based activities. They encourage students to take a more active role in their studying through innovative and fun learning methods. Students are also encouraged to work together in small groups.

Speaking at the Association of College’s Principals” Professional Council Conference in London, Phil Hope said: “Students deserve innovative, stimulating teaching and training.”

Great Successes

The new resources, distributed free of charge to colleges, include the use of ICT, DVDs and workbooks. A coaching programme, professional development materials and regional subject networks will help teachers, educators and trainers make the best use of their resources and thus provide the best possible education for the learners they work with and for.

Phil Hope has been impressed with early responses to the project, saying: “Early trials for this package showed an immediate pay back in terms of higher motivation, better retention and more active learning.”

It is said that nine out of ten teachers have reported better teaching methods and a greater understanding of good professional practice. It seems students and trainees of all ages and levels have benefited from team-work and built their confidence.

The changes for teaching and training lies at the heart of the government’s Success For All strategy, which is now in its third year. The aim is to drive up standards and success rates for six million learners from various backgrounds and of different ages. The FE sector is particularly suited to this task, and as seems evident from Phil Hope’s comments, the government recognise this as well.

Angela Balakrishnan

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