From education to employment

LSIS unveils initial teacher training awards scheme

The Learning Skills and Improvement Service (LSIS) has confirmed the establishment of a brand new initiative, which contributes funding to the costly and rising fees of teacher training within the FE sector.

Rob Wye, chief executive of LSIS, has stressed that “skilled and qualified teachers are the lifeblood of the FE sector”.

LSIS’ Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Fee Awards programme is overseen by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

It sees teachers-to-be given £1,500 towards learning and gaining knowledge of basic English/literacy and Maths/numeracy skills. A further £1,000 given to those teachers who concentrate and educate 16-18 year olds in other subjects. The only stipulation is that the trainee teacher must have a Higher Education institution approved qualification.

Fee awards are available for those teachers embarking on the trainee scheme in the 2012/2013 academic year. On top of this support, those entering the second year of training will still receive a £400 grant from BIS.

Wye continued: “Teachers in further education are shaping the future workforce of every sector in the English economy. I am delighted that we are now able to support the training of teaching these vital skills.”

Toni Fazaeli, chief executive of IfL, said: “We have been extremely concerned about the potential impact of higher education tuition fee increases on initial teacher training for further education and skills, and have long been calling for a bursary scheme, so we welcome confirmation that this is going to happen. FE teaching and training is vital to the economy and society, a high-level profession that needs to be seen as an attractive and accessible career progression route by those who want to share their expertise and valuable experience of working in industry by training and becoming a teacher.

“Part-time teacher trainees who are entering their second year of teacher training in 2012/13 and received a fee grant from IfL for the first year of the course will be eligible to apply for a further fee grant for the second year, administered by IfL for BIS. The new award administered by LSIS is not for those starting their second year.

“We still believe that the bursary system in our sector should be similar to that available for trainee schoolteachers, and that there should be financial support for trainee teachers undertaking awarding body routes to teaching qualifications. This is an important part of our quest for professionalisation, parity of esteem with school teachers and widening participation.”

Natasha Spencer

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