From education to employment

One Year Deadline Set by Minister for FE Teacher Training Centres Programme

At a conference in Huddersfield today, writes Jethro Marsh for FE News, the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell MP, promised that the new network of training centres for FE teachers would be up and running by September 2007.

The new network, called the Centres for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTS), will be available to teachers, tutors and trainers up and down the country in an effort to offer better training facilities for staff. This is intended to build upon prior achievements in self improvement, training and professional development programmes undertaken for all training providers and FE colleges.

The CETT Programme

The CETTs form part of a programme of improvement that has its roots in the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) paper from November 2004, entitled “Equipping Our Teachers for the Future”. In this paper, proposals for reforming initial training for teachers (ITT) in the learning and skills sector were established, responding to earlier concerns expressed in an Ofsted report on ITT in the FE sector. The recent FE White Paper, “Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances”, set aside a new investment of £11 million for recruitment and development of the FE workforce.

The CETTs, once completed, will be equipped to cater for a braod spectrum of learning and skills issues. They will make sure that the staff and mentors engaged in ITT and CPD training programmes are well qualified, with expertise in the training of teachers for particular occupations or to meet specific skills and learning gaps. The number of CETTs will be determined by the need for skills and on the qualitative and quantitative nature of the applications. It is believed that this will result in one CETT per region, with a further number set aside for national skills issues or for industry ““ specific skills training.

The selection process for these CETTs will begin from September of this year, with the list of CETTs to be announced in April 2007. The final launch of the programme will coincide with a requirement for all new trainee teachers and trainers in FE to attain Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. In addition, all extant FE teachers and trainers will have to meet this requirement by 2010, with CETTs playing a vital role in supporting this.

Rammell’s Future Focus

Speaking at the Huddersfield event, Bill Rammell MP said: “The reforms we announced in our recent FE White Paper will help drive up standards in teaching and allow us to recruit and retain the brightest and best teachers across the lifelong learning sector. And we are providing £70 million for workforce development and initial teacher training in 2007/08.

“These new networks of training centres will provide co-ordinated programmes for all FE teachers,” he continued, “providing training for those entering the profession and continuous professional development for those already established, looking to hone their skills. We need skilled professionals to help every learner achieve their potential. Success for learners depends on excellent quality provision. Workforce development must be nationally co-ordinated to ensure delivery of a world class learning experience for every student.”

Jethro Marsh

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