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Training That Will Make More Teachers Both Experts In Their Subjects And Skilled At Teaching

A new award of “Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills” is at the centre of a reform package for teacher training in the learning and skills sector. Kim Howells, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education launched the changes today at Showcase 2004, the Department’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference.

Announcing the reforms, Dr Howells said: “All students in Further Education deserve teachers and trainers who are both expert in their subjects and skilled at teaching. What happens in the classroom, in the workshop, in the laboratory and online affects the life chances of six million learners a year. We must attract, motivate and retain the very best people into the Further Education and learning and skills sector. Initial training gives teachers the foundation on which they build their careers and equips them for the future.” Howells furthered by commenting,”With these reforms, teachers will enjoy a new professional status, in the same way as their school colleagues do. Their students will benefit from more effective, stimulating and enjoyable teaching. Learning and skills providers will see better performance, retention and success rates, and be valued by the community.”

Dr Howells linked the reforms to the Department’s new teaching and learning resources now being distributed and said,”Qualified professional teachers are now making effective use of our new teaching and learning resources which have been developed by specialist practitioners and thoroughly tested with support from the sector. The teaching approaches they embody are being greeted with enthusiasm by teachers and students alike.” The initial teacher training reforms will be developed over the next two years and introduced in full from September 2007.

The key features are:

“¢ Initial teacher training leading to “Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills”;

“¢ The development of Centres of Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTs); and /

“¢ New standards, quality assurance and planning arrangements for initial teacher training.

David Hunter, Chief Executive of Lifelong Learning UK, the lifelong learning sector skills council in development, said: “Our primary concern at LLUK is to drive up the skills of the sector workforce. We welcome the plan to introduce a licence to practise and look forward to collaborating with stakeholders in developing a standards-based framework of unit-based qualifications that is flexible, accessible and fit-for-purpose.”

Mark Haysom, Chief Executive, the Learning and Skills Council, said: “The high quality of teaching in the learning and skills sector is at the heart of the LSC’s agenda. I therefore fully welcome these reforms, which will drive up investment in a fully qualified and professional workforce across the sector.”

John Brennan, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The approach carries forward the process which began with the decision to aim for a fully trained workforce for colleges, and extends it to the whole sector. It is a significant step in the right direction and the AoC looks forward to further consultation to implement the reforms.”

Bob Powell, Chief Officer of HOLEX, said: “HOLEX warmly welcomes the vision behind the emerging policy on initial teacher training in the learning and skills sector and the clarity with which the intent is being announced.”

Dr Ken Boston, OA, Chief Executive, QCA said: “The QCA welcomes this important initiative and looks forward to contributing to its success.”

Dan Taubman, National Education Official, NATFHE, said: “NATFHE warmly welcomes and supports the DfES proposals for reforms. They will lay a firm platform to rebuild the professionalism of teachers so that they can meet the future challenges in 14-19 education and training, the Skills Strategy and the ambitions to widen participation in higher education, in all of which learning and skills teachers play a prominent role.”

Monica Deasy, Chair of the Institute for Learning, said: “It is encouraging to see a strategy that will both raise standards within the profession and the esteem in which it is held. It is particularly gratifying that representatives of those who actually provide learning in the sector will exercise a high level of influence in the roll-out of the strategy.”

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