New £9.5 million FE Professional Development Grants available

Further education teaching staff will soon benefit from more high-quality professional development opportunities

Further education teaching staff will soon benefit from more high-quality professional development opportunities, so they can continue to deliver top class education and training to young people and adults.

Excellent teaching will be vital to ensuring the government’s landmark reforms to post-16 education can progress, so more people can gain the skills they need to secure good jobs and support the country to build back better from the pandemic. Evidence also shows that the quality of teaching is the single biggest driver of student outcomes.

The new £9.5 million FE Professional Development Grants pilot launched today (18 June) will support the commitment made in the government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper to strengthen the professional development on offer to the workforce and boost teaching practices.

The funding will also provide increased opportunities for providers to collaborate and share the excellent skills and practice that already exists within the sector in three priority areas:

  • Training and supporting staff to strengthen skills and confidence to use technology effectively to deliver education.
  • Subject specific professional development to improve the quality of curriculum design and teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Tailored support for new or inexperienced teachers in the sector to help career progression and keep talent in the profession.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan said:

We are transforming further and technical education so everyone has the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed, but that can only be achieved if we have outstanding teachers with the knowledge and skills to inspire future talent.

I’ve seen first-hand the brilliant work that is already going on up and down the country, with the FE workforce going above and beyond during the pandemic to support their learners.

This investment will help build on that by making sure the sector can develop and grow and unlock even more potential.

Kirsti Lord, Deputy Chief Executive – Member Services from the Association of Colleges said:

The £9.5 million investment into CPD for further education is very welcome. The core focuses around technology, subject specific development and the retention of new teachers are timely, as teaching practice evolves through the pandemic and online delivery of CPD can be leveraged in a way which would not have been considered even just two years ago. Colleges are well used to working together on quality improvement and CPD; this fund will enable those collaborating to provide high quality CPD in a variety of areas and specialisms which it would be challenging to deliver individually.

Jane Hickie Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers said:

The pandemic has accelerated changes in the world of work and the way that further education providers respond to them. This pilot programme demonstrates the Government’s commitment in the White Paper to support the advancement of high quality professional development in the sector and I am confident that a collaborative approach for bids will bring forward some really innovative ideas that will have a positive impact.

Eligible further education providers are being invited to partner up and submit bids for funding to develop approaches to professional development and training that improve teaching practices and enable career progression.

The fund forms part of £65 million investment in 2021-22 designed to support a number of measures announced in the Skills for Jobs White Paper that will help boost FE teacher recruitment, retention and development. This includes the launch of a new digital platform and national recruitment campaign to get more talented individuals to teach in further education, strengthened initial teacher training and a new Workforce Industry Exchange Programme so that industry experts can bring their skills to FE teaching.

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Published 18 June 2021