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Barnsley College to lead on professional development pilot

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Barnsley College (@barnsleycollege) has received a government grant to lead on a pilot programme to improve professional development for the further education (FE) workforce through FE provider collaboration.

The £465,000 Department for Education (DfE) FE Professional Development Grants pilot (FEPDG), which will run in 2021/22, will focus on strengthening staff’s skills and confidence in using technology to deliver education, as well as subject-specific development to improve curriculum design and teaching, learning, and assessment.

There will also be tailored support for the sector’s new and inexperienced teachers to help career progression and aid retention.

In the skills for jobs white paper, the government made a commitment to support the sector to strengthen the professional development and progression of the FE workforce. The national FEPDG pilot will help deliver that commitment by funding collaborative sector-led initiatives to improve FE professional development and support for staff within priority areas of need.

Barnsley College will be a lead provider on the project with a range of partners including Bournemouth and Poole College, City of Bristol College, Nelson & Colne College, Oaklands College, Runshaw College, and Access to Music Ltd.

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The activity areas for the pilot include; covering the cost of additional teacher time to provide intensive support such as paired teaching, work shadowing and reduced workload; core induction programmes covering key areas of practice essential for new or inexperienced teachers to develop; and support for newly qualified teachers to broaden their experience of face-to-face teaching plus strengthen skills and confidence to undertake classroom and in-person delivery.

Yiannis Koursis, Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Barnsley College, said:

“We are committed to delivering against the Government’s agenda of further professionalising the sector.  This pilot scheme will do exactly that and is an exciting project to be leading on. The program will make a real difference to the support that new teachers receive in the early parts of their teaching careers, leading to improvements in workforce development and the standard of teaching in the sector by increasing opportunities for FE and providers and staff to collaborate and share effective practice.

“Ultimately, this will raise the standards and quality of FE across the country, providing students with the best teaching available, leading to better job prospects, increased skills and improved abilities to learn.”

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