From education to employment

New Diploma in Teaching (Further Education & Skills) qualification: elevating standards in further education

Ann Gravells and Gavin Lumsden

A significant transformation is underway in the realm of Further Education and Skills (FE&S) training with the introduction of the new Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) qualification. The qualification commences on 1st September 2024. This update not only aims to enhance the quality of teacher training but also aligns with contemporary educational needs and standards. The transition from the existing Diploma in Education and Training (DET) to the Diploma in Teaching (DiT) reflects a progressive shift designed to better equip teachers for the evolving landscape of further education. This article delves into the details of this new qualification, the accompanying resources, and the comprehensive guidance provided by Ann Gravells and me to ensure a smooth transition for all stakeholders.

Understanding the new Diploma in Teaching (FE&S)

The new Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) is tailored for practitioners in England who teach learners aged 14 and above across diverse contexts including colleges, prisons, private training providers, and community organisations. The qualification is available from level 5 (typically offered by further education colleges) to level 7 (often provided by higher education institutions). While the core content remains consistent across levels, the depth of study, research, and complexity of assessment activities increase with higher levels.

The DiT qualification incorporates several contemporary educational themes such as Education for Sustainability, Digital and Online Technologies, and Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge. It is meticulously aligned with the latest Learning and Skills Teacher (LST) Occupational Standards, ensuring that trainee teachers are well-prepared to meet the demands of modern educational environments.

Key changes from DET to DiT

    1. Content and Curriculum:
       – DET: General educational content.
       – DiT: Incorporates new topics relevant to today’s educational needs, such as sustainability and digital pedagogy.
    2. Standards:
       – DET: Based on older teaching standards.
       – DiT: Aligned with the latest LST Occupational Standards, ensuring up-to-date educational practices.
    3. Mentorship:
       – DET: Varied mentorship requirements.
       – DiT: Mandates two mentors for trainee teachers, one for pastoral support and another for subject-specific guidance.
    4. Teaching Practice:
       – DET: Requires 100 logged teaching hours and 8 observations.
       – DiT: Expands this to 250 hours (150 teaching practice and 100 non-teaching hours) with 10 observations, ensuring comprehensive hands-on experience

    Transition guidance and checklist

    To facilitate a seamless transition from DET to DiT, a detailed checklist and guidance document has been created by Ann Gravells and me. This checklist ensures that training providers, teachers, and learners are well-informed about the changes and requirements of the new qualification.

    Key aspects of the checklist include:

    – qualification offering: confirming if current awarding organisations (AOs) offer DiT and if re-approval is necessary.
    – choosing an AO: suggestions on selecting an AO if the current one does not offer DiT.
    – funding and resources: information on funding options and updating resources to align with the new qualification content.
    – mentorship and staff requirements: ensuring adequate training for mentors and verifying staff qualifications for teaching and assessing.

    If you are a centre who would like to offer the qualification, please contact your awarding organisation, as not all are offering it.

    New Book: “Achieving your Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) – Putting theory into practice for the qualification or apprenticeship”

    In conjunction with the rollout of the new DiT qualification, a new book titled “Achieving your Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) – Putting theory into practice for the qualification or apprenticeship is now available for pre-order. This book promises to be an invaluable resource for both trainee teachers and educators. It aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing practical insights and strategies for effective teaching in the FE and Skills sector.

    The book covers a wide range of topics essential for aspiring teachers, including course design, lesson planning, teaching, learning and assessment strategies, the development of resources and the use of technology. It also emphasises the importance of reflective practice and continuous professional development, encouraging teachers to continually improve their teaching skills and stay updated with the latest educational trends regarding their subject.

    Preparing for the Future

    The transition to the new Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) represents a significant step forward in teacher education. It ensures that educators are better equipped to handle the challenges of modern teaching and therefore provide high-quality education to their learners. The emphasis on sustainability, digital technologies, and robust mentorship frameworks aligns with the broader goals of enhancing educational outcomes and fostering an inclusive, future-ready education system.

    Training providers, teachers, and learners are encouraged to thoroughly review the guidance and checklist to ensure they are fully prepared for the new qualification. By adhering to these guidelines, they can ensure a smooth transition and continue to provide exceptional education and training in the FE and Skills sector. 

    The introduction of the new Diploma in Teaching (FE&S) is a welcome change that promises to elevate the standards of teacher training, and ultimately benefit the learners who depend on skilled and knowledgeable educators. The transition from DET to DiT is set to be a positive and transformative experience for all involved.

    By Ann Gravells and Gavin Lumsden

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