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ETF and Royal Commission 2023–24 Technical Teaching Fellowships awarded

ETF and Royal Commission 2023–24 Technical Teaching Fellowships awarded

The Technical Teaching Fellowships for 2023–24, which are awarded jointly by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, were presented at the Royal Society in London on Friday 3 March.

The prestigious awards were presented to:

  • Paul Gartside, Security & Data Analytics Curriculum Developer and Digital Coach at South Central Institute of Technology/MKCollege (Milton Keynes College). Paul’s Fellowship will focus on supporting technical teachers as dual professionals, closing the digital divide by bringing education and industry closer together, particularly in the cybersecurity space.
  • Amy Hollier, Director of Blended and Online Learning at Heart of Worcestershire College. Her Fellowship will focus on enhancing teaching, learning and assessment through the effective use of contextualised emerging technologies in technical, vocational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education.
  • Bradley Collier and Kumaran Rajarathinam, teachers in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Blackburn College. Their Fellowship, the first to be awarded to joint applicants, will focus on using a partnership approach to improve the quality of engineering teaching and training.
  • Kevin Pollard, Training Transformation Faculty Manager at MKC Training (MidKent Training), whose Fellowship will focus on bridging the STEM divide through intersectoral working to enhance technical STEM teaching and learning using immersive technologies.

As well as their Technical Teaching Fellowships, the new Fellows were also awarded Fellowship of the Society for Education and Training (SET), the membership body of the ETF. Presentations were made on behalf of the Royal Commission by Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM FRS FREng (Commissioner and Chair of the Industry and Engineering Committee) and John Lavery (Secretary), and for the ETF by Martin Reid (Director of Professionalism and Customer Experience) and Cerian Ayres (National Head of Technical Education).

Applications for Technical Teaching Fellowships are assessed against criteria including demonstrating highly effective approaches to improving teaching and learning in technical education, how the Fellowship will be used to inspire others, and the planning of professional development opportunities to impact on the pedagogy and professional practice of other teachers and trainers.

Fellows are expected to develop knowledge transfer and exchange activities, sharing effective practice at national and regional conferences and via networks, facilitating CPD and contributing to thought leadership through an established technical community of practice. They will also contribute to a final report to engage and motivate technical education practitioners in their specialist subject areas. Each receives a financial award to support their activity and guarantee remission time, and is allocated a mentor to support them throughout the duration of the programme.

In February it was announced that, following a review of the impact of the Technical Teaching Fellowship programme during its first five years, it will join the permanent portfolio of Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Fellowships. This will mean that all Fellows will become alumni of the Royal Commission, providing them with further support to drive quality improvement in technical STEM teaching and training and the opportunity to access further funding.

Additionally, the programme will be expanded, with up to six Fellowships to be awarded annually from the 2024–25 academic year and applications invited from colleagues from the four nations of the United Kingdom. Applications for this cohort will open on 27 March.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM FRS FREng, Commissioner and chair of the Industry and Engineering Committee of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said:

“An effective and highly regarded FE sector is vital to developing and maintaining the skilled workforce so needed by businesses across the UK. I am delighted that these awards recognise and celebrate outstanding teachers in Further Education. I have been particularly impressed by the way previous recipients have used their Technical Teaching Fellowships to extend the visibility and reach of their work. Through working with employers, driving curriculum developments, sharing best practice and inspiring others, they are supporting widespread improvements in technical teaching to the benefit of many learners.”

Cerian Ayres, National Head of Technical Education at the ETF, said:

“Our congratulations go to the new Technical Teaching Fellows. The award of these Fellowships recognises leading lights in technical education and supports them to amplify their impact and extend their reach across and beyond the sector, driving the development of our technical workforce and ability to confront the economic and sustainability challenges we face. We look forward to working with them as they join our growing technical community of practice and help to bolster the strength and capability of technical teaching across the country.”

The Technical Teaching Fellowships were established in 2018, with the first Fellowships being awarded in 2019. Further details are available on the Technical Teaching Fellowships page of the ETF website.

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