SET Fellow Denis McAuley has been involved in teacher training for more than 20 years and is due to retire from his role as Director of Higher Education at Easton and Otley College at the end of the summer. He explains more about his role as a member on the Practitioner Advisory Group (PAG) and why he believes it’s fundamental the views of the sector are fully represented.
I’ve always believed in professionalism and felt the further education sector could do with a body which sets professional aspirations. As a founder member and fellow of Institute for Learning, when the Society for Education and Training (SET) first formed I joined straight away. Not long after I became involved in a group which looked at designing Professional Standards for continuing professional development (CPD) and teachers and trainers undertaking QTLS.
Giving practitioners a voice
I applied to be a member of the PAG as I felt my initial work developing the Professional Standards showed that both the sector and professional body was clearly listening. I felt the PAG would give practitioners like myself the opportunity to ensure SET was moving in the best direction.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the work we’ve been given as part of the PAG. This has involved reviewing standards, changes and improvements to member benefits and ensuring the views of teachers and trainers are fed into new projects developed by SET.
We meet three times a year – usually in London – for a full working day and the work we carry out is considered by the board around six weeks later. In between meetings we usually receive documents reflecting ideas and projects so we can prepare ahead of our next meeting.
Representing the education sector
The group has steadily evolved to the point where there is a stronger relationship between the management board and members of the PAG, and this means it’s a two-way process whereby the board actively seeks our views for consideration.
I think SET members should seriously consider getting involved in the PAG to make sure their voices are heard. You will be representing the whole of the sector, including further education, work-based learning, adult community education and offender learning. When I retire my plan is to buy a motor home and do some travelling, but for now I can honestly say I have found it a privilege to represent the PAG on the SET management board, and this is something I know I will miss.
To find out more about applying for a role on the PAG please visit our governance recruitment page.