Edited webchat: 4 July, ATS 2019 - Your questions answered

Head of QTLS and ATS, Patricia Odell, and Berta Miguez, Participant Experience Manager (QTLS/ATS), answered your questions on Advanced Teacher Status (ATS), the badge of advanced professionalism and mastery in further education and training for experienced teachers and trainers.

The transcript below is taken from a live one-hour event, which took place on 4 July 2019. Use the related links on the right-hand side of the page to view previous webchats on ATS.

I wondered what the impact ATS would have on those staff wishing to bridge between FE and HE practice. Often I have curriculum staff question their own ability to deliver higher academic skills to learners. Does the ATS promote higher order research or is it more a focus on teaching and learning skills?

A key element of ATS involves undertaking academic research - an improvement project or case study. We expect our participants to have a good level of research skills - recommending reading/online modules they can undertake and drawing on the expertise of their mentors. We expect a high level of critical analysis from our participants, with evidence that they have drawn on relevant research and theory to inform developments in their practice. hope that helps?

I have recently been considering other avenues to supporting staff, including myself, to gain a qualification or 'status' which acknowledges higher order thinking and ability to put those skills in action within an FE setting, delivering HE courses. Quite often training and development of this level is accessible only to those staff of a certain job role or level. It is encouraging to have an accessible format for all curriculum staff to access if they wish to develop further. Am I right in thinking you need to have completed QTLS before you can move on to ATS?

Yes - currently you need QTLS or QTS and four years or more experience since gaining your ITE. An important feature of ATS is also collaborative working - it recognises that teachers need time to develop their practice - so peer observations, professional discussions, time and space to take risks trying out new strategies in a safe, non-judgemental environment is key.

As an FE lecturer what would the benefit be to me in achieving ATS?

Gaining ATS is currently the highest badge of professionalism in our sector that demonstrates mastery in teaching. Once you have been awarded with ATS, you will be conferred with Chartered Teacher Status - an incredible achievement. Those who have already gained ATS have told us how they are perceived differently by their peers and managers. They are now the 'go to' person in their organisation - has led to career change. 

Do I need to gain a QTS/ QTLS first or can I jump to ATS straightaway?

You need to gain QTLS before you can register for ATS. Can you tell me more about your teaching background?

 - I have been teaching for 11+ years in Europe and only two years in the UK (non-mainstream). I have passed my ProfGCE this year and have overseas MA in teaching, approved by NARIC. Now wondering what possible directions are available. I would appreciate any information or advice. I favour working in FE or HE.

In this case, you may be eligible to undertake QTLS. You may find it useful to watch our animation on undertaking QTLS.

For anybody out there already undertaking ATS, it would be great to share your experiences with others thinking about ATS.

- The portfolio aspect is a really good opportunity to show case what you are probably already doing, the critical analysis of this is the next step and is built into different sections such as the reflective diary. I have found the diary to be really helpful if I am having a bad day as it allows me to focus on the why and how it could be improved linked to professional reading. For me the highlight has been getting my department involved in my quality improvement project and using this as a basis for CPD opportunities. Hope that helps.

It is great that you have been using the diary in this way - also really helpful if you reference any relevant educational theory or research that has helped you to make sense of anything puzzling that you have experienced. I'm also really pleased to hear that by undertaking ATS, your organisation is now getting involved in your QIP. What is it about?

 - Learner motivation, I have now presented to the sixth form head and SLT and will be delivering CPD based on this in addition to the one I already do on demonstrating progress on an annual basis. I have also as a result of this been asked to lead a sixth form ‘champions’ team which will involve working across different departments.

This is excellent - solid evidence about the impact of undertaking ATS on your organisation!

- Thank you, that is reassuring! I have been lacking confidence as the deadline approaches.

We look forward to receiving your portfolio - let us know if you have any last-minute queries - we're here to help.

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