Change offers challenge and opportunity
As the new teaching year gets under way, there has never been a more relevant time to champion and support the professionalism of those working in the FE and training sector.
The reforms set out in the government’s Post-16 Skills Plan task the sector with delivering more advanced courses and qualifications, whether it’s the new T-levels or advanced apprenticeships. There is a challenge to ensure teachers and trainers are ready to deliver these reforms, but also an opportunity for practitioners to develop their skills, knowledge and careers.
SET’s recent research into career progression has, for the first time, provided evidence to better understand the career ambitions and experiences of staff working in education and training (see page 26), emphasising the value of teaching qualifications, on-the-job experience and QTLS status. This is reflected in the enthusiastic demand for our new Advanced Teacher Status (see page 4).
This issue has a common thread throughout, exploring professionalism and improving teaching practice. The magazine is accompanied for the first time by our technical and vocational education and training supplement. Introduced by skills minister Anne Milton, the 16-page supplement recaps the proud heritage of vocational education and training, and examines how today’s practitioners are adapting this legacy for the 21st century. Case studies showcase some excellent teaching practice throughout.
"The reforms are an opportunity for practitioners to develop their skills, knowledge and careers"
The main magazine also explores this thread in numerous places. Our interview with Dr Matt O’Leary (see page 10) is a fascinating insight into the work of one of the country’s leading academic experts in FE and training.
Our lead feature (pages 12 to 14) offers a strong analysis of the emerging issues of staffing capacity in the face of the coming reforms to technical education and apprenticeships. The excellent research section (pages 15 to 22) includes articles demonstrating perfectly the importance of action research in underpinning and improving teaching practice.
I am particularly delighted to welcome Lou Mycroft as our new, named Pedagogue columnist on page 35. Lou’s experience as a teacher educator, tutor and coach is beautifully complemented by her fearless and challenging observations on teaching and learning. Be sure to check out Lou’s rallying cry on professional development.
Director of the Society for Education and Training
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