Professional Standards continue to improve FE teaching standards

At the Society for Education and Training’s (SET) annual conference in Birmingham, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) released findings into the extent to which the Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers and its associated resources are used by the Further Education (FE) sector workforce.

The Professional Standards were developed by the ETF, in consultation with practitioners and a range of stakeholders from across the Education and Training sector, in 2014. The purpose of the Professional Standards is to support teachers and trainers to maintain and improve standards of teaching and learning, resulting in better outcomes for learners.

In early 2019, five years on from the launch of the Professional Standards, the ETF conducted an online survey which found that most FE teachers and trainers use the Standards regularly, with almost two-thirds (65%) doing so every month. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority (87%) said that the Standards made a difference to their professional practice.

The most common benefits of using the Standards, according to the survey, are that they set out clear expectations of effective practice in education and training and enable teachers and trainers to identify areas for their own professional development. Both were cited by nearly four-fifths (79%) of respondents.

As well as investigating the extent to which they are used, the survey also looked at how they are used. 63% said that the Standards informed Continual Professional Learning and Development (CPLD), while 53% said they were used to inform professional development planning and for initial teacher training. Other activities in which they are used include coaching and mentoring colleagues (45%), measuring improvement (36%), performance management (32%) and informing appraisals (22%).

David Russell, CEO of the Education and Training Foundation and SET, said:

“The Professional Standards were informed by collaboration with the profession in 2014 and the study shows they are as highly relevant today as they were then. They continue to remain impactful and form the core principles of effective teaching and training practice in our sector.

“The Standards have also helped us to develop our workforce development programmes from maths and English and EdTech through to our support for T Levels and our leadership programmes. Both the Qualified Teaching Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) awards are built upon them and always will be, even as they evolve over time.”

The full report can be read on the Research page of the ETF’s website. Further details on the Professional Standards, including posters, a self-assessment questionnaire, a workbook and a video featuring practitioners explaining how the Standards impact on their working lives, are also available on the ETF website.