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Autumn 2020 set.et-foundation.co.uk
An inTuition supplement exploring Technical Teaching, as the sector prepares for the introduction of T Levels
SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE Recruiting experts from industry is the top priority for technical teaching
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CONTENTS MARK WRIGHT
Changing times CONTENTS 3
TAKING TEACHING FURTHER
To meet the UK’s future skills needs, FE must attract top talent into the sector
4 FELLOWSHIPS Technical Teaching Fellowships can help the UK get skilled up for the 21st century
6 TALENT TO TEACH The ETF’s programme allows graduates to experience what’s involved in FE teaching
FE providers are attracting experienced industry professionals into education through the TTF programme
11 SUPPORTED INTERNSHIPS Learners with special educational needs and disabilities are finding paid employment that suits their skills – and their employers
14 T LEVELS
DIGITAL SKILLS GUIDE A surge in digital usage has led to an expansion of the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform
The introduction of T Levels in England is not only a boost to the education system but a challenge to teachers
o say the past few years have been eventful in the further education sector would be an understatement. Even without the additional challenges of Covid-19, the sector was already undergoing signiﬁcant change as it sought to keep pace with the changing world in which learners will operate. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in technical education. The advent of digital has disrupted virtually every industry, requiring specialist skills for those tasked with teaching a vast range of topics, while the introduction of T Levels is also set to challenge both teachers and the sector as a whole. One of the biggest issues will be recruiting the right people who have both the knowledge and the teaching skills. The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has been at the forefront of helping develop such programmes, as Cerian Ayres explains opposite. Those initiatives are explored further within this supplement. Cerian examines the role Technical Teaching Fellowships play in helping to inspire and develop teachers; Howard Pilott explores how the Talent to Teach programme enables
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those interested in a career switch to ‘try before they buy’; and David Smith and Colin Forrest outline the impact Taking Teaching Further is having on encouraging those with the right technical skills to know and prepare for the opportunities in the FE space. Elsewhere, Vikki Liogier outlines how the ETF’s EdTech and Essential Digital Skills training is helping to develop the skills required for digital roles in particular. Claire Cookson and Teresa Carroll look at how supported internships can ensure those with special educational needs can ﬁnd the right jobs for them, while meeting the needs of employers. Finally, T Levels promise to usher in a new dawn for technical education and develop a tighter link between education and the skills required by employers. But, as Paul KessellHolland warns, this will also need a period of reﬂection from teachers. The ETF’s own T Level Professional Development offer is on hand to help teachers embrace this challenge.
NATIONAL HEAD OF T LEVEL DESIGN AND HIGHER LEVEL EDUCATION: Paul Kessell-Holland
MARK WRIGHT, DIRECTOR OF DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT AT THE EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOUNDATION
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FE at its best As the UK wrestles with the skills it needs for the future, much depends on the ability of FE providers to entice top teachers into the sector, says Cerian Ayres s they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Over the years things have been really tough for the further education sector, but organisations and their workforces have been resilient and continued to serve individuals, businesses and communities within their localities, while implementing technical education reforms. A survey of senior FE leaders conducted by the Department for Education (DfE) in 2018 highlighted that for effective reform implementation, technical teacher recruitment and retention would need to be prioritised, alongside the recruitment of leaders and managers capable of operating through change in unprecedented times. Momentum has been gathering since 2013 with the publication of the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL) report, which highlighted the key characteristics of excellent technical vocational teaching, training and learning. It also outlined a number of enablers and recommendations to ensure that the UK has a world-class technical education and training system.
Hiring the experts
It begins with recruiting technical experts who have the knowledge, skills, behaviours and occupational competencies being supported to transition into FE teaching roles, particularly in recognised STEM and wider technical skills shortage areas. It continues with the investment in the workforce, ensuring that FE colleagues are able to access high-quality continuing professional development opportunities. For example, the considerable investment in T Level Professional Development by
the DfE, with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) scoping, designing, developing and delivering an offer that has been well received by the sector, supporting their preparedness for T Level delivery as of September 2020. This runs alongside continued support for apprenticeships and wider technical and vocational programmes for colleagues at every level and in diverse roles within organisations. The ETF continues to further develop a Careers Framework and separately a Leadership Excellence Framework, assisting colleagues whilst maintaining the Professional Standards developed for the sector. This includes Talent to Teach, giving graduates a taster of what it would be like to teach in this sector, and a number of very successful recruitment programmes, each recruiting specific technical expert target audiences, from industry or the armed services, and providing tailored and bespoke support. These include SET for Teaching Success (SET – Science, Engineering and Technology) and Taking Teaching Further (TTF). The TTF programme is part of the government’s commitment to recruit technical teachers to deliver new technical vocational qualifications, T Levels. These gold-standard technical qualifications, with A Level parity, aim to support the progression of younger learners to higher levels of technical study and employment, where they have chosen a vocational route.
Making an impact
In the last two years our programmes have together recruited over 430 technical experts to transition and train to become FE
technical teachers; individuals capable of inspiring younger learners, relating theory to practice with a problem-based scenario approach to teaching, training and learning. Over 180 of these technical experts are drawn from our Armed Tri-Services, demonstrating the ETF’s commitment to the pledges it made through the Armed Forces Covenant while working with the DfE and cross-government departments. In July we celebrated the achievements of over 50 new graduates, all of whom have secured technical teaching roles in the FE sector. Notably a high number of these were female, bucking national recruitment trends for women into STEM and wider technical teaching roles. The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires people to level up in terms of skills. Addressing social mobility and improving life chances for all means ensuring access to high-quality technical teaching, training and learning. Who better to deliver this than those who have worked and trained in British manufacturing, industries and our armed services – individuals who can bring learning to life?
CERIAN AYRES is national head of technical education at the Education and Training Foundation
References and further reading For more on SET for Teaching Success visit etfoundation.co.uk/set-teaching For more on T Levels Professional Development see page 15 For more on Talent to Teach see page 26, and on Taking Teaching Further see page 28
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or a small island in the northern hemisphere, with less than 1 per cent of the world’s population, the UK punches high for its density. According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2020, the UK holds the number one position with Oxford University, and has a further two universities in the top 10. We have world-leading research and development (R&D), that is highly respected throughout international communities, generating new ideas, innovative approaches and discovering solutions to advance our economy, social wellbeing and health. So it is unsurprising that around 25 per cent of the world’s top 100 prescription medicines were discovered and developed in the UK, and that our R&D teams are currently part of leading teams joining the race to ﬁnd a vaccine to control and stop the spread of Covid-19; the challenge that will shape the future of learning and work. At this point it is important to recognise the role of the further education sector, which offers HE in FE settings to include higher technical education programmes and accessible learning opportunities for all, supporting individuals to progress to higher levels
of technical study and employment. Growing the UK’s technical talent pipeline has long been the work of the FE sector, with organisations across the country, transforming the lives of individuals, addressing business needs and being at the heart of their learning communities. Right now there seems to be a new willingness to collaborate to address, for example, the four grand challenges of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, focused on global trends that will transform the future: artiﬁcial intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth, and future of mobility. FE is central to this, prioritising learning today for tomorrow.
requires the world THE TECHNICAL that community to unite and work together for the TEACHING greater good of humankind, sustainable FELLOWSHIPS prioritising development to achieve sustainability. PROMOTE A MODEL future Ensuring healthy lives and wellbeing for all OF PROFESSIONAL promoting ages is a priority. Inequality EXCELLENCE IN fuels the ﬁre of moral outrage this is acutely observable THE DELIVERY and in the area of global health. current system should OF TECHNICAL The not perpetuate injustices. have a chance to build EDUCATION We back better and stronger,
Embracing change Change has been thrust upon us, demanding action and a rapid response from all, to enable adaption and survival. Covid-19 represents a global challenge
improving life chances for individuals and enabling social mobility for all, through accessible and high-quality technical education. Science is the bedrock of the UK’s economy and improving access to highquality technical teaching, training and learning at all levels is essential if we are to increase skills, build workforce capacity and contribute to increased productivity and a sustainable UK economy. It begins with people, as the UK’s Industrial Strategy states. We have a moral obligation to ensure that all individuals have access to high-
Inspiring educators The further education sector will play an important part in developing the talent the UK needs over the next few years, as well as offering opportunities to young people. Technical Teaching Fellowships can help to ensure it’s able to deliver, says Cerian Ayres 4 INTUITION TECHNICAL TEACHING AUTUMN 2020
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quality technical teaching, training and learning experiences, with clear progression routes to higher-level technical study and employment. To achieve this, we need to implement a holistic systemslevel approach, with leaders and managers providing thought leadership for problem-solving, a solutionfocused approach to the unprecedented challenges of our time, while providing technical teachers with the space and time to engage with high-quality continuing professional development. This should include as a priority opportunities to work with employers to address cocurriculum, design, planning and delivery. Employers now are very much in the driving seat, leading on standards but with no pillion FE provider passengers. Instead, partners are able to co-steer and co-operate to achieve positive outcomes. The UK’s Industrial Strategy and resultant technical education reforms have created a vibrant environment that will foster quality improvement in technical teaching, training and learning. There is a wind of change that is being sensed throughout the FE learning
community, as the sector is recognised for the valuable support that each and every organisation plays. While interviewing FE colleagues recently, the resounding message was that, in terms of technical education, ‘all ducks are now in a row’ and the ‘pull’ feels as if it’s in ‘the same and right direction’. FE providers are at the heart of their communities, working to meet the needs of individuals, communities and businesses, and supporting progression to higher levels of technical study and employment.
Technical Teaching Fellowships But technical teachers need inspiration too and investment in their continuing personal and professional development requires continued prioritisation. This inspiration often comes from opportunities to work closely with FE sector and wider colleagues to include employers, professional bodies and key stakeholders, to enable sharing of effective practice and the exchange of ideas. Technical Teaching Fellowships are funded through a partnership between
Left to right: Technical teaching fellows 2020/21 Lynda Broomhead, Shell Fearn, Chris Fairclough and Nick Hart, with Sir John O’Reilly (far left) and Nigel Williams (far right), both of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and ETF CEO David Russell (centre)
the Education and Training Foundation, which has a charitable objective to develop the technical education workforce, and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, which has a mission to increase the means of industrial education and to extend the inﬂuence of science and art on productive industry. Through this initiative, exceptional FE technical teachers have and will be identiﬁed as a result of localised examples of innovative practice and their potential to drive economic growth or industrial expertise locally, regionally and across the wider economy. The Fellowships support applicants to develop and implement a range of knowledge transfer activities in technical education improvements. Fellows over the last year have disseminated their effective practice widely through local and national networks to include those bringing FE colleagues, employers and stakeholders together. The prestigious awards promote professional excellence in delivering technical education, enabling us to raise the proﬁle of exceptional provision in the FE and skills sector, and then to share and disseminate this effective practice throughout the education sector. This includes schools, FE and HE institutions through collaborative partnership activity, and more widely among employers and stakeholders, working closely with teachers and managers to improve outcomes for learners. At the heart of the programme is the understanding that to grow industrial capacity, we need to promote highquality collaborations between industry and education in the FE and training sector. Employers setting the standards and working in partnership with FE provider colleagues will ensure the design, development and delivery of a curriculum that is ‘ﬁt’ for the 21st century and the future of learning and work. CERIAN AYRES is national head of technical
education at the Education and Training Foundation Applications are now open for the third wave of Technical Teaching Fellowships. Guidance is available and expressions of interest are being welcomed. The deadline for applications is 24 November 2020. For more information visit etfoundation.co.uk//technicalteachingfellowships
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TALENT TO TEACH
A taste of teaching The ETF’s Talent to Teach programme allows those curious about FE teaching the chance to experience what such a career involves. Howard Pilott explains oing careers fairs when simply can’t see it from outside, so why you’re trying to encourage not have a placement scheme? undergrads to consider FE Talent to Teach in FE [formerly teaching is interesting. Not Pathways to FE] offers third-year least because you might be undergrads or ﬁnal-year postgrads sat at a small bench with a few leaﬂets (in both cases, those thinking about near the big ‘Get into Teaching’ display next year) to spend 40 hours in an FE – in its shadow – and also because you’ll provider: it’s a mini internship, trying a have passers-by asking “What’s FE?”. bit of classroom and/or workshop life, Then once you’ve told them, they can go some training and some assessment. back to the ‘Get into Teaching’ stand They get a taste of the varied week in and be shown nicer incentives, a college or other training provider. better salary progression and be Importantly, they aren’t there as given some prettier giveaways. class-minders: the placement has Not to put too ﬁne to provide a rounded a point on it, we’re up experience. We pay against it as far as FE the provider a small teaching recruitment amount to ensure this is concerned. Despite happens. And pay the being one of the biggest person on placement a education sectors, FE small amount for their struggles for presence, time and expenses: acknowledgement, and we want this to work. certainly cachet. But And it does… as it wasn’t the pay and We don’t just conditions that kept me ask people who are teaching in FE for over already thinking of LISA BARTUP 20 years, what was it? teaching: we want And how can we come anyone completing a out from under the degree. The likelihood penumbra of our betteris that if you can get a paid cousin’s marketing Level 6 qualiﬁcation, dominance to attract the you have a range of future workforce? skills and knowledge I’ve realised it’s only worth passing on. through experience that About 30 per cent of you can really feel what those coming onto potentially is a rewarding work/life; the scheme are thinking of becoming a only being there lets you experience the teacher. At the end of that scheme we’re remarkable teamwork and the amazing up to over 70 per cent. One or two who individuals you work with, both staff and had thought they wanted to be teachers especially the learners themselves. You have now decided against it. And that’s
I WAS GIVEN AN EXCELLENT PLACEMENT AT A LOCAL COLLEGE WITH A VERY FULL PROGRAMME
good too, because it saves them going through teacher training. Lisa Bartup found Talent to Teach on a university careers website, after studying for a degree and MA in dress history, following several years working as an accountant. “The programme seemed perfect to give me a taster so I immediately signed up,” she says. “I was given an excellent placement at a local college with a very full programme to give me a chance to observe lessons in different age groups and ﬁnance subjects. By day two I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. When I came to be interviewed for a place on a PGCE in FE, the fact that I had participated in the programme impressed the interviewers no end!” Lisa has since signed up for a PGCE at the University of Brighton, which includes a placement with a local college. “My long-term ambition is to teach AAT accountancy to adult learners,” she says. We aimed for 450 places in 2019/20. Sadly, Covid-19 affected this. Nonetheless, in partnership with Cognition Education, we had 368 HE students in placements. Some are already teachers. This coming year, 2020/21, we planned to have a similar-sized cohort, and to give many of them the chance to complete an introductory teaching qualiﬁcation. Obviously the situation is a bit different from what it was at the start of last academic year, but things are moving fast and we hope to get more good people interested in doing a remarkable job. HOWARD PILOTT is national head of Initial Teacher Education at the ETF. For more information, visit etfoundation.co.uk/recruitment
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DIGITAL SKILLS GUIDE
Thirst for knowledge The ETF is expanding its fully-funded EdTech and Essential Digital Skills training offer in response to a surge in usage by the sector. Vikki Liogier explains ecent months have seen a remarkable surge of activity on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform – the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) user-centred online training service for developing use of educational technology (EdTech) and digital skills. Overall, more than 20,000 EdTech training modules have been completed on the platform with 8,000 EdTech badges awarded. EdTech module completions are now averaging over 3,000 a month and badge awards at over 1,000 a month. Although only launched in February, over 10,000 Essential Digital Skills (EDS) training modules have also been completed, with more than 2,000 EDS badges awarded. Users don’t have to register, but registrations have increased dramatically as users opt into the beneﬁts of participating in the learning community and managing their own learning. Analysis shows that those users are mainly teachers, trainers and assessors, but many managers are also participating. Nor is usage conﬁned to one part of the sector – it spans the full range of colleges, local authorities, adult education and third-sector providers, with a reach of over 1,100 organisations for EdTech and over 550 for Essential Digital Skills. What does this tell us? The spike in activity started around the time of the Covid-19 lockdown, so it is clear that
this appetite to develop EdTech and digital skills relates to supporting remote learning. We might have expected an initial surge of interest to abate. However, website analysis shows that it is not just new visitor numbers growing rapidly but also returning visitors are increasing month-on-month, so this interest is sustained and growing as engaged practitioners discover new learning.
Rapid growth In response to this engagement by the sector, the Department for Education (DfE) is supporting ongoing development of the platform to meet evolving needs. Thanks to the DfE, a further 50 EdTech training modules have been commissioned for delivery by the end of 2020. These new modules focus on support for remote teaching and blended learning to address the evolving learning situation. The initial 10 modules just released focus on teaching remotely and online assessment. All modules are mapped to the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF), the ETF’s national EdTech competency framework, with three stages of competency – exploring, adopting, leading – reﬂected in the level of material in the training modules from introductory through to advanced. In addition to further training modules, new features on the platform will help to promote practitioners’ metacognitive practices, foster communities of practice,
IT IS NOT JUST THE NUMBER OF NEW VISITORS GROWING BUT ALSO RETURNING VISITORS
and enable peer-to-peer mentoring and support. These new features will build on existing facilities based on user feedback. Practitioners can also share their own resources on the platform as part of the process of gaining digital badges. These user-based reﬂections and resources are gathered into one area of the platform – the ‘awarded practices wall’ – and this area will be developed further to promote social learning, pedagogic discussions and peer support. New EdTech award badges have also been introduced for two new roles – contributors and reviewers. It is not only individual practitioners who can beneﬁt from the platform – there is also a management dashboard facility for learning providers to track, support and recognise staff learning as part of a digital CPD strategy. To enable FE organisations to beneﬁt from this facility, the DfE is supporting a free, fully subsidised six-month subscription running to 31 January 2020. VIKKI LIOGIER is national head of EdTech and digital skills at the Education and Training Foundation
References and further reading Practitioners are invited to register on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform at bit.ly/323bsRD Learning providers interested in the management dashboard can find out more and subscribe at bit.ly/324ArUH To find out more about the ETF’s overall vision for EdTech, please read our recent article on ‘Learning Spaces and Communities – #ETFSupportsFE’ at bit.ly/3iTIbzp
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TAKING TEACHING FURTHER
ollowing various organisational and curriculum reviews and reforms, the further education (FE) system has been tasked not only with creating fewer yet more viable institutions, but also building new technical curriculum offers, whether T Levels or standardsbased apprenticeships. All have required building ever-closer relationships between providers and employers, as well as other key FE stakeholders. The reforms have been designed to build the skills needed for a dynamic and agile 21st century economy. Teachers will need to be able to motivate and inspire the next generation and share their workplace experiences while maintaining and updating their own skills on a continuing basis. FE will continue to need to develop effective two-way street partnerships with a range of
employers and recruit teachers with appropriate contemporary industry skills. The Education and Training Foundation’s Taking Teaching Further (TTF) programme is a Department for Education (DfE) funded initiative designed to do just this. Support is provided to FE colleges and other FE providers to ensure that industry specialists can join the FE system and work as inspirational teachers and tutors. Having already built their industry skills, FE needs to ensure that these new recruits have equally contemporary skills in teaching and learning, while effectively relating to both 14-19 and adult learners, building learners’ skills from entry level to Level 5 and beyond. Launched in June 2018, the TTF initiative is entering its third round in 2020-21. Initially identifying five priority areas, the third round is open to industry specialists looking to teach in any technical route and at a much larger number of providers.
Mutual support The Taking Teaching Further programme aims to help attract industry professionals into further education, and allow providers to give them the support and time they need to develop. David Smith, Colin Forrest and Clive Berry outline the progress made so far
THE MODEL IS INTENDED TO MAXIMISE THE SUPPORT FOR NEW TEACHERS IN MAKING THEIR TRANSITION FROM INDUSTRY TO TEACHING
The amount made available for each recruit under the Taking Teaching Further programme
The TTF’s funding ensures that £18,200 is made available to organisations for each teacher newly recruited directly from industry. The funding supports payment towards the fees for a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET) or higher, e.g. a Level 6 or Level 7 Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE); mentoring and work shadowing
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TAKING TEACHING FURTHER
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The TTF Recruit
quantifiable support; plus a through, period of reduced for example, timetable. ITE pensions, training and The model is Team development opportunities, intended to maximise the leave arrangements, and support for new teachers in positioning teaching as offering making their transition from a ‘career’ rather than a ‘job’. Many industry to teaching through the potential recruits were also likely phases of recruitment, induction, to experience drops in salary when work shadowing and mentoring, becoming part of the FE workforce and developing a full teaching and and uplifts were sometimes offered. learning portfolio. Recruits who were already qualified as teachers were excluded Recruitment from the scheme, although some Research commissioned by the DfE participants in TTF had experience in 2018 throws light on barriers to of training and/or mentoring in recruiting teachers in the FE sector. the workplace. New recruits with The sector itself, and the diversity previous experience of training of roles within it, are less well or mentoring often revealed a understood than the compulsory level of motivation that was not schools’ sector. Salary differences characterised through financial and in FE, between both schools and other benefits, but rather captured certain industry sectors, also in the desire ‘to give something emerged as potential challenges. back’ through teaching. In the first two rounds of the It became apparent that rich TTF programme, it was found internal and external relationships that conventional approaches to and partnerships were key to recruiting FE teachers, for example, successful staff recruitment and through the educational press, are retention. Human resources not likely to reach those in industry, teams were working closely with especially those who have not line managers, curriculum and considered a move into teaching. teaching/learning specialists and The providers engaging in the colleagues involved in the delivery first two rounds adopted a wide of formal initial teacher education. range of creative strategies to This rich dynamic proved to attract new recruits. Initiatives be crucial in the success of the included engaging industry-focused recruits’ TTF journey. agencies and membership bodies; holding specific recruitment events; using social media; tapping into Induction, work shadowing sector specific groups, for example, and mentoring those hosted by Local Enterprise Although the induction of TTF Partners or Combined Authorities; recruits aligned closely with that and using existing employer experienced by other teachers, the partnerships, such as those fostered funding allowed for wider support through apprenticeship delivery. than normal. Both new recruits To attract industry specialists, and their managers reported on the clear benefits also needed to be benefit of a multifaceted support articulated. These were often network that could respond to the
Carpentry tutor, Newham College
James Hamer became a carpentry tutor at Newham College in September 2019 after years of working in the carpentry industry, and was recruited through the Taking Teaching Further (TTF) programme. With his past of experiences of dealing with diverse colleagues and clients across different industries, James has ﬂourished in his transition into teaching. In his ﬁrst year in the role he has proactively stepped up to teach classes on his own in his ﬁrst semester on campus, as well as completing his ﬁrst year of a Diploma in Education and Training. Like all teachers in 2020, he also had to contend with the challenges that Covid-19 has brought. Within his class of 16-19-year-old learners, only two owned a laptop to do their classwork at home. In his class of adult learners, none of the students had home Wi-Fi. Having sensed the impact that a lockdown might have on his learners, James ensured that all practical modules were ﬁnished by the time lockdown arrived. He has since found that working remotely requires more personal support for students, and he often gets homework submissions through photos taken and sent on mobile phones. “Simply working at the best college in London isn’t enough to recruit and retain industry people,” says Lloyd Davis, director of curriculum and TTF project lead at Newham College. “The elements of the TTF programme are exactly what is needed and the liaison with the TTF team has always been supportive and timely.”
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TAKING TEACHING FURTHER
CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES TO RECRUITING FE TEACHERS ARE NOT LIKELY TO REACH THOSE IN INDUSTRY changing development needs of the recruit. These needs might be in building effective relationships with young people, building skills in teaching and learning, assessing, and providing feedback on achievements, or otherwise, or simply managing time in a new working environment. Central to the success of the project was the provision of additional time for the recruits to engage in activities and build experiences to socialise them into the expectations of their newly acquired professional status. Work shadowing was a key feature of the early weeks of employment, which took place across a range of contexts and settings. Opportunities were made available for trainees to develop an appreciation for different learning cultures, e.g. between health and social care, digital and construction sectors. Trainees were also introduced to colleagues from central quality and professional development teams, giving them insights into generic approaches, such as behaviour management strategies. It was clear that the TTF recruits highly valued this diverse range of support.
Developing a teaching portfolio
New recruits enjoyed multiple opportunities for feedback and review. Naturally, they were given some space to develop skills at their own pace and progress was aligned with engaging with the
DAVID SMITH AND COLIN FORREST
are Taking Teaching Further programme associates for the Education and Training Foundation
initial modules from the Initial Teacher Education (ITE) provision. Funding also allowed for several weeks of a reduced timetable for trainees to engage in-depth with their ITE programme, some time at Levels 3 or 4 initially, prior to Level 5 and beyond. The wider expectations of the role emerged for these new members of staff as they began their teaching. Examples included early engagement with assessment practices, safeguarding responsibilities and developing an understanding of students’ mental health needs, embedding English and mathematics, and supporting learners with special educational needs and disabilities.
Organisational impacts and benefits
is the Taking Teaching Further programme performance manager at the Education and Training Foundation
The programme provided increased potential for recruitment to priority sectors. In addition, the ITE recruits often added value from their varied experiences alongside their industrial expertise, e.g. working with disadvantaged young people, young offenders or communities in deprived areas. Opportunities arose to access refreshed insights into current industry practice including input into organisational resources, e.g. digital spaces were configured to closely replicate the workplace through facilitating ‘scrum’ and ‘agile’ ways of working. These contemporary perspectives from industry allowed for refined curriculum planning, including sequencing of topics, as well as real world problemsolving. Organisations therefore become better placed to respond, in authentic ways, to the expectations of the Education Inspection Framework. Recruiting colleagues from industry enhanced the range of expertise within curriculum teams. This particularly supported the
blending of theoretical and practical perspectives, allowing learners to gain contemporary insights into workplaces. Having recent industry expertise also enhanced ongoing links with employers, especially where the recruits had come from medium- to-large-sized employer organisations. Engagement with Awarding Organisations was also fostered, for example, where specifications or assessments are not reflective of current industry practice. As the programme enters its third year, the benefits may go beyond the expectations of the funding and in doing so align closely with the Gatsby funded ‘Teacher Education in FE’ initiative led by Kevin Orr. Orr’s focus on subject specialist pedagogy chimes closely with the TTF recruits emerging as very effective boundary-spanners, bridging cultural differences between industry and education and between theory and practice. The programme has meant that the trainees have not embarked on this journey alone but are navigating the complex and contested landscape of further education in the company of many others. It is this collective endeavour that is the real success of Taking Teaching Further and one that takes the government’s ambition for technical education a significant step further towards becoming a reality.
References and further reading Department for Education. (2018) Incentive programmes for the recruitment and retention of teachers in FE Literature review. Cooper Gibson Research. Available at: bit.ly/3kYAwBN Gatsby Foundation on Teacher Education in FE bit.ly/2YeApYZ Taking Teaching Further bit.ly/3lHHKKS
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upported internships, when done well, have been shown to be an excellent way of ensuring that young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can access real and sustainable jobs that match their skills and aspirations. Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable young people aged 16-24 with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Nationally, only 5.9 per cent of people with SEND gain permanent paid employment
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in the UK, yet best practice supported internship models are delivering transformative change, some with employment outcomes of 70 per cent, with an incredible 60 per cent gaining full-time permanent roles.
Evidence-based best practice Evidence suggests that a collaborative approach between businesses, local authorities, colleges and schools, and supported employment providers, partnered with a high-aiming, evidenced-based supported internship programme, can really transform the lives of thousands of young people with learning disabilities and autism. Programmes achieving high job outcomes typically include the following core components: The outcome of the programme is integrated, competitive employment
The amount of people who get full-time permanent roles at the end of a supported internship
Opening doors Supported internships are a proven way of enabling those with special educational needs and disabilities to access paid employment that suits their skills and the needs of employers. Claire Cookson and Teresa Carroll outline how they work in practice
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The focus of the programme is on serving young adults with learning disabilities and autism who can beneﬁt from personalised support in an intensive year of career development and internship experience The programme is a collaborative partnership using support and resources from education, local authorities, adult supported employment agencies, families and host businesses The programme is business-focused The programme leads to acquisition of competitive skills The programme is committed to continuous improvement Learners with an EHCP remain on roll at their school or college but are based full time with a host business. They are allocated a
job coach and supported through work rotations across the host business while also studying for an employability qualiﬁcation. Job coaches typically use the technique of Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI), which is highly effective in preparing interns for technical roles.
for a pass mark in an academic test to be set at 65 per cent, this does not work for practical tasks. Practical tasks need to be 100 per cent correct; you are hardly going to congratulate your car mechanic for setting your brakes at 65 per cent working efficiency! Second, work tasks require a different method of appraisal than is commonly used for academic tasks: in academic appraisal, feedback is more or less provided at each step of the thought process. If the same approach is applied to practical tasks (for example, saying “well done” following each of the 24 steps of the bike brake), then there is a real danger that the trainee will become dependent upon trainer rewards, rather than the
SUPPORTED INTERNSHIPS ARE A STRUCTURED STUDY PROGRAMME BASED PRIMARILY AT AN EMPLOYER
Why do we use TSI? TSI provides a structured approach to teaching vocational and independent living skills to learners with SEND. TSI has an emphasis on errorless learning and encourages decision-making by the learner, enabling them to learn complex tasks. There are fundamental differences between teaching academic and practical skills. First, although it may be suitable
5.9% The proportion of people with special educational needs and disabilities who have permanent paid employment in the UK
PLAYING TO STRENGTHS Ryan transitioned from a special school with an EHCP and progressed to a supported internship (with DFN Project SEARCH) at Whipps Cross Hospital. It was clear from the initial vocational and training profile that he had a good knowledge and understanding of IT software and his first rotation was in the outpatients new appointments team. Building on the skills that Ryan had developed in his first 10-week rotation, and a desire to do something technical, his second rotation was in the endoscopy suite where he spent two days a week working on the reception. The other three days he spent learning the skills to become an endoscopy reprocessing unit technician. This was a very systematic and technical role, ideally suited to Ryan’s learning style. His enthusiasm for the decontamination and processing of highly technical and extremely valuable (up to £50,000) scopes meant that he exceeded all expectations, so much so that his DFN Project SEARCH team, led by his job coaches from Kaleidoscope Sabre, started to apply for suitable vacancies, just six months into his internship year. He secured three interviews and was offered a full-time position at Charing Cross Hospital. As with all NHS jobs, new recruits must
first go through a trust induction, and the team ensured that he had the support of his job coach for the entirety of that process. Flexible endoscopes are complex, reusable instruments that require unique consideration regarding decontamination. Their external surfaces and internal channels for air, water, aspiration and accessories are all potentially exposed to body fluids and other contaminants. Once competency on the ‘dirty side’ was signed off, Ryan moved onto the ‘clean side’. Crucial to any role within endoscopy is topographical correctness; in other words there is only one way to perform all aspects of the job correctly. With the support of specialist job coaching, Ryan achieved competency in all areas and was signed off at his sixmonth probationary review. Additionally, a requirement of all endoscopy reprocessing technicians within this NHS Trust is the need to be able to work across three of its hospital sites, generally on a three-month rota. Ryan required support commuting to each site and getting accustomed to doing the same job but in three different places. Six years on Ryan is still in the role and has progressed from Band 2 to Band 3 and has worked, without a break, throughout the entire Covid-19 pandemic.
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RECORD-BREAKER intrinsic rewards for successfully undertaking and learning the tasks independently. Using this well-researched approach, many supported interns successfully gain technical jobs every year. At the Education and Training Foundation, we want to encourage all further education providers to have high expectations for their learners and to listen to their aspirations. Highquality supported internships (as delivered by DFN Project SEARCH) are just one way of ensuring that learners with SEND can access real work that can provide a foundation for happy and independent life. Our workforce development programme promotes this inclusive approach via our three Centres for Excellence in SEND; information, advice and guidance resources on Foundation Online Learning and is exempliﬁed in our recent publication, Tomorrow’s Leaders: a world beyond disability, highlighting brilliant things that some of our young people have achieved.
CLAIRE COOKSON is chief executive of DFN Project SEARCH
TERESA CARROLL is national head for inclusion at the Education and Training Foundation
References and further reading Dr Mark Kilsby, Training in Systematic Instruction bit.ly/2EOsN9d Centres for Excellence in SEND bit.ly/3lD3pUu IAG resources bit.ly/2EWlwns Tomorrow’s leaders bit.ly/2Z0bYz8
Evan did his supported internship year at Jabil, an electronics manufacturing company. Evan’s first rotation was working on a Takaya machine, a large piece of machinery that is used to quality-check the circuit boards that have been built on another part of the production line. There were several parts to the task, and it was essential that the process was accurate every time, to ensure that all the circuit boards were passed or failed, with a 100 per cent precision. The job coach from West Lothian Council spent several days learning the role with the supervisor and buddy from the department before Evan started. She broke the processes into clear and defined tasks, and then broke down each task into bite-size sections, creating a step-by-step guide made up of written instructions, with pictorials for each of the instructions. He asked for each of the pieces of machinery to be numbered, as he said that his brain learns and remembers by working through a numeric, chronological process, so the job coach and Evan labelled all the equipment in all the stages from start to finish. The job was extremely technical and came with a level of responsibility that really boosted Evan’s confidence. He very quickly learned every aspect of the role and was hitting 100 per cent accuracy within his first week. By his third week, his feedback was that he could complete the role to the standard of a paid member of staff – an outstanding achievement. Evan quickly illustrated his talent for remembering and understanding technical tasks, and halfway through his second rotation, his job coach found a vacancy at an aviation firm, which was seeking an employee to work on a machine similar to that of the Takaya machine, and telephoned the company for some more details. She explained to the manager that Evan would struggle in a formal interview setting, but if they were to give him a practical assessment, using written and pictorial instruction, she was confident he would be able to complete this with ease. The company agreed to give Evan a different task-based assessment and allowed his job coach to accompany him to the interview as well. Evan completed the practical tests in record time, with 100 per cent accuracy, and was offered the job the following day.
HE VERY QUICKLY LEARNED EVERY ASPECT OF THE ROLE AND WAS HITTING 100 PER CENT ACCURACY WITHIN HIS FIRST WEEK
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Shifting landscape The arrival of T Levels in England is a welcome boost in the drive to make our education system more effective. But their introduction will also challenge teachers, warns Paul Kessell-Holland here are long-running debates about what makes education effective, and there has been a great deal of attention paid in recent years to how to improve outcomes for young people learning technical skills. Why? From a teaching perspective, what does this mean? The ‘why’ has never been more important, as our world changes at an increasing speed. The nature of employment, the rapid evolutions in many industries, a wholesale change in our economy away from manufacturing toward service industries, and recently the availability of a large number of
well trained staff from across the globe – all of these transform the requirements of a good technical education in England. There have been a number of attempts over the past decade to solve the complex challenge of how to support young people in being ‘career-ready’ candidates for employment. Consideration has also been given to effective progression, both into employment and into further training. The Government plans for Level 4 and 5 qualiﬁcations will see these being listed as approved against IFATE standards aligning with those at Level 3 underpinning apprenticeships and T Levels. The intention is that there will
be a powerful, joined-up approach to developing a future workforce that helps the economy to thrive. Now, in particular, with the dual challenges of Brexit and the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and on employment prospects for young people, it is a positive step. It is also a challenge, and an ambitious change. What does this mean for teaching and teachers? For providers? Inevitably, any major change in policy, funding or qualiﬁcations has an impact on provision. We have already worked through the introduction of apprenticeship standards, the levy, exams in BTEC qualiﬁcations, and a range of other changes. T Levels are on the horizon, and there will be more developments to come.
Fundamental change The reasoning behind T Levels may perhaps help clarify things. They have two substantial expectations that did not always ﬁgure in previous qualiﬁcations – an extended period in work placement, and deep theoretical knowledge of a subject that is usually taught as a practical discipline. In effect, take a BTEC, add A Level theory requirements, a long period of work-based learning, an exam, and a summative end-point assessment that is similar to an apprenticeship in the same subject or industry. Put like that, any teacher who feels they will be just ﬁne without careful consideration of their own skills and knowledge has probably not realised just how big a change this new qualiﬁcation is
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ANY TEACHER WHO FEELS THEY WILL BE JUST FINE HAS PROBABLY NOT REALISED HOW BIG A CHANGE THIS IS GOING TO BE going to be. The ETF is delivering a T Level Professional Development programme to support all staff in making this change over the coming years, and everything we have learnt so far shows us that the sector is more than up to this task – but only if we all plan and think ahead. It really is not business as usual, or something we can manage at the last minute. The reassuring thing for any teacher facing this level of change is that technical education has always been evolving – we just don’t see it easily from inside the workshop. So how do we respond? First, staying up to date with industry is essential. So many technical teaching staff will enter the education system in part because of their long association with an industry or skill, but the pace of change is so rapid that we all need to keep up to speed with how the job we used to do is not the same any more. It can be as simple as reading a trade magazine regularly or visiting industry to keep up to date with the sector we train people to enter. Second, teachers need a deeper understanding of the theory behind their subject, no matter how practical it may be – sometimes more so than someone actually doing the job in question. The need to explain why something functions a particular way is essential – otherwise students do not have the chance to consider wider factors in their work – and how a tool does something is as important as why you should use it.
Third, and possibly most important, anyone involved in education should know how to teach. In the rush to ensure we are listening to employers and industries about what their perfect career entrant PAUL might look like, we should not lose KESSELLsight of the need for them to be well HOLLAND is taught, and to leave them with skills national head of T Level Design that last a lifetime. If the sudden and Higher Level changes of the last six months have Education at the Education taught us anything, it is that young and Training people need to be agile and able to move seamlessly in the job market – Foundation which is hard to do if your education did not open up horizons bigger than the course you were attending.
Future focus The very best of technical/vocational education has always tried to deliver what is now being asked. The direction of travel makes explicit the fact that young people train in FE to ﬁnd work, ideally to start a long career in an industry, even if they don’t enter the workforce for a few years after leaving college. The qualiﬁcations landscape still allows a young person to move to university – T Levels carry UCAS points – but increasingly politicians are telling us that the decades of ‘degree or bust’ messages to young people and their parents are over. Employers want young people who can seamlessly move into employment at whatever level they have trained to, and to have a system that allows them to support their new staff in retraining in ways that are most relevant to the industry’s needs. The Government appears to have listened, and it falls primarily on the FE sector to deliver. All of this puts clear responsibility in the hands of those of us lucky enough to teach young people and prepare them for the future. When was the last time you spoke to a local employer in your industry? When did you last send students to them? What do you really know about how their business works – even if you only left three years ago, that’s a long time. What impact has
the digital revolution had on your subject – it doesn’t matter if it’s in the speciﬁcations, your learners will have to cope with those changes and it is a teacher’s responsibility to help them. On the other hand, many employers will not directly ask us to teach their future employees a wider palette of skills than those they need. It remains incumbent on teachers to horizonscan, to ensure a strong grasp of underpinning ideas and theories, and to ensure that young people will be prepared not just for their ﬁrst job, but their fourth, or 14th. It is easy to see this as groundbreaking. It is also easy to say this is what we have always done. The truth is, it is what we always should have done. The world moves on, we all learn, we all grow. Technical education needs to constantly evolve just to stand still, and to do that we all need to take some time to pause, think, reﬂect, plan and learn.
T LEVEL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFER The ETF has announced the launch dates for its high-quality T Level professional development (TLPD) offer, which started to become available from 1 September. The TLPD offer will support providers delivering T Levels in 2021 in particular to ensure they are well equipped to teach T Levels on the very first day learners walk into the classroom or workshop. The core elements are: Training Needs Analysis Networks Industry Insights Understanding T Levels Professional Development for Leaders T Level Role and Route Specific Training Please fill out the online expression of interest form at etfoundation.co.uk/tlevels to receive direct and relevant updates. The form will ask for your role, region and T Level subject area, which means we can let you know as soon as the CPD most appropriate to you is available.
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