InTuition - Autumn 2020

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Issue 41 Autumn 2020

The journal for professional teachers and trainers in the further education and training sector


Sue Pember CBE pushes adult education higher up the agenda 19

The third sector delivers FE to those most cut off from society

What a post Covid-19 landscape could look like for the FE sector


How learning providers supported their local areas during lockdown 24

Broaden practice and develop skills with QTLS

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LEARNING FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW Have you bought your ticket yet?




Wednesday 4 November 2020 | Discounts available for bulk booking

Non-member tickets £79

Book today:


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T Level providers share their latest research findings

Findings of research into FE practitioners’ use of social media for informal learning


08 OPINION Views from David Russell, Anshi Singh and Steve Frampton

30 MENTAL RESILIENCE Teachers can benefit from the type of training that soldiers in the British Army undertake

12 ADVICE Teachers need to be resilient and cope with change

14 INTERVIEW Sue Pember CBE, director of policy and external relations for HOLEX

32 PODCASTS Experimenting with podcasts can equip students with new skills and ways of learning




Lou Mycroft on how the model is gaining traction in FE

The future ramifications for colleges, training providers, adult and community education institutions are huge

26 QTLS AWARDS Roll of honour for those successful QTLS teachers


MEMBERS’ CORNER 36 THE FORUM Eight SET member benefits to make your life easier

38 MY LIFE IN TEACHING Giuditta Meneghetti on falling into teaching – after a bet!

19 THIRD SECTOR Third sector organisations play a pivotal role in delivering further education to those who need it most, but the sector faces a number of challenges

21 COVID-19 RESPONSE During lockdown, as well as using more online learning, training providers went out of their comfort zone and helped out in different ways in their local communities

24 CASE STUDY: QTLS Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills allows training providers to develop their staff with the skills so that they can make a difference

39 BOOK REVIEWS The latest educational titles reviewed

InTuition is published on behalf of the The Society for Education and Training Redactive Publishing Ltd +44 (0)20 7880 6200

EDITOR: Nick Martindale

DIRECTOR: Martin Reid



SUBEDITOR: Vanessa Townsend PICTURE RESEARCHER: Claire Echavarry


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While every care has been taken in the compilation of this magazine, errors or omissions are not the responsibility of the publishers. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial staff. All rights reserved. Unless specifically stated, goods or services mentioned are not formally endorsed by the Society for Education and Training, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication. ISSN: 2050-8980


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Leaving a legacy The FE sector has adapted remarkably well to the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, but the legacy of Covid-19 will be felt for some time to come elcome to your latest issue of inTuition. The past few months have been challenging for everyone working in the post-14 further education sector, but I’ve been hugely impressed with how providers have reacted. Last issue we focused on how organisations handled the switch to remote working but many providers were also busy in their local communities, helping out the NHS and providing support to the most vulnerable in society. You can read just some of these examples on page 37. While Covid-19 has caused some very immediate headaches for all FE providers, it is also likely to have longer-term effects on the sector, and the different elements within it. Funding is an obvious area of concern, as is the need to ensure social distancing wherever possible. But there is also hope that this could lead to new models of delivery making use of virtual learning, and that a focus on both youth unemployment and adult education could bring about positive change for the sector. You can find out more in our cover feature on page 16. Adult education, in particular, is likely to play an even more important role in the coming years, and our interview with HOLEX’s Sue Pember on page 14 explains how the sector can help the country recover from the fallout of the pandemic. She also talks about her own career, and how moving between FE colleges and government has helped her in her current position. The third sector is another part of the FE landscape


that will play its part in the years to come, and our indepth feature on page 19 explores the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Make sure you don’t miss our practitioner-led pieces either, featuring articles from Lynne Taylerson (page 28), Jim Crompton (page 30) and Lou Mycroft (page 34). You’ll also find within this edition a bound-in supplement focusing on technical teaching, as T Levels start to become reality. The ETF’s own T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer is also now open for bookings, and you can find out more about this on page 15 of the supplement. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the past few months. It’s been great to see an increase in the use of our member benefits such as the expanded webinar programme, which I hope has been beneficial in the current climate. Finally, an important date for all SET members is our annual conference, which is taking place on Wednesday 4 November. This will be entirely online, but still with opportunities for networking, sharing ideas and valuable updates on the key themes affecting our sector, and sessions will be available afterwards for those who aren’t able to attend on that date. For more information and to book your ticket, visit


MARTIN REID, director, SET


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DON HAYES MBE on Hayes was one of the founding trustees of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF); he was a trustee from July 2013 to March 2019. Don sadly passed away on 27 April 2020. Don was born in Birmingham. He spent his childhood in Leicester, where he developed his lifelong passion for football, and lived in Nottingham from his teenage years. His dedicated career in the voluntary and community sector began in his mid-20s, working in youth clubs and on community projects in some of the more deprived areas of Nottingham. In 1988, he was employed to lead an organisation called Bestco, a non-profit-making partnership of voluntary organisations, which aimed to support the disadvantaged in their efforts to gain employment. He went on to work for Enable (an organisation that represents smaller voluntary FE organisations) from its formation. He was CEO of Enable from 2002 to 2017, and held several voluntary positions, including the chair and trustee of Fair Train. In


2002, Don received an MBE for his services to the unemployed. At his time of joining the ETF board, Don reflected (in a discussion with FE Week): “I still believe absolutely that voluntary organisations have a vital role to play. My particular interest is in deprived communities – people who are not accessing the opportunities that are available and always seem to be left behind. “Where there’s the creation of employment opportunities in cities, it’s about making sure they’ll actually get the jobs, and I see voluntary organisations as being key to that. We have to keep fighting because the voluntary sector kind of gets discounted or forgotten about.” In addition to being on the ETF board, Don was also the chair of the Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) from 2017 to 2020. Helen Pettifor, previous director of Professional Standards and Workforce


Development at the ETF, reflected that: “Every single one of the TSNLA board members were beavering away with the disenchanted, the dispossessed and the disinherited. They were experienced, wise and completely dedicated and they had seen it all before. “Don was one of them and very much an exemplar of the kind of quiet heroism of getting on with things and only making the gentlest but most effective of fuss whenever they saw an injustice and knew what needed to be done. “As Fields Wicker-Miurin says, true leaders know that it is not about them but starts with them; they build bridges and walk across them.” David Russell, CEO of the ETF, said: “Don had a long and distinguished career


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supporting the most socially engaged [at the] edge of the FE world, doing amazing work with teachers and trainers in the voluntary sector and adult education and training. “He was a most loyal, positive and sincere supporter of the ETF and then the Society for Education and Training [SET] when we created it. He often acted as the organisation’s better conscience, reminding us of the vital importance of responding to the needs of the small and diverse providers working in our sector.” Don joined the ETF board because he wanted to see the quality of teaching in FE supported and improved, and that the voluntary sector’s role

Registrations are now open for the next cohort of QTLS qualification

NEWS IN BRIEF In other news...

HE WAS A MOST LOYAL, POSITIVE AND SINCERE SUPPORTER OF THE ETF AND SET in this was not forgotten. He made a huge contribution to the ETF. His leadership, sector knowledge and commitment made a significant difference to how we established ourselves and then developed the support we provide to the FE sector. Don was a positive and powerful champion for the community education sector and made sure that its importance to the lives of so many was recognised across the country and by the Government. He will be missed, but his work will not be forgotten.

HIGH-QUALITY T LEVEL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFER LAUNCHED The ETF has announced the launch dates for its high-quality T Level Professional Development (TLPD) offer, which became available from 1 September. The aim of the offer is to support providers starting delivery of 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 offer includes personalised role and route-specific CPD journeys for T Level staff, created from a range of pedagogical and subject specific courses, modules, workshops and other activities. Applications and bookings for the Networks, T Level Resource Improvement Projects and Industry Insights elements of the TLPD offer are now available. Find out more at

REGISTRATIONS OPEN FOR NEXT QTLS COHORT The Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status registration window is now open. QTLS is the badge of professionalism for post-14 education

and training, helping practitioners advance in their careers and demonstrate their expertise and experience to colleagues, employers and learners. A portfolio will be issued on 1 October 2020 to each member who registers. A two-week period is then offered for all certificates, teaching timetable and CV to be uploaded as per the eligibility criteria. For more information about QTLS and how to register, visit

PROFESSIONAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BROCHURE NOW OUT ETF has published its 2020/21 brochure which summarises its professional workforce development plans for the further education and training sector in England across 2020/21, which includes significant support from the Department for Education. To access, visit

ESSENTIAL DIGITAL SKILLS PROGRAMME RETURNS The next phase of the ETF’s popular CPD programme to prepare sector staff to teach new fully funded Essential Digital Skills (EDS) courses for adult learners has been launched. The launch follows the Government’s recent announcement of Digital Skills Entitlement funding under the adult education budget for 2020 to 2021. Under the entitlement, adults aged 19+ who lack the basic digital skills they need for life and work will be able to access fully funded digital skills qualifications at Entry and Level 1. New EDS qualifications are being developed by


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awarding bodies and will be approved for funding as they are added to the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications. Find out more about EDS on the ETF’s Enhance Digital Teaching Platform: enhance.

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER SET Conference 2020: Learning for Today and Tomorrow is taking place on Wednesday 4 November, hosted by Tes columnist and #ukfechat host Sarah Simons. Due to current circumstances, this conference will be completely online, with sessions accessible on demand after the event, so you’ll be able to catch up with anything you’ve missed. SET is planning a fantastic day filled with digital breakouts, high-profile keynote speakers, and the opportunity to connect with speakers and delegates through live Q&As – all from the comfort of your home or workplace. Agenda highlights include keynote speeches from: Priya Lakhani OBE, founder CEO of CENTURY: How artificial intelligence will impact teaching and learning Sam Jones, advanced practitioner at Bedford College, and Jo FletcherSaxon, assistant principal at Ashton Sixth Form College, leaders of #FEResearchMeets: The story so far, the story as yet untold Palvinder Singh, group deputy principal NCG, Kidderminster

Receiv e regu lar upd the ET ates fr F on n om ew an CPD c d upda ourses ted and re well as sourc selecte d topic es as areas. Sign u p at etfoun dation newsle / tters

College: The social consciousness of the further education sector For more information and to book your ticket, visit

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR TECHNICAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIPS Applications are now open for the third wave of Technical Teaching Fellowships. The fellowships are open to exceptional technical teachers in the FE and training sector, and are awarded by the ETF in partnership with the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 following a rigorous selection process. Fellows are recognised as outstanding practitioners, with high-impact teaching practice, who deliver effective outcomes for their learners. To learn more and apply, visit technicalteachingfellowships

NEW PATHWAY TO ACHIEVING QTLS INTRODUCED SET has partnered with Nottingham Trent University to pioneer a new route to achieving Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. Those applying to Nottingham Trent to achieve their initial teaching qualification will now have the option to go on to work towards the QTLS professional status as part of a continuous course of study, rather than having to apply to work towards it separately after completing their qualification. Choosing to do so will mean paying a discounted rate for QTLS, compared to the fee for those who apply directly to SET after having finished their teaching qualification. Candidates choosing this route will also benefit from extra support, with the university offering on-programme assistance – such as virtual catchups or face-to-face workshops – to their students during the professional formation process. Find out more at





The fall in apprenticeship starts in May, as Covid-19 took its toll. Just 9,000 started a scheme, compared to 23,200 a year earlier, according to the Department for Education

80% The proportion of school, college and university leaders who want the university application process reformed, finds research by the Universities and Colleges Union

,000 000


The number of young people aged 16-24 who were not in education or training in the three months to June, down 28,000 from year before, figures from the ONS suggest


The amount individual colleges could receive as part of a £200m capital funding programme to help repair and refurbish buildings, according to the DfE


The amount to enable ‘small group tutoring’ for disadvantaged 16- to 19-year-old students, previously excluded from the Government’s £1bn Covid catch-up fund


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Rise to the challenges The world is currently being buffeted by a series of challenges and broader megatrends. The FE sector needs to respond to these but can also form part of the solution, says David Russell hat is the biggest strategic issue that FE teachers and trainers will need to be aware of in 2020/21? If I had been writing this column 12 months ago, I would have said “Brexit, and the FE sector’s opportunity to step up and play a leading role in a new social and economic settlement as we launch outside the EU”. If I had been writing it six months ago, I would have said “climate change, and the sector’s responsibility to step up and play a leading role in combatting it as it finally enters the political zeitgeist”. If I had been writing three months ago, then obviously I would have said “Covid-19, and the sector’s ability to survive but also pivot to radically new demands from the economy, society and learners”. Writing as I am in August, my answer today is “all of the above”. Each new strategic issue has not replaced the last; instead they layer on top of, change and amplify each other. There will be a White Paper in the Autumn, and a Spending Review. These



are important moments in time, that either move us forward and open doors for us as a sector – or fail to do so. But the really big underlying trends swamp anything a national government can control, and irresistibly shape the world we live and work in. The massive ‘megatrends’ that will continue to surge beyond all political control in 2020/21 are climate change and automation. Other strategic developments will matter a lot: Brexit, and whether the political polarisation that it exacerbated continues, or whether Covid-19 might have created what Professor Peter Latchford has called an “unfreeze moment” in which locked-in patterns can be changed for ever. Or, for example, Black Lives Matter, which is typically linked to the shocking death of George Floyd in the USA, but which is really a product of deep-rumbling resentments and injustices of centuries, which have burst through the surface precisely because the ‘unfreeze moment’ has created a new atmosphere in which it feels that things that seemed globally immutable could indeed be changed. So what does all this mean for professionals teaching in FE in our country? If the promised investment is not forthcoming – for example, if it is derailed by the cost of furlough, unemployment and other Covid-related costs and loss of tax revenue – then this will all be academic, because in the current underfunded system it is very hard to focus on anything except doing a good job and staying afloat. But, being optimistic, we need to think what

opportunities there might be to respond positively to the megatrends. FE is the part of our education system that has the most say about megatrends. It is the place where learners’ lived experiences meet new domains of knowledge and skill, and where their power to navigate the changing world is increased quickly and explicitly. So if our response to climate change includes becoming a net-zero carbon economy, the way we will do that is by spreading the knowledge and skills needed to live and work differently. Only FE can deliver this. If our response to automation is to equip our young people and adults with both the skills to work in upgraded technical jobs and excel in the human interaction that is still so vital to all of us; well, again, only FE can deliver this. And perhaps most important of all, FE is the part of the education system where at least half of the learning aims in the ‘room’ (physical or virtual) are brought by the learners themselves. Young people and adults know why they have come. Learning is an end in itself, but with adult learners it is always situated in their relationship with the world. So the megatrends that will shape learners’ worlds should never be far from the minds of teaching professionals in FE. In 2020/21, the ETF will be increasing its engagement and support on the issue of climate change and Education for Sustainable Development. We will also be at the forefront of professional development for technical teachers whose subjects are changing due to automation. But the most powerful mechanism for transformation is always collaboration; the ETF and SET will continue to promote professional networks and joint practice development that truly transforms and empowers teachers to take on the challenges facing us all – made stronger by being woven into multiple collaborative patterns of diverse fellow professionals.

DAVID RUSSELL is chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation


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Embracing difference Educators and training providers need to help eradicate any form of discrimination, allowing students and teachers to achieve their full potential, says Anshi Singh f you don’t see colour, you don’t see me. If you say you are indifferent to colour, ethnicity or background in your interactions, you don’t see me. I want you to see different colours. I want you to see different races. I want you to see different genders. I urge you to see that we come from different backgrounds. I want you to see that we are different. Because if you see me as I am, then you accept me as I am. Because it’s not about ‘you’ or ‘me’; it’s about our colleges which are committed to their communities. It is about where we want to be in terms of diversity and inclusion. It’s about bridging the attainment and achievement gaps. Every time there is a movement to increase the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people or an opportunity to voice an opinion, it makes me overtly positive that change is round the corner. But it also makes me sad that we actually need these movements to remind everyone that we are different and we have to be more inclusive, not just in our lesson planning but in our lives. A few years into further education (FE), an educator with high aspirations should be focusing on their teaching practice and leadership skills but I balance my full-time job with my work of representing the voice of the BAME community across the FE sector. Whenever I would talk to someone about my aspirations, my BAME colleagues and friends only had one piece of advice for me: ‘They’ will never let you into ‘leadership roles’. Their


I CANNOT GIVE MY BEST TO MY WORK, UNLESS I FEEL I BELONG AND STAND AN EQUAL CHANCE TO GROW argument was always backed up by data and experience. I cannot give my best to my work, unless I feel I belong and stand an equal chance to grow. Also, I realised, it is important that my fellow educators and students feel they belong and have a positive learning environment that promotes aspiration and equal opportunity for everyone. ‘Them’ vs ‘us’ is not what we need as educators building our next generation. As a sector that prides itself on education for people from diverse backgrounds, we must work together to bring change we want to see in society. The impact of ignorance of our cultural differences on our younger generation is something that will take years to repair and, with the decline in the ethnic visibility in senior leadership roles, it looks like we are not getting any closer. I have lost count of the number of incidents shared by students where they felt they were not trusted, not listened to or not given an opportunity because they are from BAME background.


No matter how much I tried convincing them, it did not change their perspective because the bias they face in their everyday interactions was far greater than what one Asian teacher was telling them. If you watch critical thinking discussions on #BlackLivesMatter by Scott Hayden on Instagram, it gives you an insight into how much representation matters for our younger generation. We need to push for the change collectively. Hosting a Twitter UKFEChat on the issue, and listening to my fellow educators’ views on how much they want to be part of this change, makes me feel that I belong and the work we are doing to raise awareness is heading in the right direction. The Black Lives Matter movements have given me the confidence to be who I am and say what I want to because I know people want to change and to be more inclusive. For my BAME colleagues, if my vulnerability – me being braver by saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes my way to represent us, either by writing an opinion piece or by standing up in a hall full of people – can bring hope to even a single person that they can aspire, grow and achieve what they want, then my work here is done. I am hopeful that I will see a change in policies, which will take pride in inclusion, and not on the quota or plans to fulfil diversity. I am hopeful that we will work together to raise awareness on different cultures and racial prejudice, and that there will be allies to lean on when we need support from each other. I am hopeful that when the younger generation start their careers as educators, their aspirations will not be bound by the facts and figures from various organisations, but they will be guided by the diversity of people they will see around them in different roles. Because I am hopeful – yes, I am!

ANSHI SINGH is course director for computing at Basingstoke College of Technology @TeachAnshi


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Time for action Armed with a new roadmap, the further education sector needs to act now to play its part in tackling climate change, says Steve Frampton any observers have been critical of the further education sector’s perceived slow response to the acknowledged climate crisis. Some have accused FE colleges of not engaging in the most serious challenge facing our post-Covid-19 world. Until early 2020, this criticism may have been true of many within our sector, due to a decade of underfunding, an absence of accountability measures, and very little strategic and practical guidance. Many principals and governors were lost, and student governors frustrated and anxious about the lack of action. But unless we are planning a sustainable green economic recovery, there will be no recovery at all. If we thought Covid-19 was a challenge, consider the impacts of truly global irreversible change affecting every citizen on our planet – economically, socially and psychologically. Many of our current, and especially future, students cite the issue as their



most important concern, and one which often leaves them anxious and stressed, and feeling powerless and frustrated. Many of them understandably took to direct action, as colleges didn’t have the organised activity outlets that could make a difference for these passionate young people who realised this was their generation’s future at stake. Six months on and the sector has come a long way. We now have a roadmap, co-constructed with the FE/HE climate commissioners, including fantastic students in our sector, and the support and expertise from the Nous group. Launched in June 2020 by the FE/ HE Climate Commission, the roadmap is the strategic guidance all FE colleges need. An accessible and straightforward balance of strategic structural guidance and practical actions for colleges starting on their climate change journey, as well as those further on in their initiatives, plans and expertise. The document has benefited from our FE colleagues in Scotland, along with our HE partners, who have shared their expertise and learning. This is the first joint FE/HE venture of its kind and highlights the need for a more collaborative approach to this critical agenda. Climate change isn’t a competition, nor is it a marketing tool. It also suggests we need to work with not only our current students, but also those who will be our future learners, currently in the primary and secondary sector. Any successful approach will need coordinated collaborative action across the entire educational ecosystem. The roadmap is action-rich, accessible

and practical. It provides our sector with what principals, governors, estates managers, staff and especially students really want and need, from easy lowhanging fruit all the way through to longterm energy investments. It provides us with great opportunities for co-construction and action. It looks at opportunities for how we operate and learn and implement proactive changes to our estates. We are encouraged to look at our transport strategies, and how our staff and students travel to college. Catering and other services, along with their supply chains, provide further opportunities for action, as does recycling, re-use and redesign of materials. WRAP provides excellent resources to help colleges in this aspect of their work. Some of the most interesting and innovative opportunities lie in co-constructing a more relevant, values-led curriculum that really addresses the needs of our students as global citizens. In its latest ‘Future of Assessment’ report, Jisc highlighted the potential of new technology to contribute to the climate crisis, as well as improve the quality of experience for students. The roadmap not only highlights the potential for reducing the negative impacts of how we operate, but also how this can improve the teaching, learning and assessment experience, along with improving the mental health and wellbeing of our students. It’s not a directive, but it does encourage us all to take meaningful action, establish a new college culture, and urgently. We can and must make a difference, and together the FE/ HE sectors can reach over five million people, so let’s use that mass as a force for positive change. We aren’t lost any more, but are on an exciting and critical journey, together. The FE roadmap can be found on both the AoC and EAUC websites

STEVE FRAMPTON At the time of writing Steve was president of the Association of Colleges. His term finished in July 2020


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Stay in


The ‘new normal’ means teachers need to be both resilient and able to cope with change. Sarah Lewis outlines a few tips to help you adapt

ven as the country’s FE providers start to open up, it doesn’t mean we are back to normal. We need to think instead of ourselves as moving forward into a new normal, and navigating this will take resilience and adaptability. Resilience is about having the resources to cope with unexpected, difficult or adverse situations. It is made up of three things: having resources, being aware of having them, and being able to deploy them. Together, they help us to bounce back from adversity. Being adaptable means being able to quickly and appropriately change our behaviour when circumstances change. Right now, this means teaching


under conditions of physical or social distancing, having to monitor students’ handwashing activity as well as their general behaviour, and being able to spot and challenge those looking feverish, coughing or generally ill. Many of our previous teaching strategies which may involve getting into groups, working together on projects, or sitting by a struggling student to offer hands-on help are no longer appropriate. Instead we must find new ways to encourage cooperation and collaboration, offer support and make learning enjoyable and effective. For both resilience and adaptability, being resourceful is key. These tips will help you build skills in those areas.



One of our biggest sources of personal resources is our own unique strengths. They are the things that are natural for us to do and that seem easy to us. We each have our own set of strengths. For instance, some people are naturally empathetic, others inherently strategically minded. Some of us are good at logical analysis, others are great at developing others. Sometimes, when we are stressed or anxious it is hard to believe that we can cope. In this situation, it can be helpful to remember other times when we did cope, when we got through a tricky situation or when we turned a situation around. Being in the grip of the present can prevent us from accessing resources from the past: our knowledge, our skills, our experience. We can discover these hidden resources by remembering our best experiences, when we weren’t just coping but really flourishing and excelling. Once we’ve brought these experiences to mind, we can mine them for tactics, strategies, ideas or conversations that really made a difference then and that might be useful now. Right now, we can remember our best experiences of teaching both during the lockdown and before. Think about what worked really well. How did you do that? How transferable is what you did to the current situation? Are there some principles of practice that you can extract but enact in a different way?


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We can also boost resilience by building our HERO abilities. These are made up of our states of hopefulness, optimism, resilience and confidence (self-efficacy). Add these things together and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In other words, although resilience is part of our HERO abilities, it is also boosted if we

can improve our sense of hope, optimism and confidence. Think about what gives you hope right now: Is it your ability to teach? Is it your students’ ability to adapt? Is it the future, maybe? What are you optimistic about? What good things can you see in the future? Remind yourself of your efficacy in the domain of teaching. What skills and abilities are you confident about, whether it’s skills in lesson planning or managing disruptive students? The more confidence and skills you have in a particular area, the easier it is likely to be to find a different way to achieve the same end.

L O O K A F T E R YO U R S E L F I N T H E N E W N O R M A L Follow safety instructions but, more importantly, understand the principles and apply them in different situations so you can be active in keeping yourself and those around you safe Manage your energy. Having to suddenly adapt our behaviour means we can’t run

on habitual lines, so it takes more energy even if you seem to be achieving less Re-prioritise, and then do it again when things change again. It’s very easy to assume the priorities stay the same even as the situation changes. They don’t. So take the time to think about what the highest priorities are now

Redefine your goals so you can succeed in the new situation. This is very important Create and recreate structure for yourself. Structure really helps because it reduces decision-making, which is taxing. Keep evolving new structures to your day or your life as things change




Our network contains people who find easy what we find hard. They can be a source of inspiration, uplift, practical advice, useful contacts and many other resources that help us cope. Exchange your strengths across your network. For instance, you might find it easy to use Zoom, Teams and other online resources to create great learning experiences, while your friend, who is not so good with technology, might have a library of short, funny video clips to liven things up. Think of your teaching team as a system of skills and strengths. Within that system trade and barter, swap and exchange, team up and share. In this way you extend your own resourcefulness considerably. In the first days back, you might like to have regular ‘what I learnt about working in this new way’ sessions where you each share your best learning from the day before.


principal psychologist at Appreciating Change.


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hen Sue Pember found out she was to be awarded the CBE for services to adult education at the end of 2019, to say she was surprised would be an understatement. “It was interesting because for the last five years since working for HOLEX I have been a bit of a nuisance or critical friend of government, depending on how you look at it, always there and always saying ‘what about adults?’,” she says. “It’s given me a green light to be an even stronger lobbyist.” Since 2015, Pember has been director of policy and external relations for HOLEX, the body for adult community education and learning. The organisation campaigns and lobbies on behalf of adult education community services, centres, colleges and institutions, pushing for greater recognition of their role as providers in the overall further education landscape. “We’d like to see adult community education recognised for what it does because providers work with people in our society that other organisations often forget about,” she says. “As well as supporting low-skilled adults into work we’ve demonstrated over the last few years that someone with a moderate mental health issue is better off going into adult learning than on a medical intervention programme.” More practically, she’d like to see the Government increase funding to the levels seen around 2011. The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to highlight the importance of the sector, which Pember believes will play a vital role



Driving force Sue Pember CBE has spent her career moving in and out of further education and both local and national government roles. It’s all led on to her current role, championing the cause of adult education BY NICK MARTINDALE


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in picking up the pieces. “Adult education was important anyway but it’s going to be even more important this year,” she says. “There are two parts to it. One is we have this legacy of adults with poor basic skills, so one in five has literacy issues and they probably have numeracy issues too. Then we will have maybe 2.5 million unemployed by the winter, and it’s no good just looking for jobs. We have to retrain people and put them into jobs for the future, so adult education is going to be even more important going forward.” Since 2011, providers in the sector have been encouraged to target specific local issues, she adds, such as high levels of unemployment or working with those with issues around language. She’s been impressed with how the adult community education sector has responded to the Covid-19 crisis, particularly its ability and willingness to embrace live online learning. “The main issue was to get devices to learners,” she says. “Many centres have done all sorts of things to do that, from approaching charities to putting a call-out in the locality for people to give up old kit and have it refurbished and upgraded.” The sector has been keen to get back up and running, she adds, knowing that those it helps are often escaping difficult home lives.

College calling Adult education hasn’t always been the focus for Pember. After qualifying as a teacher, she left her home town of Pontypridd and ventured to the east end of London in 1977, where she taught textiles at Redbridge Technical College and then moved six years later to Southgate College as deputy head and lecturer. “At that point I started working on a Manpower Services Commission project, which was all about matching the needs of employers and the actions of colleges in north London,” she says. “That has been with me ever since, based around the idea that our education system should be about getting people a job but also about giving employers what they need. That’s where I got my love of apprenticeships from.” This “second strand” saw her move into the Education Department of the London Borough of Enfield, where she took on

ADULT EDUCATION IS A GROWING BUSINESS, EVEN IF IT IS ONE WHICH SHOULDN’T BE THERE the role of deputy director of education across four colleges, the adult education service, and the youth and careers service. “I felt my key strength was that I was a trained teacher, so when we wanted to bring interventions in I knew how we could operate, because I understood how a college worked and how teachers reacted to certain things,” she says. She believes she’d still be in that position today had it not been for the 1992 Education Act, which made colleges independent of local authorities. “I really didn’t want to be a schools officer,” she says. “I loved the world of FE and at that point I thought I could go back to college.” She returned as the principal of Canterbury College in 1991, where she stayed for nine years, transforming a failing college into a highly successful establishment. It was there that she took on a project designed to widen participation in education across Kent, which would ultimately land her an OBE in 2000. “Whatever people enrolled, we’d assess their literacy and numeracy skills,” she


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says. “If they had low literacy or numeracy we’d work really hard to ensure they took that as well as their course, so they had a better chance of a job afterwards.”

Skills for Life The success of this project not only led to the OBE but also saw Pember move into government, working for the Department for Education and Employment, tasked with implementing the Moser Review and developing a plan to boost the literacy and numeracy of millions of adults, resulting in the Skills for Life agenda. “That was probably one of the highlights of my career because over 14 million people went on one of those literacy and numeracy courses, and it’s made a huge difference to getting people to Level 2,” she says. “Much of the legacy is still in operation today and has been embedded in the system, including the National Entitlements, which are written up in statute offering free literacy and numeracy for adults.” A later project was to drive the first Apprenticeships Review in 2005/6, which paved the way for getting apprenticeships back on the skills agenda. Pember says she believes the skills she picked up around building an evidence case and convincing people on the back of it have proved invaluable in her current role with HOLEX, which she describes as “gamekeeper turned poacher”. “In a way everything I have done in the past has built up to this role,” she adds. Away from the day job, Pember is currently a governor of both the University of Bedfordshire and Oakwood Secondary School in Horley, although both are due to come to an end in the near future. As for the adult education sector, Pember is hopeful its ability to tackle some of the issues that may manifest themselves in a post-Covid-19 landscape will help raise its profile and allow providers to expand over the next few years. “We just want the adult education sector to support the recovery plan,” she says. “It’s a growing business, even if it is one which shouldn’t be there. If young people were doing better at school, we wouldn’t have to teach numeracy and literacy to adults.” NICK MARTINDALE is editor of inTuition


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Changed landscape The Covid-19 pandemic caused huge disruption to providers when it hit the UK earlier this year. But the longer-term ramifications could be just as significant. Elizabeth Holmes investigates

s 2020 unfurled, it became increasingly clear that this would be a year like no other. By the beginning of March there was serious discussion, not about if schools, colleges and other educational providers would close to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, but when. Since then, Covid-19 has challenged us all, not least those in further education. By 23 March, many educational establishments had closed and life for teachers changed dramatically. Lessons were no longer face-to-face but delivered online or virtually where possible; an immense challenge for practical subjects and students (and staff ) who did not have access to reliable tech equipment and internet connections at home. The impact of this on FE may continue to be felt well into the future. Professor emeritus at Oxford University Ewart Keep, who holds the chair in education,



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described the training and skills current situation at the Department as a “potentially of Education at exciting Oxford University, says: “The cost of The amount of money pledged opportunity to deep cleaning alone to create more jobs for young look at more effective and varied is high. I worry people under the Kickstart ways of delivering that the FE sector programme education and will struggle with other activities”. the government’s She goes on to suggest that prisons expectations. There will be a lot could support the reopening of of online learning and practical education delivery through peer learning will have to take place support, for example self-study in small groups. There are cost groups for distance learning, reading implications to this, and finances groups and mentoring. Cooney also will be under strain.” points to the value of in-cell and selfProfessor of educational study supplementing face-to-face philosophy and policy at King’s education. Using larger spaces such College London Chris Winch is as gyms, libraries and worship spaces more positive. “This is a tough time may also help with the necessary for FE,” he says. “But politically social distancing. the shift seems to be back towards Adult and community education FE with the recent abandonment is also having to face up to the of the target of 50 per cent of challenges of Covid-19. Sue Pember, young people in England going to director of policy and external university. It could be an exciting relations at HOLEX, believes time for FE if a satisfactory model the pandemic could help to push is developed which does not rely the concept of a national lifelong on loans. We have a build-up of learning programme, which can help graduate under-employment which match up the needs of employers suggests that the current pressure with people seeking new skills. on young people to go to university “We’re one of the few countries may not be in the best interests of that haven’t got a strategy,” she all those that do.” points out. “For example, we need to understand what artificial Lasting legacy intelligence is doing and what Like many in the FE sector, Harlow the digital world requires, and to College principal Karen Spencer prepare people for that.” is thinking about the lasting consequences of Covid-19. “It’s too early to say how the pandemic Virtual learning will impact on our use of physical When Covid-19 struck, there was space,” she says. “At present, space an immediate need for virtual is at a premium... I would like to learning to be running effectively. see an adaption of spaces moving Yet providers are at different stages from ‘traditional’ classroom spaces of their digital and virtual journeys, to ‘industry quality’ spaces that which means practice varies across maximise the use of professional FE. “We began our digital strategy equipment and resources. six years ago and have worked hard However, this is costly and requires to embed technology as another tool significant financial investment.” in a teacher’s toolkit,” says Spencer. Other parts of the FE sector are “This made moving into an online also starting to assess the longerteaching experience simpler, as we term impact. In an article on the had a flipped approach to learning Prisoners’ Education Trust website, as a core part of our teaching and its head of policy Francesca Cooney learning strategy already.”

REFLECTIONS ON COVID-19 Covid-19 is forcing us to look at how we deliver education and training. It is a disruption that demands our attention. We also have to look at the physical, infrastructural elements of education. Perhaps this will encourage us to look at what has worked best in the past – the heyday of FE when we had youth workers who linked into the curriculum. Learning happened through informal conversations in the corridors then, but now the burden of that is on the teacher. I wonder if the big shock to the system hasn’t yet happened. We are planning for what the ‘new normal’ will look like but in the knowledge that our preparations are going to change. We have delivered online staff development and held online awards. We also do Q&A sessions for teachers so that we remain in dialogue about their needs. We explore students’ needs and whether we can effectively deliver that outside the classroom to ensure students remain engaged and not disadvantaged. My view of the Covid-19 legacy is that this is one of the greatest opportunities the education sector has had to do something different since the 1950s. We need a sector-led approach so that we can balance policy and grassroots change. We need to learn fast and fail fast. How do we plan our resources and how do we deploy our staff? We cannot continue with this 24/7 contact time.

PALVINDER SINGH is deputy principal at Kidderminster College


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Wellbeing will be short-lived unless we can give staff a mentally and physically safe way of working.”

Youth unemployment

THE MESSAGE FROM THE 1980s IS THAT YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT WILL LAST However, not all learning can be delivered online. “We have many students in practical disciplines – construction, electrical installation, engineering, professional cookery, and hair and beauty – who require access to specialist facilities and resources,” she points out. There are also considerations of learners with SEND; something that will impact on all providers in the FE space. “Our students with SEND have responded positively, on the whole, to learning from home,” says Spencer. “However, when we have probed this, they and their parents have often stated this is because they feel safer at home. We risk a whole group of people being disenfranchised from society without careful thought on how to tackle this issue.” The impact on staff is also something all providers will need to consider, as more education is delivered virtually. “We talk about blended learning but we haven’t really talked about blended work/ life balance,” says Palvinder Singh, deputy principal at Kidderminster College. “In the current climate, teachers are almost always on-call.

Don’t miss our interview with Sue Pember on page 14

The issue that is perhaps most pressing, and that many predict could define the next five years, is youth unemployment. Professor Keep points out that there is research which shows that the youth labour market has changed. “The Department for Education FE white paper, due this Autumn, could signal another round of changes at a time when the FE sector is experiencing significant strain,” he says. “Things felt unsure before the pandemic hit and now there is even greater uncertainty.” While some young people have evidently thrived through the lockdown, life was made harder for others. “In a tough job market,” Keep explains, “unemployed graduates will get the jobs. The message from the 1980s is that youth unemployment will last. This is an issue facing us potentially for years. Covid-19 and Brexit will both hit labour markets. No jobs for students could drive a coach and horses through our ability to attract and retain students in FE who need to work while they study.” For Professor Winch, there are signs that young people have been identified as a political priority. “There is a huge risk of youth unemployment and that can have scarring effects that young people carry with them throughout life,” he says. “There are signs the Government recognises this and it is important that the progress of apprenticeships, training and work experience initiatives is monitored closely. It is imperative to invest in training. Employers will have to play their part. The review of qualifications should keep in mind the fact that there is a danger of having endpoint assessments that do not take account of the integration of knowledge and practice.”

New initiatives In July, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £2 billion ‘Kickstart scheme’ to create more jobs for young people, as part of a package to try to prevent mass unemployment. But Professor Winch worries that short-term measures could detract from wider efforts to transform the FE sector. “New schemes such as Kickstart were announced very quickly,” he says. “There is a danger that innovations like T Levels will be swamped by new initiatives.” Yet it is not just young people who will need attention, points out Pember. “It’s not just 19-25-yearolds; there are also the 50-year-olds at risk of being made redundant,” she adds. “What we’re saying to Government, and particularly the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education, is this is an opportunity to really retrain people. Let them continue to claim Universal Credit or introduce a maintenance award and let them do something that will be a really useful qualification that will serve them for the long term.” The recent Government announcements around investment in education and training to bring about social and economic renewal have largely been welcomed by third sector education providers, but there are concerns about how this will play out in reality. “A lot of people are worried that the Government will try to reinvent a new supply chain, just funding large organisations or corporations, rather than the organisations already delivering services in the community,” says Stephen Jeffery, CEO of the London Learning Consortium, a third sector provider. “The Government needs to think hard about resourcing a sector that has been underfunded for a number of years, in a way that enables people to get back into work and upskilled. ELIZABETH HOLMES is a freelance author specialising in the education sector


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THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO THINK HARD ABOUT RESOURCING A SECTOR THAT HAS BEEN UNDERFUNDED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS harities and other voluntary organisations make a huge contribution to the FE sector. Some are education providers in their own right, while others provide services that enable colleges and other institutions to function or to deliver certain courses. Others pay fees or fund resources for students with specific requirements; or from particular communities; or who have been directly or indirectly affected by problems such as poverty, drug abuse, illness or disability. As Stephen Jeffery, CEO of the London Learning Consortium (LLC) – a community interest company that delivers skills and education programmes – puts it: “Third sector organisations play a critical role in delivering education for some of those who need it most.” The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has tried to split the UK’s 160,000 or so registered charities and voluntary organisations into sub-sectors based on activity, with the caveat that while some are entirely dedicated to education-related causes, for others, education is just one of many different charitable activities. Its most recent statistics, for 2017/18, show 7,421 organisations in the ‘education’ category, although clearly not all of these will be supporting FE. But it also lists 12,552 grant-making



foundations, some of which will be supporting FE-related causes and charities. Some of the organisations listed in the ‘culture and recreation’ sector (24,024) and some of the 11,757 parent-teacher associations will also be making some contribution to post-16 education institutions and causes. This huge range of different organisations includes some of the UK’s larger, well-known charities, but most are small and are often communitybased. The NCVO’s classifies 53 per cent of charities/voluntary organisations in the ‘education’ sector as ‘micro’ organisations, with a further 28 per cent described as ‘small’.

Coping with Covid

The Refugee Support Network supports around 500 young refugees and asylum seekers every year

Third sector organisations play a pivotal role in helping deliver further education to those who may otherwise be cut off. But the sector faces a number of challenges, by David Adams

Jeffrey says that about half of the smaller organisations LLC works with had to cease operations during lockdown. “About half carried on and some saw some growth in demand,” he says. “But for many it was easier to shut up than to carry on.”

Vital support AUTUMN 2020 INTUITION 19

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The Prisoners’ Education Trust was unable to put educational staff into prisons during the lockdown

education system; and help them with challenges that might distract them from education, such as problems with health, housing or poverty.” As an example, RSN has worked with a young man from Afghanistan since he was 15, finding him a mentor to support his maths and English studies, helping him progress through FE, then to apply for university and scholarship support. He is The crisis has also created now completing a degree in problems for much larger third computing and is working sector organisations working in with RSN to support other FE. The Workers Educational young refugees. Association (WEA), founded in The proportion RSN delivered many 1903, delivers courses throughout of charities of its services using England and Scotland. A sister and voluntary digital technology during organisation, Adult Learning organisations in lockdown, but some Wales, does so in Wales. Most WEA education that are students found it difficult learners live less than three miles classed as ‘micro’ accessing those services. from their nearest venue. Norman cites the case of The Covid-19 crisis has created a young man who was trying to complete unprecedented challenges, beginning with a Level 2 BTEC in plumbing and heating the suspension of all face-to-face learning engineering, alongside GCSEs in maths on 23 March. “At that point our online and English. “He needed to produce offer wasn’t as strong as it could be, but we enough work for his teachers to be able moved hundreds of courses online,” says to assess it but for most of lockdown he WEA general secretary and CEO Simon was working on a mobile phone,” she Parkinson. “It was an incredible challenge. explains. She praises schools and We did it by investing charitable reserves colleges that proactively tried to find in equipment and training.” out which students did not have access Another much smaller, much younger to technology and find ways to supply organisation, the Refugee Support them with laptops and Network (RSN), was launched as a local internet access. project by members of Community Church Harlesden in north London in 2009. It now supports about 500 young On the inside refugees and asylum seekers each year, Charities also make including unaccompanied children, in invaluable contributions locations across the country. to education inside “All our work is aimed at helping to the UK’s prisons. The address barriers to education for these Prisoners’ Education young people,” says Bryony Norman, head Trust (PET) has of specialist education and wellbeing supported more support at RSN. “Our trained staff than 40,000 learners members help them to navigate a complex in prisons since its


foundation in 1989. It funds distance learning courses in every prison in England and Wales, reaching more than 1,600 prisoners this way in 2019. It is funded by charitable trusts and foundations, individual donors and an annual Ministry of Justice grant. “Prison education usually focuses on literacy, numeracy and basic ICT, but we can fund many more courses, from GCSEs through to A Levels and degrees through the Open University; along with vocational courses, like bookkeeping, health and safety or horticulture,” says PET CEO Rod Clark. “We can help people with creative studies too.” Although it was possible to deliver distance learning during lockdown, the crisis made it harder for prisoners to apply for PET-supported courses, as educational staff in prisons usually help with this process and they were not present in prisons. This led to a 25 per cent reduction in applications to PET courses. In April, with the assistance of a targeted fundraising campaign, the charity launched a freephone advice line for learners in prison. By early July it had taken more than 300 calls from 150 learners in 60 prisons and from prisoners’ family members.

Future funding There is an appreciation of the contribution these organisations make to FE within the education sector – in 2019 AELP launched a Third Sector Special Interest Group, with the aim of giving them a more powerful voice, while raising awareness of the value of their work. But Parkinson is concerned about the prospects for organisations effectively operating in two sectors that are both in desperate need of secure long-term funding; and against a backdrop of economic turmoil: “We are in for a hard economic recovery; and I have concerns about the longer term funding of communitybased learning, when the pressure really comes on the public purse.”





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Lockdown presented huge challenges to education providers up and down the country. As well as rapidly switching to online learning, many also were keen to help out in their local communities BY JO FARAGHER

s if coping with the sudden transition to virtual learning wasn’t enough to keep learning providers busy during the Covid-19 lockdown, many also supported their community. Whether it was offering up college facilities to produce vital personal protective equipment (PPE) or distributing food, many found a heightened sense of purpose within their local area. Learning Curve Group, for example, donated £20,000 to an emergency Covid-19 fund to support community groups. “One of our business values is to ‘do the right thing’ and I don’t think we could go back to our colleagues and, most importantly, our learners authentically without doing everything we could to help as many people as we could throughout the pandemic,” says CEO Brenda McLeish. We profile the efforts of several organisations, which have benefited not just the communities themselves but boosted engagement among staff and students.






‘As far as nursing training goes, this is possibly the best introduction anyone could have’ Facing the loss of classroom and industry placements due to the Covid-19 lockdown, students at Gateshead College managed to get some first-hand work experience they had not expected. Eightyeight health and social care students from the college spent 12 weeks attending crisis care briefings and working on criticalcare coronavirus hospital wards or in local care homes. “While the college switched to a 100 per cent virtual working environment following government closures, one of the biggest challenges we faced was ensuring practical-led courses were still given adequate hands-on support throughout lockdown,” says Chris Toon, deputy principal. “For our health and social care students and apprentices, Covid-19 provided the opportunity to step up and take on new responsibilities. Many of our students have been reassigned to specific Covid-19 care roles where they’ve been able to put everything they’ve learnt on their course into practice, gaining valuable on-the-job experience.” One student, Sophie Graham, is due to start a nursing science degree at Northumbria University, and was redeployed to the frontline to work in critical care on the coronavirus wards. “As far as nursing training goes, this is possibly the best introduction anyone could have, it’s a massive learning experience,” she says. Her studies on how humans battle disease helped her understand the decisions being made around treatment for coronavirus patients. She also gained a more in-depth knowledge of infection control and using PPE. Staff at the college have also done their bit for the community, making knitted


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hearts for patients receiving treatment at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The college’s ‘knit and natter’ group knitted hearts in pairs to help those who can’t be with their loved ones in hospital. One knitted heart stays with the patient and the other with family. “Because of social distancing measures, we were unable to meet so I came up with an idea of knitting together virtually,” says digital innovation and IT manager Helen Richardson. “We just had to get involved and give a little something to those in need during these uncertain times.”



‘We have been an anchor institution during a difficult period’ Barnsley College was one of many institutions that redirected its resources to help out during the pandemic. Working in conjunction with local businesses, the Barnsley Digital Media Centre and the local library, they used cutting and 3D printing equipment from the art, design and fashion department to make an initial batch of 2,500 visors for Barnsley Hospital, donating money for the materials for a further 1,000 to be made. It was a collaborative effort, with a local web design business developing a visor design and delivering a prototype for the hospital to approve. This was just one of a number of projects the college was involved in at the height of the pandemic. College tutor Sarah White established a network called ‘For the Love of Scrubs’, which provided over 100 sets of protective equipment for health and care workers, with volunteers buying their own fabric or donating to support, as well as supporting distribution. Meanwhile a cook in the college’s catering services department, Daniel Lambert, was busy in the kitchen at Barnsley Hospital helping to prepare meals

for NHS staff working on the Covid-19 wards. Other initiatives have included donating PPE to the hospital as well as chemo suits, protective glasses and gloves. Assistant principal Liz Burkey volunteered with a food bank in Sheffield while the catering department donated soft drinks, crisps and confectionery to the cause. Construction technician Arran McCallum, meanwhile, spent a week at the London NHS Nightingale hospital as a St John Ambulance volunteer. Yiannis Koursis, principal and CEO at the college, says he is very proud of the many ways in which staff and students have contributed. “It has enhanced our connection with the local community – we have been an anchor institution during a difficult period,” he says.



‘We’ve got parents onboard who may have felt uncomfortable accessing education in the past’ Pat Carrington, principal of City College Peterborough and assistant director for employment and skills for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire City Councils, needed to keep facilities open when lockdown restrictions were enforced, but also stepped up to respond to the crisis demands of the local authority. She says: “We had to stay open as we have vulnerable young people who access our services, as well as key workers’ children and adult social care centres. The buildings were open so we thought what else can we do for the local community?” The colleges and centres received a weekly delivery

WE HAVE BEEN AN ANCHOR INSTITUTION DURING A DIFFICULT PERIOD of food from the charity FareShare but had no students to feed, so put together a team of catering, facilities and teaching staff to produce hot meals for vulnerable residents or those who would normally have had free school meals. They also provided a ‘meals on wheels’ service for a local housing association where some residents had not qualified for government support but were unable to secure online supermarket deliveries. “The first time we did it we cooked 20 meals,” says Carrington. “But we soon became more efficient and cooked 200 a day. We worked with another charity to deliver packed lunches to local homeless people who had been put into hotels.” Peterborough and Cambridgeshire library services created a website for people who were shielding to access learning and reading resources to keep them occupied. Some college staff even added craft or gardening


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videos, and the site will remain up once the pandemic has passed. Staff were also involved in assembling craft packs for families and scrub bags for NHS and care workers. Aside from the immediate benefits for vulnerable residents, the activities the colleges have been involved in have provided some positive publicity. “This puts us on the radar of some of the most vulnerable families, and we’ve got parents onboard who may have felt uncomfortable accessing education in the past,” she adds. “We’re using our civic role to bust the myth that ‘education is not for me’.” It’s boosted staff engagement, too. “Everyone wanted to do their bit and there was a camaraderie of people wanting to work together to support each other,” says Carrington. “It’s also built bridges between departments and work areas, giving a deeper understanding of how we can work collaboratively.”



‘One learner described learning to make these as one of the blessings of lockdown’ While hundreds of small firms and independent makers were stitching together masks for health and care workers during the pandemic, volunteers in Hertfordshire’s Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS) saw a gap in the market for ear-protectors.

“These are something you can wear at the back of your head with a button to attach a mask to, to stop your ears getting sore from wearing a mask all day,” explains Wendy Nurse, marketing and outreach manager. Learners and staff alike jumped at the opportunity and started producing the protectors and sending them out free of charge. But there was an additional benefit, adds Nurse: “One learner described learning to make these as one of the blessings of lockdown, while it has expanded people’s technical and digital skills. They’re not just learning how to sew, but how to use online meeting tools such as MS Teams.” HAFLS brings together a number of different services, and lockdown really brought them together to support the community. The Building Better Opportunities group, which supports employability in the community, set up a Zooming cafe so its users could enjoy a quiz or virtual coffee morning. “A lot of people come to their courses for the social aspect, so this had a huge impact,” says Nurse. One of the organisers even received a certificate from the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire for being a ‘hero of Hertfordshire’. Additional community courses, such as e-safety for children, virtual interviewing and life after lockdown have been oversubscribed. The impact has been so positive that HAFLS hopes to expand the number of virtual courses and services it offers after the pandemic subsides. Staff have expanded their own digital knowledge and now feel more comfortable running courses online. “We won’t go backwards, this is our chance to offer more support to more people, and this will filter across all of our partnerships,” adds Nurse.



‘We donated vans full of food, packaging up to 800 meals a week to support children’ Students and staff at South Devon College have rolled their sleeves up ever since coronavirus began to impact the community, producing PPE for


local health services and using 3D printers to produce visors. The college developed an open-source design that could be replicated by businesses and other colleges across the country. One of the biggest ways the college helped out was working in partnership with RE4orm, a community interest company based in Torbay that looks after vulnerable children and families. “We run our catering in-house and knew this would be closed, so looked into how we could donate,” says principal Laurence Frewin. “We donated vans full of food, packaging up to 800 meals a week to support children, some of them our own learners.” Students and staff volunteered with deliveries. The college’s virtual art exhibition – where students showcased their end-of-year work online – also had an impact on the wider community. “It brought together people from all over the world; people were connecting remotely and we were doing something differently,” he adds. Additionally, performing arts students have been raising awareness of a struggling local theatre in Paignton, performing poetry on stage and keeping it at the forefront of the community. The college has also worked with local firms to help them understand the government’s furlough scheme and to ensure that apprentices were supporting employers while they were not able to physically attend college. “There were a number of people who didn’t know what the college did or what we can offer,” says Frewin. “We’re not just here to provide education, we have a bigger part to play. This has been a good way to prove that.” JO FARAGHER is a freelance journalist and former editor of Tes magazine


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MAKING THE DIFFERENCE t’s arguably more important than ever to recognise your teachers’ and trainers’ commitment to what they do. Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status is a great way to acknowledge how they’ve developed their skills and broadened their teaching practice, and it’s a nationally recognised status underpinned by a set of professional standards. Lawrence Barton, managing director of training provider GB Training, counts QTLS as part of the company’s “continual development strategy for tutors to offer an outstanding curriculum”. A number of the company’s trainers have demonstrated the skills and qualifications necessary to gain the status, and there has been a marked increase in their confidence that has in turn been passed on to other colleagues. “It’s given people higher levels of motivation and insight,” he says. Tracey Bedford, curriculum lead for health and social care and functional skills at GB Training, recently gained QTLS status and says it has reignited her passion for learning. Since achieving the status, she’s helped to develop and


facilitate a CPD programme for more than 40 staff, in which she trains tutors and assessors on techniques, shares tips on active learning and how they can improve their training practice. She hopes to gain Advanced Teacher Status, which recognises experienced teaching professionals who can demonstrate mastery in their teaching or training. For her, QTLS is a crucial stepping stone on that journey. Victoria Harte, director of quality at GB Training, says that the benefits of supporting staff to achieve QTLS go beyond career advantages for the individuals themselves: “QTLS has not only had an impact on Tracey’s teaching practice, but also company-wide. Tracey has been able to share her expertise and support tutors in developing their own teaching approaches, broadening their understanding of learning theories and then putting these into practice in the classroom. A focus on higher order skills also

supports the development of curriculum, particularly at higher levels.” Those who have attended her courses feel equally enthusiastic about her development. Stacey Hall, who attended a ‘train the trainer’ course, says she did “something I never thought I’d do” thanks to Tracey’s encouragement. “I stood up in front of strangers and gave a presentation in a classroom, feeling very proud of myself, thanks to a fantastic tutor,” she says. QTLS is an ideal next step for those who have completed their initial teacher training or who have some experience of teaching. It is recognised in law as having parity with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which means those people can also work in schools. Those who gain QTLS feel it has boosted their career prospects as employers are looking for teachers and trainers who are committed to improving their practice. It can open doors too, as many jobs include it as a requirement.



Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status allows training providers to develop their staff with the skills they need to teach with confidence


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ICT lecturer, Bucks College

Curriculum lead, health and social care, and functional skills for GB Training

Business studies course manager and teacher, Richard Huish College, Taunton

Three years ago, I completed my Diploma in Education and Training (DET) with the University of Warwick, in collaboration with Walsall College. My decision to undertake QTLS re-ignited my passion for learning again. For me, it’s not about ticking boxes to satisfy CPD requirements; it is because I thrive and enjoy it. I’ve loved the QTLS journey. When I went through the Professional Formation process, it helped me to challenge my practice by using the Professional Standards. I had already been using them to self-evaluate as part of my DET, so this helped me to look at what I needed to develop to fine-tune my teaching practice. As a result of my QTLS, alongside the quality director, I’ve helped develop a programme of staff CPD for more than 40 staff. This involves training tutors and assessors on question techniques, active learning, reviews, and everything they need to do to improve their practices as educators. I deliver this programme on a rolling basis, so that’s a much-improved platform of learning than there was previous to my achievement of QTLS. In addition, I’ve sat on a board to introduce the UK’s first LGBT qualification and have been part of that group to write those standards. This addressed a gap in LGBT awareness among staff, so we have done something to change that. My advice to anyone considering QTLS is to absolutely do it. You face a commitment to be honest with yourself, see what you can improve on and make changes. They might be small changes, but they will make all the difference.

I have been teaching since 2005, and in my current position for five years. I completed my PGCE in 2006, but then had my three children and put QTLS on the back burner. After a couple of years I found myself wanting more, and felt it was the right time to undertake QTLS. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, and feel more confident as a person. I thrived on being observed, and working on my QTLS helped me to get to know people in other departments. I found the most important source of support came from the QTLS Facebook Group. I was able to talk to people who were going through the same process or had completed it themselves. My supporter was also useful because I was being a bit too harsh on myself when it came to the self-assessment. I feel I have pushed myself to be a better teacher. Through doing QTLS, I asked my students to provide me with feedback (this was optional and anonymous). As a result, I came to understand my students better. I might have thought I had given a good lesson, but I also had to ask myself whether I had considered every single student in that room. My students’ feedback showed that, from the start of my QTLS journey to the end, they felt they had a much more positive experience. There are quite a few people who work at the college and don’t have QTLS. They have already started approaching me for advice. I would love to be in a position where I am able to help others through the process.

When I finished my computer sciences degree in 2012, I decided to go into teaching in further education, which I achieved by completing my PGCE in FE. My main reason for undertaking QTLS status was to expand my horizons. I discovered that with QTLS you can work in secondary and FE, which was a big draw for me. One of my objectives with QTLS was to explore ways we could get our students to experience the employment environment. I can see the impact this has had on my students on visits where they can see programmers in action. They can now see how relevant their course is to work in the industry. My manager has also noticed a difference in my students’ motivation through them having this exposure to the workplace. One of the things I’ve discovered is that I’ve never really had time to reflect on the way I used to teach. After completing QTLS, I’ve found myself thinking more about what has gone well in the lesson, what I did wrong and how can I improve. The lesson I might have taught to a group today may be slightly different to how I’ve done it previously, because I’ve found out something that I wasn’t doing right, and therefore I’ve changed it for the next group. My advice to others considering undertaking QTLS is that, yes, sometimes it will be hard when you are working and trying to do everything, but hang in there. You just need to follow the portfolio stepby-step and try not to cut corners. If you do what you say you want to do, you will see the benefits of it.



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ROLL OF HONOUR So far in 2020, the following individuals have successfully completed SET’s Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills programme. Congratulations to all! M AY 2 0 2 0 Aaron Quinn Abdel Wahab Ydri Abigail Walker Adam Lingard Adio Lawrence Fagbayi Afsha Sabir Ahmed Noor Aicha Daffe Aikaterini Kyriakidi Ailish Byrne Alexander Liptrot Alexander Pryor

Ali Hussain Althea Peterkin Amanda Corns Amanda Elkin-Caunt Amanda Smith Amber Dumbill Amy Chatwin Amy Clift Amy Harrison Ana Rebelo Andrea Tracey Andreas Scholz Andrew Brench Andrew EminsonSmith Andrew Richardson Angela Brierley Angella Watson Anita Mason Anja McCarthy Anna Clarke Anna Gundel

Anupma Aggarwal Aralola Ojo Arooj Idrees Arya Mohan Ashleigh Keegan Ashleigh O’Callaghan Ashley Rennison Atlanta Wiggins Ayo Omisore Barbara GreenPeppitt Barry Hernandez Becci O’Day Becky Smith Belinda Doldan Ben Hacker Benjamin Barlow Benjamin Rowe Beth KendrickThomas Beth Masterman Bethany Ashton Bethany Bates Bethany Smith Bobbie Stevens Bobby Evans Bonnie Taylor Boruch Krasner Bosede Jarinat Asabi Tijani Callum Farrell Callum Freeman Cara Hodson Cara Mellor Carey Simpson Carolina Sanches Artico Caroline Kirk Caroline Ward Catherine Platt Cebert Crawford Chad Diver Charles Simpasa Charli Bignell Charlie Cole Charlotte Ellis Charlotte Grace Charlotte Jagoe Charlotte Price

Charlotte Ripley Charlotte Taylor Chaudhry Fiaz Ahmed Chelsea Elsbury Chelsea Fitzgerald Cheryl Sweetmore Chey Bryce Chloe Harvey Chloe Holt Chloe Simons Claire Davey Claire Davies Claire Hewitt Clare Brazil Clare Mcgeehan Clare Thomson Connor Hotson Connor Simmons Connor Waite Corey Roebuck Craig Reed Cristian Nardoni Cristina Bogaciuc Daniel Cuddihy Daniel Hunter Daniel Leyland Daniel Pugsley Daniel Sharp Danielle Kirkpatrick Darren Jones

David Belgrove David Crofts David Merrilees David O’Donovan Deborah Tucker Deirdre Lennon Diane Cooke Dibugwu Ogbonnaya Dietrich Christie Dolores Taylor-Keane Donna Wilson Duncan Mason Elaine Payne Eleni Danias Elizabeth Adejoke Aiyegbayo Elizabeth Kirby Elizabeth PalmerSmith Elizabeth Ward Elliot Bradshaw Emily Dawe Emily Hales Emily Jane McCartan Emily McCartan Emily Reynolds Emily Rokita Emily Williams Emily-Jane Heaton Emma Balaam Emma Briggs Emma Burtenshaw Emma Carmody Emma Cox Emma Edwards Emma Foxley Emma Frith Emma Osejindu Emma Simmons Emma Terrell Emma Winter-Bates Emmanuella Osejindu Eric MacVicar Ethel Bamberger Fatima Ahmed Faye Parker Faye Taylor Felix Turkson Gabrielle Woerndl

Gail Carter Gail Maddix Gareth Morris Gayle Lusty Georgia GordonMartin Georgia HankeyHollis Georgina Jackson Gina Gorvett Hanette Eugenie Ngo Ikeng Hannah Cottrell Harriet Woolston Hasina Ali Hayley Turner Hazel Friel Heather Oughton Helen Gardhouse Helen Sunter Helena Phillips Henry Craven Holly Hickman Holly Smit Ian Dowson Ian Parkhouse Ibrahim Ahmed Inderpal Singh Makh Iram Ellahi Iram Khan Irene Mwai Irma Kock Isaac Draper Isaan Raza Jack Douglas Jack Ghee Jack Harris Jack Winn Jackie Tonks Jacob Locke Jacqualine Victory Jade-Kimberly Sterling James Broad James Derbyshire James Hudson James Kirkham James Laird James McAlpine

James Phillpotts James Pollard James Purslow Jamie Tomlinson Jane McCullim Jasmin Omotunde Jay Dann-Finch Jenna Marlow Jennifer Craven Jessica Ballantyne Jessica John Jessica Larkin Jessica Matthews Jessica Roberts Jethro Harper Jo Button Joanne Harker Joanne Joseph Joanne Wright Joe Glancy Jonathan FortescueNorris Jonathan Sohotha Jordan Fishwick Julia Acklam Julia Musson Juliana Chika Okuma Ngene June Cowles Justin Mason Kara Williams Karen Turner Karenjit Bahia Kate Allison Kate Hart Kate Shortland Katherine Jones Katherine Nash Katherine Oldershaw Kathleen Grey Kathryn Grant Katie Hadley Kawsar Ahmad Kayleigh ParrottGoldthorp Keeley Prigmore Keiran Blaszczyk Kelly Bates Kelly Westcott

Kerry Fisher Kevin Blow Kevin Farrow Khadro Diriye Kieran Gilberthorpe Kim Tucker Kimberly Van Belois Kirsty Filewood Kirsty Geddis Kirsty Latimer Kristy Horton Kyle Cambray Kyle Watson Laith Jundi Laraine Harbottle Laura Bell Laura Buckenham Laura Collis Laura Conlon Laura Greenfield Laura Martin Laura Picknell Laura Saunders Laura Smiles Lauren Harris Lauren Sage Lauren Veasey Laurence Dalton Lee Clarke Lee Fairbrother Leigh Shelton Lesley Pilkington Lewis Hager Lia Kinane Liang Chen Lianne Dye Linzi Gladwell Lisa Robertson Lisa Rogers Lora Scott Louise Davies Louise Shreeves Lucy Maiklem

Lucy Mallett Lucy Skipper Lukasz Miecznikowski Lynn Baker Madison Proffit Mahmoda Khanom Maia English Maimuna Faal Manuel Arocas Marcus Gan Marie Glynn Marie Kemp Marissa Napp Mark Gurwe Mark Pierzchalski Martin Aldred Martin Edgar Mary Hall Mary Tanimowo Mary-Ann Smith Matthew Evans Matthew Fieldhouse Matthew Hartill Mckhylla FolkesHunnigal Megan Fowler Megan Lockey Megan Nuttall Mehdi Jafari Mehdi Jafari Javadi Melanie Newton Melanie Nichols Melissa Jones Menachem Shein Michelle Cooper Michelle Katz Michelle Lobb Michelle Sharp Mihaela Manole Mitheka Sylvian Mohammed Nadeem Mohammed Rohail Aslam


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Mohini Mistry Monica Dhak Muhammad Khan Mundeep Karir Natalie Everard Natalie Turnbull Natasha Yakubov Neil Riley Niall Thompson Nichola Brook Nicola Currier Nikki Thornton Nina Sharp Nisha Janagal Noman Ahmed Awan Nomie Deborah Morris Olawale Michael Kolawole Olly Rees Olusola Taiwo Omar Mohammed Rafiq Ousha Kissoon Paige Dawson Patrick Ogbonna Paul Astles Paul Cook Paul Foy Rachael Collins Rachael Crooke Rachael Kershaw Rachel Carter Rachel Dauber Rachel Doherty Rachel Guilbert Rachel Olisa Rachel Whetstone Rachel Winter Rakeya Shah Rebecca Chalkley Rebecca Haskew Rebecca Hutchison Rebecca Padgett Rebecca Pollard Rebecca Rowden Rebecca Samuel Rebecca Simpson Rebecca Travers Rebekah Clee Rebekah Gunn Rhys Jones Richard Blagden Richard Murr Richie Carman Robert Childs Robert Greenall Roisin Whyte

Romina Mezzatesta Rosemarie Back Ross Smith Roxane Stone Ruth Ives Ryan Allen Ryan Hathaway Sabah Ghaffar Sadaf Raza Sally-Ann TurnerGreen Samantha Bridle Samantha Cope Samina Qureshi Samuel Charlton Samuel Kenny Sandra Bartley Sara Parker Sarah Carty Sarah Dickson Sarah Laud Sarah Mullen Sarah Nduati Sarah Nichols-Weaver Sarah-Jane Shaylor Scarlet Summerfield Scott Salisbury Sean O’Dell Shabnam Ali Shanna Dougal Shareen Akhtar Sharon Breach Sharon Davies Sharon Yates Shelby Dover Sikirat Adeboye Simon Cripps Simon Strang Siobhan Grieve Sonia Lindop Sophie Bell Sophie Connolly Sophie Leech Sophie Williams Stacey-Lee Gregory Ste Beddard Stephanie Holley Stephanie Montague Stephanie Neville Stephen Grigsby Stephen Wilson Steve Green Steven Bowen Steven Rich Sue Wallace Susan Baxter Susan Witte Ezard Susannah Davis



Susannah Engelhard Susie Livingstone Suzanne Goddard Tammy GodsellWright Tandi Dodman Tania Watson Tanisha OrmsbyJones Tara Rolph Taylor Nagle Terrice Mcnaughton Thomas Aggar Timothy McVicar Timothy Pothecary Toby Widdicombe Tom Lawrence Tom Smith Toni Diaper Tony Dinh Hop Le Tracy Hallway Turlough Ducie Ugochukwu Chukwuma Vanessa Courtney Veronica Mastrandrea Vicki Clampitt Victoria Ann Garner Victoria Hargreaves Victoria Neil Wendy Bevis William Bishop William Felgate Yazmin Durkin Yvette Kohn Zara George Zeta Wright Zhong Zheng Zoey Arthurs Zubda Chaudhry

Abadur Rehman Abi Pinfield-Wells Abigail Takieh Adam Bailiss Adrian Spriggs Ady Gallagher Aleesha Grant Alexandra Peck Alisha Tarrant Aliza Hussain Amanda Johnson Amanda Griffiths Amy Meakin Ana Luisa Antonio Andrea Dulake Andrew Wiskowski Angela Schofield Angie Cheverton Aniesa Shah Anita Smith Ann Connor Anna Lettieri Annette O’Neill Annette Duncan Archana Gaekwad Ashden Marlow Barbara Walsh Ben Cook Ben Cooksley Benish Khan Bernadette Newton Brendalyn Heaven Carol Scarlett Caroline Hopkins Catherine Stuart Charlotte Wares Charlotte Elliott Chidinma Anunike Chloe Hill Christine Feeney Christopher Revell Christopher Moss Christy-Louise Costello Claire Wilkinson Claire O’Rourke Claire Bell Colin Bryant Corey Hartley Corrina McEwan Damian Holland Daniel Henson Danielle Whittle Danny Monfries Daryl Henson Debasis Maitra Debbie Kandler Donna Williams Donna Brock Ekaterina Rees-Yaeger Eliverta Zylyftari Ellen Buckley Elphas Dube Emily Wilkinson Emily Groom Emmy Johnston Emma Griffin Emma Cox Erez Goldberg

Erica Mccabe Eva Clare Fox Fagner Alves Farhat Jabeen Farida Ahmed Fay Whyte Felicity Howell Fifi Tshimbalanga Florence Wright Fozia Hussain Freya Ballantyne Gary Hunsley Gela Schwartz Gemma Frances Armer Gordon Rutherford Grant Henderson Hannah Nicholson Hannah Jarman Harpreet Brierley Hayley Ward Hayley Kiernan Helen Hammond-Waite Henna Khan Holly Picton Hywel Ward Iain Lock Ian Harman Ilias Ramli Imam Asfi Isabelle Cramp Isla Mae Bonthrone Iwona Wawer-La Verde Jack Lucas Jack Crittenden Jack Barraclough Jamie Myers Jana Cooke Jane Holmes Jason Sharp Jay Groocock Jennifer Nyabango Jo Goodbody Joanne Stock Jonathan Gates Jonathan Hinds Jonathan James Jonathan Rossol Jonathan Willey Jordan Williams Josephine Lees Josh Kersley Joshua Savage Juliet Pierce Juliet Jensen Junaid Kazmi Kafayat Bakare Kalwinder Matharu Kassandra Ellison Kat Morris Katie Bowers Kayleigh Taylor Kayleigh Quilliam Keisha McLeod Kelly Hough Khadija Ghanchi Kieran Field Kimberley Jones Kirstie Bishoprick

Kirsty Pennick Kristian Rainville Kurtis Marsh Laura Watson Laura Sanders Laura Billington Leah Dyke Lesley McPartlin Lida Georgia Bousiakou Lisa Claxton Lizzie George Louise Figiel Luke Ryan Luke Lacey Mafa Ardestani Maija-Stina Larkio Marc Southall Marco Spadaro Maria Faisal Mariam Hussain Marie Troake Marie Peel Mark Atkinson Matthew Onn Megan Howe Mehvish Zahid Melissa Hardcastle Michael Kennedy Michael Scott Michael Soldner Millie Carson Mindy Glejser Miriam Wajchman Mohamed Ashraf Abed Mohammed Asif Molly Smitheman Naiela Almouazen Nandini Das Nandir Flora Williams Natalie Lackner Natasha Harasymiw Natasha Morgan Natasha Rorke Nazli Koc Nicola Normanton Nicola-Holly Wilkes Patricia Munguia Peter Cook Philippa Longden Rachel Mclean Rachelle Neufeld Rafiya Begum Rahma Taouli Rajashree Anand Rebecca Vaughan Rebecca Fentonree Rebecca Appleyard

Richard Thomas Richard Bull Richmond Adjei Rifky Derbaremdeker Rikki Ball Rita Elliott Robert Strudwick Rosy Broughton Ruth Cohen Sabia Khanam Sadiyah Ali Saima Kauser Salma Miskeen Samantha Haslam Samantha Cowey Sana Deeba Sara Nawaz Sarah Mills Sarah Piper Sarah-Jane Tinsley Sean O’Brien Shabina Khan Shah Ahmed Shaju Ahmed Shaun Grady Sheila Smith Shivender Parmar Shyrene Mclean Sierra Kariyawasam Silvia Ailenei Sinead O’Donoghue Siobhan Bygate Soobadra Dhunoo Stella Kordoni Stephen Brady Stuart Potter Suhasini Prabhakar Surya Benedict Susan Williams Syed Nadir El-Edroos Terri-Ann Wheeler Thomas Weeks Thomas Gearing Tina Hirst Tom Penfold Toyin Mebude Uchechukwu Ananwa Urfan Kanval Usman Mushtaq Vesna Lakesic Wayne Palmer Wendy Macmillan Zahida Mohammad Zahir Virmani Zak Riley Zenab Desai


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THEKNOWLEDGE Informal learning Dr Lynne Taylerson explores the findings of her research into FE practitioners’ use of social media communities for informal professional learning nformal, social mediabased learning dialogues were growing in participation and research interest before Covid-19 measures moved much FE learning and assessment, and teachers’ CPD, online. In ‘rhizomatic’ online spaces, knowledge is negotiated in a ‘collaborative learning experience’ and ‘community is curriculum’ (Cormier, 2008:2). The form and impacts of teachers’ informal online dialogues are not well researched. The need to ‘make sense’ of them, to develop a ‘critical awareness’ of the nature of communities, is of increasing importance (Bergviken-Rensfeldt, Hillman and Selwyn, 2018: p247). In line with the ethos of the ETF’s Practitioner Research Programme (PRP), I wanted my thesis to be accessible and reflective of Hammersley’s practitioner research principles, a partnership between researcher and researched, ‘realising educational ideals or outcomes’ rather than ‘simply producing knowledge’ (2012: p23). With this in mind, I developed a new model describing dialogues from teachers’ Twitter communities and used it as a focusing device, engaging practitioners in discussions about how they value informal online learning, inviting them to reflect and share their meaning-making.


Any research involving social media dialogues requires strong ethical underpinning. I rejected the use of direct Tweets or naming the communities investigated on the grounds of participant anonymity. Informed consent was obtained for use of quotes from interviews and focus groups as I explored the following: In what ways would topics addressed during dialogues in online educators’ networks be regarded as key development areas for FE teachers? Netnography was a key method used in response to this question. Netnography is essentially ethnography applied to online contexts, data originating from digital imprints of natural, public conversations (Kozinets, 2010). A thematic analysis of threads from three significant teachers’ Twitter communities over a six-month period led to the development of this original model of the dialogues (see Figure 1).


Evidence of teachers engaging with the ETF’s Professional Standards during Twitter community dialogues suggests a positive response to this question on key development areas. ‘Pedagogy lens’ dialogues focus on curriculum planning, learning strategies and resources, development of maths, English and digital skills and informed use of learning technology. Dialogues on meeting specific learner needs (of, for example, learners with SEND or ESOL), positive behaviour and learner journey stages (such as induction and exams) were also important. There is evidence of dialogues calling upon research on signature pedagogies and theories of motivation and cognition. ‘Learning Community’ dialogues witness teachers building professional networks, collaborating to share CPD and networking opportunities, recommending reading and research to develop evidenceinformed practice. There are supportive dialogues between teachers undergoing career or role changes and peers who have already navigated these experiences, including discussions of initial teaching qualifications, ATS, QTLS and postgraduate study. Perhaps a more unexpected outcome was the weight of dialogues around teachers’ values and core identity, exploring wider roles and advocating for learners. ‘Identity and Voice’ dialogues encompass social justice and mobility, learner and educator mental health, impacts of funding mechanisms and access for underrepresented groups.


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Links are made between education and democratic participation, and there is encouragement of increased political awareness and activity by teachers and learners, locally and globally. A significant theme is advocacy for the positive impacts of FE beyond the world of work and the individual learner, extending to the family, the community, between generations and to wider society. An important initial role for the 26 interview and focus group participants was memberchecking of the three-lens model. Participants included teachers, teacher educators and managers, who spanned regular and occasional Twitter contributors and new and longstanding community users, and also engaged two community founder/moderators. Participants report that the three-lens model describes accurately their impressions of dialogues in educators’ Twitter communities. Participants also engaged with the research question: How do FE teachers who participate in online educators’ networks consider that they are engaging in meaningful professional learning? Participants report that they gain meaningful professional learning by engaging in discussions on pedagogy, sharing resources, reading and practical strategies and consulting peers on emerging challenges. They were ‘given practical ideas’, had existing ways of working ‘challenged’ and were ‘exposed to new thinking’. Teachers valued a break from ‘stuckness in organisational thinking’, using words including ‘mobilise’, ‘buoyancy’ and ‘connecting’ to describe Twitter community participation. They spoke of ‘contextualised’ discussions allowing them to ‘reclaim professionality’ to escape from ‘silo mentalities’ when a

Figure 1: Three-lens model

Identity and voice lens

Learning community lens

‘how we define our values and advocate for them’

‘how we connect and support each other to develop’

Pedagogy lens ‘what we do in evidenceinformed practice’

shortage of inter-organisation learning dialogues made work ‘very isolating’. Many were critical of compliance-focused, generic CPD they had undertaken that did not meet their learning needs, calling sessions on use of data systems or standardised documents ‘training, not learning’. Twitter communities give teachers an opportunity to set their own learning agenda, ask relevant questions, seek peers’ advice and engage in self-selected dialogues. Though findings suggest that outcomes from Twitter community participation are largely positive, some interviewees encountered challenging behaviour described as ‘boisterous mansplaining’ or reported ‘highly engaged contributors’ getting ‘out of hand’. A moderator notes an occasional need to remind ‘those who kick off ’ during animated dialogues that ‘teachers are role models’. Twitter community thread topics correspond well to professional development areas set out in the ETF’s Professional Standards, providing participants DR LYNNE with challenging, contextualised, TAYLERSON is a teacher on-demand learning dialogues. educator, mentor Dialogues plant the seeds of new and director of practice but Coffield (2017: p41) independent reminds us that ‘transformative training provider Real Time change’ is a two-stage process. Education. With Educators’ dialogues the support of the ‘generate new knowledge ETF’s Practitioner among themselves’, provoking Research ‘new actions’. Collaboration Programme, Dr Taylerson has must be actioned practically undertaken a PhD or teachers will be ‘sharing, through SUNCETT but not implementing, good at the University practice’ (ibid: xiii); a challenge, of Sunderland


which brings us to a final, problematic research question: What evidence do educators report of any formal recognition of impact from informal online learning opportunities? This research discovered little evidence that teachers document informal online dialogues in their CPD records or acknowledge them as a source of professional learning. A sole interviewee reports Twitter dialogues as CPD thinkpieces for teacher education groups and acknowledges them to colleagues as sources of reading and resources. This is a ‘Catch 22’, in a sector which prizes immediate impact on learner outcomes as a requirement for teachers’ CPD. Further research is needed on the impact of informal learning dialogues, online and off. As Eraut notes (2004: p249), ongoing, spontaneous, informal learning is ‘largely invisible… taken for granted or not recognised’. I invite inTuition readers to respond to this research with their experiences of informal online learning via Twitter @realtimeedu.

References and further reading Bergviken-Rensfeldt A, Hillman T and Selwyn N. (2018) Teachers ‘liking’ their work? BERJ 44(2): 230-250. Coffield F. (2017) Will the Leopard Change Its Spots? A new model of inspection for Ofsted. London: UCL IoE Press. Cormier D. (2008) Rhizomatic education: community as curriculum. Innovate: Journal of Online Education 4(5): 2. Eraut M. (2004) Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education 26(2): 247-273. Hammersley M. (2012) Methodological Paradigms in Educational Research. London: BERA. Kozinets RV. (2010) Netnography. Doing ethnographic research online. California: Sage.


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Performing under pressure Every soldier in the British Army undertakes mental resilience training to help them perform in stressful circumstances. Teachers can also benefit from some of the techniques, say Jim Crompton and Austin Lindsay. So how can the army’s approach help teachers perform during stresses and strains?

mindfulness training, and was refined to make the psychological skills training programme more applicable and accessible to instructors and recruits. The programme has seen tangible improvements in pass rates and statistically significant improvements in perceived readiness for key training events. MRT is now delivered to every soldier in the British Army throughout their careers as it provides understanding of the effects of stressful situations and practical steps to manage those effects. What is MRT? Mental resilience is a person’s ability to respond effectively to stress, pressure, risk and adversity. It is built on seven pillars: Self-belief: confidence in your own abilities and judgement Positive effect: the ability to interact with life in a positive way Emotional control: the ability to understand and express your emotions

Mental control: the ability to control thinking, attention, concentration, focus, selfawareness, reflexivity and problem-solving Sense of purpose: the motivation that drives you forward Coping: adaptability, natural coping strategies you have learnt through coping in previous stressful situations Social support: the social network you have and the ways you use it It is underpinned by effective coaching. Everyone is affected by their environment in different ways. One person may be uncomfortable dealing with physically arduous circumstances, whereas another may struggle with high levels of concentration for extended periods. MRT seeks to help people recognise signs of stress and regulate them, and prepare for events that they suspect could be difficult for them.

ental resilience training (MRT) has been conducted formally at the Infantry Training Centre since 2012, and across the army since 2018. Initially trialled with Parachute Regiment recruits by Warrant Officer Class 2 James Fitzwater, School of Infantry master coach, the programme sought to improve first-time pass rates and individual performance scores. The initial trial and related research was published subsequently by Bangor University and focused on the concept of mental ‘toughness’. The content was then refined and developed by military clinical psychologist Captain Duncan Precious and infantry master coach Colour Sergeant (now Warrant Officer) Austin Lindsay. The revised training incorporated more recent advancements in performance psychology, including



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In basic training, simple psychological skills are taught, linked to key events in the training programme. These are delivered through classroom sessions and individual coaching conversations. Micro-lessons and training diaries are also provided for recruits to reflect at any time. The psychological skills taught within MRT are: Goal setting. This involves learning how to break training events down into shortterm process goals in order to maintain focus, motivate and develop problem-solving skills. Goal setting also builds confidence and helps to achieve longer-term outcome goals. Work out what you ultimately want to achieve and break it into a series of SMART goals. Dealing with negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can have a significant impact. By noticing these thoughts, understanding that they are only thoughts, and moving on to focus on something else, we can reduce their impact on performance. You may not feel as though you can continue with something, or you should try less hard this time and catch up next time. These are just thoughts, not facts, so we can choose to focus on other things. Positive thinking and self-talk. A growth mindset shows us that there is always opportunity in adversity. Self-talk means providing a rational answer to any negative thoughts. This current situation may be hard, but by sticking to it you will reap rewards. Positive thinking increases self-confidence and motivation. By practising positive self-statements, such as “I can do this”, “I am good at this”, “I am strong”, you can focus your thinking on positive outcomes. In this way, you can make not giving up a habit.


command of the army’s Recruiting and Initial Training Command Staff Leadership School, training trainers of army recruits. He is also the current chair of SET


army’s mental resilience training team leader. He was master coach at the Infantry Training Centre from 2013 to 2018 and has been responsible for delivering MRT training to soldiers for seven years

Emotional control. Emotions are important. They motivate action (fear produces a fight, flight or freeze response, sadness makes us withdraw, and so on). They affect our body language, which we communicate to others, so they can see how we are feeling. Often, emotions are helpful. When they are not helpful to us, we can do something about them. Professor Steve Peters’ ‘Chimp Paradox’ provides a really useful guide to, and exercises for, managing emotions and rational decision-making. By expecting and accepting emotional responses, we have the option to delay emotional reactions. If our instinct is to run away, we can choose not to for the time being. Then we can let the emotions out and explore them at a more appropriate time. Arousal and anxiety regulation. Physiological arousal is important to spur us into activity. Being too relaxed can be as detrimental to performance as being overanxious. Through experience, we can learn our own optimal level of physiological arousal. Anxiety is a normal emotion. It comes when we overestimate the negative consequences of an event and underestimate our ability to perform. As it is an emotion, we can manage it. One simple way of managing the effects of anxiety is to regulate our breathing. By distracting our attention and focusing on breathing in slowly for four seconds and out for four seconds, we can calm our breathing and our heart rate. Mental rehearsal and positive imagery. Visualisation is used routinely by elite athletes to prepare for events. You can stimulate many of the same areas of the brain by rehearsing mentally before you actually complete a task. Mental


rehearsal allows you to work through situations before you encounter them for real and to understand better how you can and will react. Remember, prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance.

What is MRT not? MRT is not about dealing with post-traumatic stress. MRT is not about pressure to perform perfectly. It is about understanding how to progress through stressful events. It also provides you with a framework so you know when you need to seek further support. There are other support mechanisms in place to help soldiers cope with significant workplace or home events. The skills taught correlate with some of the coping mechanisms used by medical professionals to manage psychological stress, but if, for any reason, you are unable to apply the techniques here and are experiencing too much stress, please seek further support and guidance. The NHS website has guidance on coping with stress, and charities such as Mind and Samaritans provide consultations and additional support.

References and further reading Bangor University research on mental resilience training: Peters S. (2011) The Chimp Paradox. London: Vermilion. The techniques discussed are explored further in video micro-lessons on the British Army website: mental-resilience Mind Samaritans


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lended learning is emerging as the main educational model worldwide and now is the time to take advantage and experiment. I recently thought about using audio books in lessons, and discovered that many students quite liked this activity. In fact, feedback stated how they preferred the audio to reading books. Students said it helped them absorb information in a less stressful way. After reflecting on the feedback, I decided to advance my methodology. FutureLearn has wonderful (and free) personal


ORLA CARLIN is an English teacher who has taught in the UAE, UK and Kuwait. She has a particular interest in developing effective teaching methods for English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners

Listening and learning

development sessions for teachers. I decided to skim through an online course in the little planning time I had left called the ‘Power of Podcasts’. I learned that podcasts can be any length, frequency or format, and can cover any topic. I decided to create a revision podcast on a weekly basis instead of a worksheet, and this was met with a warm welcome from most students. They could walk around their house, go for a run or do the chores while listening to recapped notes. The most beneficial part was they could be part of the podcast process too and design their own. So, after week one, they started to develop their own podcasts. Contributing on a weekly basis made them feel like real-life TV presenters, and greatly improved their ICT skills beyond the computer screen and camera. It

helped integrate other subjects and motivate those who wanted to work in the media industry. It also meshed in a project-based element to weekly learning that was exciting.

How I merged podcasts into my session After completing a unit for English literature, which was called ‘places that shape who you are’, students had to decide a place that shaped who they were. They then had to pair up with another learner and create a podcast, interviewing their peers about the places that they felt had shaped their identity. Allowing learners the freedom to explore their project and work with minimal teacher intervention boosted their self-esteem. This was a basic podcast session using minimal equipment. Most students have audio recording

Experimenting with podcasts can equip students with digital skills and give them a new means of absorbing information. In the current environment, it’s time for a spot of creativity, says Orla Carlin


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SET’s TOP 10 education podcasts 1

The evidence-based education podcast Key issues in the field of evidence-based education, particularly focusing on how the gaps between policy, research and practice can be bridged


Mr Barton Maths Podcast Interviews across a range of topics, including lesson planning, problem solving, motivation and cognitive conflict



The Teaching Space A weekly, term-time podcast by Martine Ellis for the teacher or trainer who wants to love their job without taking work home in the evenings


The Creative Classroom with John Spencer How teachers can transform classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder


Tests of Life Helping students, parents and teachers navigate the hidden curriculum, so young people can thrive


The EdTech Podcast The EdTech Podcast gets behind the personalities in global education innovation and EdTech


The cult of pedagogy podcast Teaching strategies, classroom management, education reform, educational technology


Tes – The Education Podcast The Tes podcast brings you all the latest news, reviews and interviews with special guests from the world of education


The NCETM Maths Podcast A regular podcast from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM)


Teacher wellbeing Find out more about teacher wellbeing, positive schools and burnout prevention To access these podcasts, go to


settings on their phones, iPads and desktops, so to promote inclusion it is best to start with a minimal approach. Some students had microphones but all that is needed is a phone, and anywhere can be the studio.

Listening to popular podcasts We then listened to some examples of reputable podcasts and noted how every component in the audio file matters. This begins with the host, and how they facilitate the story with the interviewee. We discussed examples of how a beginning should suck you in. The related sound effects in the famous podcasts we listened to got learners engaged and inspired, while the use of silences, timing and the structure came to the surface too. Lastly, we highlighted the effective use of satisfying endings. This activity was a great way to embed assessment for learning. It allowed me to grasp what the students could already identify with in terms of story structures.

Punctuation in podcasts Music can be used to highlight a person, place or even important information or momentous events. It’s a form of punctuation which really got students thinking creatively and differently. They had to replace punctuation in the podcast using sounds, so they added in horror clips for exclamation marks and really enjoyed playing around with other themes.

Lifelong implications The podcasts mean students have memories to listen to in the future, and give them a means to absorb knowledge in alternative ways when their brain is feeling overloaded, which can lead to improved literacy skills. With

regards to teacher development, podcasts are something we can use too, to become better teachers in any subject.

Leave them wanting more We finished with a touching example of the power of sound and our voices. Recently, a wedding video in the US went viral. The groom did something remarkable for the first dance. He played an old audio clip of the bride’s grandmother singing Somewhere over the Rainbow. Her grandmother had passed away but as her voice echoed through the room it brought joyful tears and emotions to the whole room. It was as if she was present and this was simply due to the power of sound. I left it with the students to reflect on how powerful their voices can be and this really made them think about the internal strengths they have.

Further information Where to host a podcast Soundcloud ( iTunes ( Sites with podcast information Where to listen to podcasts Radiolab ( podcasts/radiolab) Part-Time Genius (


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t’s hard to let go of something that’s worked before, but the times are broken,” says Michaela Greaves, curriculum operation manager for hairdressing and beauty therapy at Chesterfield College. “We need new ways of thinking, to plan for the future now.” Amid the chaos and confusion of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greaves and her colleagues have been planning a ‘curriculum of hope’ for September, which they have named the Aspire Programme. They are using the Three Horizons strategic leadership model to win hearts and minds across the college for this new way of thinking. “We are all changed by our experiences of lockdown and the time is perfect to start thinking in a different way about how we work with learners and each other, because we just don’t know what to expect,” she says. Three Horizons is not new. It was developed at the start of this


century by global management consultancy McKinsey to drive business innovation, and is having a new lease of life in uncertain times, particularly in local government where some of the most creative local authorities – Wigan, Doncaster, Leeds – are embracing its capacity to get them thinking differently.

Grand vision In Three Horizons thinking, you figure out where you want to be

– and nothing is off-limits. This is Horizon 3. The next step is to look back at where you’ve been: what can you learn from where you are now (Horizon 1) that is valuable and worth keeping? From then on, all discussions take place in the space between those two horizons: the Horizon 2 landscape, where there’s plenty of room for movement. “Three Horizons is useful as a notation,” explains Jackie Rossa, executive director, student

Fresh thinking The Three Horizons model has been around for the past two decades but is now starting to gain traction in the further education sector. Lou Mycroft explains


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experience, at Chesterfield. “It helps us navigate our thinking. Aspire is about putting wellbeing at the heart of a whole-college approach which gets the best out of us all, and we need Three Horizons if we are going to be agile enough to implement this in what is bound to be an unpredictable and challenging new academic year.” Any model is only as good as the way it’s used, and the breakthrough at Chesterfield came from using the Pixar Storyboard process in Three Horizons sessions with staff. “Every Pixar film tells the same story once you break it down,” explains Greaves. “This is a great way to do Three Horizons thinking, because you already know at the start what your happy ending will look like. Pixar Storyboards are going to be a big part of induction. We want students to have those lightbulb moments for themselves, as they think of their own aspirations, where they are now and what might get in the way.”

THE TIME IS PERFECT TO START THINKING IN A DIFFERENT WAY ABOUT HOW WE WORK WITH LEARNERS AND EACH OTHER managers thinking not just about practical issues but about the culture and practices of their curriculum, asking themselves how they wanted students to feel about the provision on offer: its emotional wake. “It helped them maintain some energy and momentum around visioning,” says Wilkinson. “It was powerful online, but it would have been brilliant to have done this in person.” Both Barnsley College and Chesterfield College took practical ideas from Public Health Wales’s Three Horizons toolkit, which presents three ways to use the notation. As well as the Pixar Storyboard and the Voices (or Teams) approach used at Barnsley,


Overcoming uncertainty Chesterfield College is not the only provider using Three Horizons to navigate uncertainty. At Barnsley College, former director of teaching and learning Stef Wilkinson used the process with curriculum managers. “I wanted managers to take a fresh look at their teams,” Wilkinson explains. “People naturally gravitate towards different horizons: powerholders (Horizon 1), innovators (Horizon 2) and visionaries (Horizon 3). A great team has all three making effective use of the tension between them and I hoped that curriculum managers would see their team differently, looking through this lens. I set out the model for them and sent them off. They came back buzzing!” Using the Three Horizons process got Barnsley’s curriculum


the toolkit also includes example questions to tease out potential journeys to the elusive third horizon (see Fig. 1 below). Greaves warns against overcomplicating things. “There are plenty of planning models which tie your thinking up in knots by considering the risks before you’ve got the idea out of your head. That’s no good for the challenge we’re facing here. We’ve got a window of opportunity to change FE for the better and it won’t stay open for ever. Three Horizons pushes us to look beyond everything that we take for granted.” It should also help providers navigate the current uncertain times, believes Wilkinson. “This is not just about one-off planning, nor it is about setting up two different scenarios: physical and digital,” she says. “We have to be prepared to move between the two, long term. Although some people naturally find comfort in the thought of returning to what we had, those days are gone. A regular Three Horizons practice helps us create something new, which is responsive to the times.”

Figure 1: Three Horizons model

Horizon 2 Horizon 1 What makes you think or feel that the current situation needs to change?

Where is the vision happening already? What projects, ideas and initiatives are in sight that might change the status quo?

Horizon 3 What does this look and feel like in the new academic year?


a writer, educator and TEDx speaker. She works on the #APConnect project for the ETF


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TOP T WEE TS Our @SocietyET has been busier than ever, as a means of keeping you informed and letting you share your thoughts and tips

Please us e and follow ou r hashtag

#SETinTuitio n to see the THE FORUM

latest features from inTuition

Make life a bit easier ith the autumn now upon us, we continue to support you in what remains an unsettled time and ensure that the benefits you receive as a SET member complement your changing needs. We know it is hard to find the time to search for all the tools and resources available to you, so below we have highlighted eight SET member benefits designed to make your life easier, and all included in your annual membership fee.


SET conference: Our digital conference will feature high-profile keynote speakers and a range of practical breakout sessions and digital supporters. Book at Free student membership: There’s no better time to encourage your Initial Teacher Education students to sign up for their free SET membership. Find out moree at

Special Interest Digests: Designed to signpost you to the latest resources, articles and events across our platforms and the wider FE and training sector. Log in to your MySET Dashboard to select those relevant to you.

QTLS and ATS: The window to register for Professional Formation leading to Qualified Teaching Learning Skills (QTLS) status is now open and will close on 30 September. Advanced Teacher Status (ATS) is the badge of advanced mastery in FE and training. Visit and

Law Express: Did you know you have access to a free legal phone helpline? Here you can get confidential advice on a wide range of issues, from work and housing to neighbour disputes and small claims court proceedings. Find out more at

SET’s online library: Delve into our 11,000-strong FE/HE eBook collection from leading publishers and professional societies and organisations. Access at ry

Webinars: Our live and interactive webinars cover a range of practical tips and information and are followed by on-demand recordings. Register for upcoming webinars at

ETF course discounts: You are entitled to a range of discounts on courses and digital events run by the ETF. Find out more by visiting the ETF booking site at JULIA FAULKS is communications editor at SET


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project ongoing throughout the process? AD: Not from start to finish – it comes after the initial self-reflection and creation of a professional development plan. SET member: Will there be any opportunities during or after, for example, published in inTuition? AD: We are always keen for our ATS awardees to share their experience – either in the research section/ supplement discussing their project, or about the ATS experience as a whole – so yes, definitely. Another idea we’ve had is to get someone to film a video diary of the process, and we are always keen to hear any suggestions if participants are keen to get involved.


IT’S GOOD TO TALK A live webchat answering your questions on everything relating to ATS took place in July, hosted by the ETF’s head of professional status Andrew Dowell. The webchat covered everything from understanding the portfolio format to finding out more about supporting testimonies. SET member: What is the assessment criteria for ATS? AD: There is no specific assessment criteria, as ATS is not a qualification. We are, however, looking for a thread through the portfolio, where personal development has been considered, along with colleague and organisationwide impact. SET member: Is the improvement

G L O S S A RY Podcast: An audio-only recording you can stream on your device. Visit set. podcasts to subscribe and listen Webinar: An audio/webcam, slides/screen-sharing broadcast. During live events, type in your questions and take part in polls. Only the presenter can be seen and heard. Visit set. to register and watch live or on demand

To read the full transcript, visit

Webchat: Text-based live chat held on an event page via our SET Facebook group. These may also play out live or pre-recorded videos, show images and signpost to websites. Visit to register or read edited transcripts

LE ARNING ON THE WEB Since June, we have hosted the following webinars and webchats on the SET website. SET webinar: Online teaching strategies for flipped and blended learning approaches Tom Garside (pictured), founder of Language Point Teacher Education, looked at online teaching strategies as we move

into a more blended learning approach for all. SET webinar: Feedback for higher quality learning This webinar, hosted by Geoff Petty, looked at how teachers can improve the way they give feedback. SET webinar: Find faults and fix methods

with Geoff Petty Checking and correcting learning while learning is still in progress is one of your most powerful tools. SET webinar: Adapting the teaching cycle – a guide to online course design and delivery Advice on adapting your teaching delivery style.

Transcript: The written version of a podcast or video. We also provide written transcripts of webchats, which are edited versions of the conversations which took place

You can register to watch a webinar live or on-demand and download useful resources by visiting To take part in a live webchat on our Facebook group page, or read an edited transcript taken from the event, visit



Top web pages for you to visit:






Adapting the teaching cycle – webinar round-up

Webinars, online classes and meetings – from Yawn to Yay

Learner engagement in a changing world

My ATS journey: Helen Wood

Podcast: Helping teachers encourage female learners into STEM


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How did you first get into teaching? Believe it or not, I got into teaching for a bet! I had a difficult time at secondary school, which meant I didn’t gain any qualifications. I took an access course, which had a law element that I quite enjoyed so I applied to study law at university but I knew straight away I didn’t want to become a lawyer. After graduation, my sister saw an advert for a law teacher in a private boarding school. She bet that if I applied, I would get it. So I did – and I got the job. Why did you feel this was the career for you? Sadly, the school where I taught shut down and I was made redundant. I was devasted, but I immediately applied to study my PGCE in business education because I had been teaching business law. I took an A Level in business studies before the start of the PGCE. I completed my first PGCE teaching practice at a school and then I was placed at the local college. Where has your career taken you so far? Within a few weeks I was working fulltime running the vocational business course alongside law. The curriculum leader role came up at the end of the year and I landed the job. I spent 10 fantastic years there and found that my niche was working with young people with barriers to education, many of whom have gone on to have highly successful careers. In 2010 I decided it was time to try other things – running my own business, teaching at university and working in Welfare to Work as an enterprise trainer and adviser. Last year I won the IOEE award for Enterprise Educator of the Year, presented in the House of Lords. This was one of many career highlights.

What’s the strangest request you’ve had from a student? That was from an amazing group of Advanced Vocational Certificate of Education (AVCE) business students. I decided that as a part of their business programme they should take an NVQ in Spanish for business. They said they would – if I did it with them. So I did! Lo hicimos bien (we did it well).

WINNING HAND London-based Giuditta Meneghetti fell into teaching after making a bet with her sister but hasn’t looked back since

What is your current position? I wear two hats. I am an occasional enterprise tutor at a prison through Milton Keynes College. I run the enterprise programme as I believe selfemployment can help reduce reoffending. I also run my own business, Heathcliffs Ltd, named after my cat. I deliver stress management solutions, private tutoring and Ofqual accredited qualifications. These include first aid for mental health and safeguarding and protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults. Can you run me through a typical day? Covid-19 means that I am working from home, producing in-cell activities and guidance packs for the guys to work on until we can go back into the prison. Wearing my other hat, I am delivering the qualifications via distance learning.

What is the biggest challenge you face? The biggest challenge I have is getting into the schools, colleges and universities to deliver mental health and safeguarding qualifications. We must talk more about these issues; only then will everyone reach their full potential. How would you like your career to develop? I am hoping to do more to advocate good mental health within education and promote the removal of workplace stigma. What characteristics do you feel makes a good teacher? Being adaptable and getting to know each learner. Never stop learning and inspire others by making lessons fun and relevant. What one piece of advice would you have for your former self? I would tell my former self to “follow your own dreams”. I allowed people to convince me my dreams were not realistic. It took me a long time to break those beliefs. What do you most love about teaching? The learners. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that “they did it”. It’s a privilege to be a small part of their journey. What do you get up to outside work? I love salsa dancing, travelling as often as possible and growing my own veg. If you would like to be featured in My Life in Teaching, email


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S HU T T E R S T O C K / I S T O C K

by Janet Goepel, Jackie Scruton and Caroline Wheatley, Critical Publishing, 2020 All three authors are experienced SEN professionals working in education with a clear passion for their work. The layout of this book is good, but the initial impressions when flicking through the pages could be a bit off-putting. There are lots of acronyms used throughout, with two pages of listings at the start and additional acronyms encountered later on. However, the reader needs to bear in mind that this is intended primarily a guide to a piece of legislation and not a guide to working with learners with SEND. There are some good ideas, along with hidden gems of tips for working with learners with SEND. Excellent scenarios and critical questions are included in each section, which make for a very readable book. In addition, there is a short background to the legislation, which helps put everything into context. The requirements to meet this legislation are covered well. Details of resolving disagreements, the review process and appeals are also included, as well as responsibilities of key personnel involved. This book is aimed at teachers, parents and anyone who works with children and young people with special educational needs or a disability. InTuition readers receive a 20% discount on this book with the code IT2020 at


All books have been reviewed by DR ANNE DAVIS , head of mathematics at Earlscliffe, an independent sixth-form college in south-east England. She is also a cycling and kayaking coach specialising in coaching disabled athletes. She has experience as a manager in industry and teaching at university. Her other interests include chemistry, astronomy and classical guitar.



by Maggie Gregson and Sam Duncan, Bloomsbury Academic, 2020

by Paul Garvey, Crown House Publishing Limited, 2020

This is a must-read for educators in further, adult and vocational education (FAVE). First published in 2015, it is on its 5th edition and earlier editions have had very positive reviews across the industry. It is part of a series of books covering the whole of the education stages in the UK and has a companion book of readings with a linked website. The aim of this book is to support all educators in the FAVE sector. It is aimed at practitioners at all career stages as well as leaders and management. The language is very academic and I did need to reach for my dictionary a couple of times, but this is my only minor criticism. This book is structured into five sections, which follow a progression through the teaching process. The moral and ethical responsibilities of the FAVE sector are also explored. The structure is well planned and each section is clearly set out with relevant web links on each page. It is a large book but I found it inviting to read and pick out sections of interest. The sections clearly match up with teacher training programmes and also the everyday concerns of practising educators. It has given me insight into situations I have encountered, as well as new ideas for the next time I am in the classroom.

Following the success of his previous book, which was helpful for schools preparing for Ofsted inspections under the last inspection framework, Paul Garvey has produced an all-new guide to surviving an inspection under the latest framework published in 2019. As an experienced inspector, the author explains the inspection process and what teams are looking for. This explanation is well detailed, including timings of the process and the structure of Ofsted. Experiences of inspections, both good and some not so good, are detailed and discussed as examples. It is known that Ofsted suggests a school should not do anything extra in day-to-day activities to prepare for an inspection. But the author argues that detailed preparation is essential, despite the concerns that teachers experience over increased workloads. He also promotes an understanding of the inspection process, as well as the preparation and activities that can lead to a good inspection outcome, and discusses some of the causes for failing the inspection. This book is recent enough to include advice regarding Covid-19, and also contains useful selfevaluation tools.

InTuition readers receive a 30% discount on this book with the code INTUITION20 at

InTuition readers receive a 20% discount on this book with the code InTuition20 at


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If undelivered please return to: The Society for Education and Training 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road London SW1W 9SP

Register now!

Advance your career with QTLS status. Six month programme starts 1 October Visit QTLS is the abbreviation for QualiďŹ ed Teacher Learning and Skills status. The status is developed by the Education and Training Foundation and conferred through SET.

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