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1 August 2012
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has welcomed the announcement by John Hayes MP, the minister for further education, skills and lifelong learning, that the existing requirement for teachers and trainers in the sector to have teaching qualifications, as provided for in the 2007 regulations, will be retained for now. This was confirmed in the minister’s foreword to a prospectus issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for developing a guild for further education.
Dr Jean Kelly, director of professional development at IfL, said, “IfL has made a strong case for initial teacher education and for a qualified teaching and training workforce, and it is right that the government has taken note of our members’ views. More than 5,300 IfL members responded to IfL’s consultation earlier this year, and 87 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that teaching qualifications should be mandatory on a national basis. Around 80 per cent thought that removing the national requirement for teaching qualifications would deprofessionalise the sector.
“Raising the profile of high-quality vocational teaching and learning is crucial to the development of the skills this country needs, and the qualitative evidence collected as part of our consultation demonstrates the unequivocal benefits and value attached to initial teacher training in supporting the development of excellent teaching. IfL works to support individual teachers and trainers in their practice, and strongly believes that they should have access to relevant continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities, including subject-specific updating and supporting the teaching of literacy and numeracy in all subject areas.
“IfL will, as confirmed by its non-executive board in March 2012, operate as an independent professional body, with voluntary membership, continuing to strengthen its distinctive role in providing the practitioner’s perspective; supporting and facilitating individual and subject-specific CPD; and ensuring that advocacy draws on evidence from teachers and trainers. As the professional body, IfL is keen to engage with sector partners seeking to establish an FE guild, and will explore with them the role it can play for the benefit of teachers and trainers, and their learners.”