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Blunkett to unveil lecturers' training

Plans to give all further education lecturers qualified teacher status will be unveiled next week at the Association of Colleges annual conference in Harrogate.

The national training organisation for further education (FENTO) will be launched by David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, who will also announce more new money for colleges to improve quality, standards and partnerships with industry and schools.

The Green Paper on lifelong learning proposed that all lecturers should be trained to qualified teacher status and Mr Blunkett is understood to be keen on FE reaching this target within five years. A college inspectors' survey, published in January, found that four in 10 FE lecturers had no qualifications above A-level.

Mr Blunkett is expected to spell out requirements to ensure that all full-time and many part-time lecturers gain a formal teaching qualification.

FENTO will also develop UK-wide training standards for college managers, administrative and support staff.

The AOC conference, sponsored by The TES, is the largest FE event in the year and is expected to attract more than 600 delegates this year. The event will also see the launch of the Helena Kennedy bursary scheme. Under the scheme, named after the barrister who wrote the 1997 report on widening access, college students who go on to HE can apply for a Pounds 1,000 award. It is aimed at encouraging students - from groups under represented in HE - to stay in full-time education.

A staff development programme on inclusive learning will be launched by Judith Norrington, AOC head of curriculum and quality.

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