Month-long progress promotes training

The professional body for further education teaching staff, the Institute for Learning, has completed a month-long tour of the country that has enabled lecturers and college managers to share their ideas for professional development

The professional body for further education teaching staff, the Institute for Learning, has completed a month-long tour of the country that has enabled lecturers and college managers to share their ideas for professional development.

Seminars were held in London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Norwich, Leeds, Manchester and Plymouth. It was the second exercise of its kind to be held by the professional body, membership of which has been compulsory for college teaching staff since March.

Jean Kelly, the institute's head of professional development, said: "Based on feedback from participants at our 2007 seminars, we took a different approach this time.

"People wanted concrete examples of how training providers and individuals were approaching their continuing professional development. So we interviewed a diverse mix of providers and produced eight case studies, each of which has a different story to tell.

"The providers then presented their case studies at the seminars, and I'm delighted to say that they were extremely well received."

The ideas shared at the sessions included the case of Richmond upon Thames College, where Kevin Watson, the principal, has increased the quality of his senior management training by working directly with his staff in their development.

Another example was Oaklands College in Hertfordshire, which had tapped into the often superior information technology skills of teenagers, getting students to act as mentors to staff who lacked confidence in using computers and the internet.

The institute was formed in 2002 in co-operation with employers and unions and is the compulsory membership body for teaching staff who work in post- 16 education and training, whether in the public or private sector.

It has been working to promote new ideas - many from lecturers themselves - to make the most of the 30 hours per year of continuing professional development that is now required of all members.

The body also offers a voluntary membership scheme for those who teach on courses not funded by the Government.

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