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Scheme to get FE staff ready for T levels announced

Skills minister says staff have to be prepared if the technical education system is to be 'first class'

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Skills minister says staff have to be prepared if the technical education system is to be 'first class'

A new initiative to prepare the FE sector for the introduction of T levels has been announced.

The £8 million T Level Professional Development offer is being developed by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. It will aim to help teaching professionals to develop their skills and knowledge so they are ready to deliver the new qualifications, due to be rolled out from 2020.

The first courses in education and childcare, construction and digital will be taught in over 50 further education and post-16 providers from September 2020.  A further 22 courses will be rolled out from 2021 onwards.

Five strands

The scheme announced today will focus on making sure teachers understand the new T levels, and ensure their subject and industry knowledge is relevant to the needs of business. It will be made up of five strands: 

  • Ongoing professional development needs analysis to build a clear understanding of the professional development needs of the sector
  • Work to help all staff understand the new T levels
  • A teacher development programme focusing on pedagogy, professional knowledge and developing teachers’ capacity to embed maths, English and digital skills in technical teaching environments.
  • Knowledge hubs which will aim to embed learning from the teacher development programme through teacher development networks 
  • Professional development around leading and managing educational change to ensure organisational readiness. This will be targeted at middle managers.

The funding for the scheme forms part of the £20 million commitment to support the sector to deliver new T Levels, made in the 2017 autumn statement.

'Big change'

Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton said T levels were “a big and important change, and we know we have to be prepared if we want our technical education system to be first class”.

She added: “This new programme will help teachers to build on their skills and gain the additional knowledge they need to make new T levels a success as soon as the starting pistol is fired.”

David Russell, chief executive of the ETF, said: “Ensuring providers are properly equipped to deliver the new qualifications will be vital to their success, so it is important they are ready from day one.

“We are pleased to have been given the responsibility of meeting the T Level-related professional development needs of teachers, trainers and leaders, which include those from the whole of the education sector. We bring to this role our experience, expertise and partnership ethic in supporting the workforce to deliver the technical education our learners, employers and country need and deserve.”

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