Moving from FE to schools will soon be easier, says Sara Bubb
Fancy spreading your wings to teach really big children and adults? It's historically not been easy because further education is run by different organisations and has different rules. This has meant that people crossing the schoolFE divide have been given different and contradictory advice.
But there are new regulations that will come into force from September which will make life a tad easier in induction land.
You will now be able to complete the statutory schools' induction while working in a further education college. But different rules still apply between the school and FE sector.
Having qualified teacher status enables you to teach in the FE sector as well as schools. The FE qualification that all lecturers are having to get is called the Qualified Teacher in Learning and Skills (QTLS, which is sometimes known as QTFE) but having this doesn't allow you to work in schools. To teach there, you must have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and complete a school induction, and this can't at present be done in an FE college. People who have gone straight into FE lecturing from an 11-18 or 14-19 PGCE with QTS have not been able to get induction under their belt. When they've moved to work in a school, they've had to be treated as a new teacher and do an induction, despite their years of experience and seniority.
From September, it will be possible to do an induction in an FE college but it'll be optional; new teachers don't have to do it and colleges don't have to provide it. But if they do, they have to do it properly and follow the rules. These are a bit different to the ones for schools but similar to those for sixth form colleges.
You can read the regulations online at www.opsi.gov.uksisi2008uksi_20080657_en_1. But a spokesman for the Training and Development Agency for Schools says guidance will be issued to accompany the regulations early in the summer term.
Sara Bubb is an expert on induction. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.