Don't give up on needs of level 4

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
I read the article by John Arnett, `Dragging me down to their level 4' (FE Focus, April 18) with great interest, and with dismay at the advice he has received

I read the article by John Arnett, `Dragging me down to their level 4' (FE Focus, April 18) with great interest, and with dismay at the advice he has received.

Here at the London Strategic Unit at the Institute of Education, we are dealing daily with teachers expressing the concerns that John has eloquently described, particularly when skills for life teachers.

There has been a lot of confusion about the recent government regulations for the FE workforce, and I have every sympathy not only for John, but for the many other FE teachers who have considerable experience and expertise that need to be recognised rather than dismissed.

I also sympathise with the staff development advisers within colleges who are trying to make sense of the new regulations. This is a specialist area of information and advice, which our unit (including the talent website and phone line) has staff trained to deal with. Already this year we have given free advice to more than 150 individuals via talent, and our advice service has helped a substantial number of providers.

We would be more than happy for people like John to contact us on the talent answerphone helpline, so we can give them the individual specialist information and advice they need to help them achieve qualified teacher learning and skills status:, or 020 7911 5372.

We would also be keen to provide their colleges with specialist training- needs analysis and support to enable them to deal more effectively with its staff-development planning. Recently, a Matrix standards assessor (the national quality standard for organisations offering advice on learning and work) described the talent site as `a beacon of light in a rather muddy pool,' which sums it up rather nicely.

Pip Kings, Head of London Strategic Unit for the Learning and Skills Workforce, Institute of Education, London WC1.

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