FE staff must be qualified to teach

21st September 2001 at 01:00
Ngaio Crequer's article in FE Focus (TES September 7) on the relaxation of rules concerning FE staff moving into schools may have given the impression that FE teachers do not require a qualification to teach.

September 1 2001 saw the implementation of a requirement that all lecturers new to the sector must be trained to an appropriate level. Unqualified staff new to the sector must be placed on a training course to achieve a suitable qualification within a set time span.

This will, in essence, make it more legitimate for FE-based teachers with good vocational experience and skills to transfer to the school sector.

This autumn also sees the implementation of a requirement that all FE teacher-training qualifications in England provided by higher education institutes and awarding bodies are to seek Further Education National Training Organisation endorsement.

Successful endorsement of qualifications ranging from stages 1-3 and CertEdPGCE provision requires clear evidence that the qualification meets two criteria.

First, that FENTO standards for teaching and supporting learning are embedded in the qualification, and second, that criteria are in place to ensure the quality of the qualification wherever it is delivered. FENTO endorsement results in Department for Education and Skills recognition.

These developments add significantly to the status of FE staff as a professional group within the educational world .

They signal a step forward in recognising the demands of FE work and the immense skills and resilience of those who are working in the post-16 sector.

Phil Price Endorsement manager FENTO 1-6 Ely Place London EC1N 6RY

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