Inspections for teacher trainers

4th June 2004 at 01:00
There is no prospect of teacher educators in the learning and skills sector being inspected against Further Education National Training Organisation standards as Norman Lucas suggests (FE Focus, May 21).

Mr Lucas has misunderstood the purpose of the Fento standards for teaching and supporting learning, which are designed as a benchmark for skilled teachers.

They will not be used to measure the performance of higher education institutions and other providers of initial teacher education (ITE), although trainees must cover the standards fully as part of their courses.

Inspections will be based on an agreed inspection framework and guidance.

Details of the inspection system have still to be finalised, which is the reason for holding the current consultation.

In its own reply to the consultation FENTO has, for example, pointed out an anomaly that could mean some initial training courses funded by the Learning and Skills Council are not inspected holistically in the same way as higher education programmes.

Mr Lucas is mistaken in alleging that inspections of ITE reduce the need for the Lifelong Learning Sector Skills Council, or that Fento is not a major component of that council.

Fento has always been a firm supporter of a sector skills council covering the wider sector and is looking forward to the council gaining a full licence during the next few months.

David Hunter

Chief executive

Further Education National Training Organisation

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