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Training course is the 'fifth Beatle'

A new training programme has been developed for lecturers in further education, designed to help staff cope with the growing numbers of 14 to 16-year-olds in college.

An estimated 120,000 under-16s - three times the government target for this group - already receive vocational training in further education. And that figure is expected to rise following the publication this week of the Tomlinson report on 14-19 educational reform.

The professional development programme, which leads to a national qualification, aims to "help teachers and lecturers work more effectively in the new 14-19 education structure".

The programme focuses on the legal, health and safety, and curriculum issues involved in teaching pupils in Years 10 and 11, and looks at teaching methods and behaviour.

It was designed by Dr Robb Robinson, curriculum and professional development manager at Hull college, Yorkshire, in conjunction with several local schools.

A group of 13 staff at Hull have undertaken the 30-week course and achieved the qualification, called the "professional development award in teaching KS4 students in post-16 institutions".

The qualification has been accredited by the national awarding body Btec, and the course is available to those who possess, or are studying for, a teaching or training qualification.

Dr Robinson said: "Hull college offers one of the biggest ranges of teaching and learning opportunities in the country to school pupils. We felt that a new training programme was essential."

Nick Lumb, a course leader on the project at Hull college, said the course is an essential addition to lecturers' training needs.

He added: "There are elements of this programme - such as the legal and health and safety issues - that we would expect all our staff to have and which we will be providing in shorter programmes.

"All the teaching staff here receive professional development in dyslexia, disability, visual and hearing impairment.

"I see the 14-16 programme as the fifth Beatle."

A change of regime 3

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