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LIFELONG PARTNERS: SCOTLAND'S SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS OF A LIFELONG LEARNING SOCIETY: A Strategy for Partnership

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SECTION 10
Professional Training and Development

College Teaching Staff

10.1 The teaching staff in colleges have never been so well qualified both in their area of professional expertise and in teaching skills. Almost all staff have either a first degree or comparable vocational qualifications. Those who don't, bring extensive practical experience of industrial, business or crafts sectors and entrepreneurship to their teaching. Many are also working in the sectors about which they teach, many others regularly update themselves to keep their knowledge and skills current on industry requirements.

10.2 Statistical returns from colleges show that during academic year 2003/04 66.4% of permanent lecturing staff held a full TQ( FE) or equivalent while a further 17.0% held some other form of teaching qualification. 30 All colleges in Scotland have committed to continued professional development for their staff by providing access to programmes in teacher qualifications. In February 2005, HMIE published evaluations of current practice across the college sector in the report Initial and Continuing Staff Development in Scottish Further Education Colleges, which is available at www.hmie.gov.uk .

10.3 The General Teaching Council for Scotland's ( GTCS) endorsed in March the recommendations of a working group, which was considering new flexible arrangements for the registration of teachers. There are also a number of other ongoing developments that could have a bearing on the consideration of the qualifications of college staff to teach pupils and need to be taken into account. These include the Executive's consultation about whether there should be a professional body for the staff in colleges; and the work currently taking place to develop a new professional development award and units for college staff teaching school pupils aged under 16.

10.4 Additionally, there are a wide variety of lecturers, tutors and trainers who work with pupils, not only in colleges, but in higher education institutions, the voluntary sector and in some instances in the private sector. The new skills for work courses could be delivered in a number of different ways, some involving school/ college partnership with learning taking place in either the school or college or in a mix of both. They may also involve non-school and non-college staff in their delivery, such as through a private training provider.

10.5 It is for these reasons that we will establish by October 2005 a Working Group with membership that reflects its remit to consider matters concerning the qualifications of non-schoolteachers who teach pupils to report to Ministers by February 2007 - ahead of the planned introduction nationally of the new courses in August that year.

10.6 In the meantime, as a temporary measure pending the outcome of that review, we have asked GTCS to confirm by summer 2005 that college staff registered with the GTCS (or with conditional registration) who have or are working towards a teaching qualification in further education ( TQ( FE)) within an appropriate timeframe, will be able to teach pupils in S3 and above in schools. College staff without such registration will be able to teach pupils in schools if a teacher is present in the class.

10.7 We outline in our guide for school and college partnership that, as well as expertise in their vocational area, college lecturers who teach school pupils in college should possess or be working towards an appropriate teaching qualification, or have other means to demonstrate that they can teach to the requisite standard.

New Professional Award and Units

10.8 We know that many lecturers want specific training on working with under 16-year-old pupils more effectively. Equipping lecturers with the necessary skills is being considered in the context of the current Executive review of occupational standards and national guidelines on provision leading to the teaching qualification in further education ( TQ( FE)) and related professional development. The Review Steering Group will conduct a 'mapping exercise' to compare the core occupational standards for lecturers with the standard for full registration for secondary schoolteachers.

10.9 A higher educational Professional Development Award ( PDA) and units will be developed. They will be available in August 2006. This PDA, which will form part of the provision for Continuing Professional Development, will be an optional award. Those parts of the new PDA that cover the legislative framework under which schools operate, the purpose and significance of National Priorities in Education and the structure and organisation of schools will be incorporated into core standards. They will therefore be included in all new lecturers' Initial Teacher Training and in TQ( FE) programmes. There may be a need for lecturers and schoolteachers to work together to deliver aspects of this training.

10.10 Colleges should encourage relevant college staff to consider studying for the new PDA or units. One of the purposes of the increased funding in 2006/07 and 2007/08 for school/college partnership is to support this training. This will encompass the costs borne both directly and indirectly (through for example the cost of the course and the costs associated with covering a lecturer's classes while they are receiving professional development).

Training for Pupil Welfare and Support in Colleges

10.11 The Scottish Further Education Unit will by December 2005 scope the work necessary to build on and expand existing arrangements to give all college staff training on matters concerning the welfare and support of school age pupils, including child protection matters. Another purpose of the increased funding in 2006/07 and 2007/08 for school and college partnership is to support this training.

Schoolteachers

10.12 The Scottish Executive Education Department recently announced the second stage of its review of teacher education for schoolteachers. Included within the remit of this review is to examine whether existing initial teacher education courses prepare staff as well as possible for entry into the profession and to look at whether current guidelines and requirements relating to initial teacher education remain appropriate. Currently, it is expected that a report of the review group's findings will be published in spring 2005. The Scottish Executive Education Department will incorporate in the standards for teacher education for school teachers awareness of the work of colleges, including the delivery of education and training in colleges and school/college partnership activities. Consideration will be given to the extent to which this awareness can be reinforced, where appropriate, by the joint delivery of awareness training to schoolteachers and college lecturers.