As a prospective teacher in further education i.e. in post 16 or adult learning (FE & Skills), you can study for qualifications to acquire the skills necessary for excellent further education teaching. During your studies, you will also develop an understanding of the learning needs and aspirations of a broad spectrum of young and adult learners.
By choosing to teach in the post 16 education and training sector, you will be engaging with individuals who have an initial, perhaps urgent, motivation to learn. You will need to maintain and enhance their motivation. Working with such learners is a privilege. You must keep current in your specialist subject and acknowledge that different learners have a broad range of learning preferences and needs.
Generic FE Teaching Qualifications
There are three levels of general education and training qualification approved to teach in further education by government in the UK:
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training;
- Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training;
- Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training.
As a potential teacher, you should make an informed choice as to which level to take based on your level of confidence, prior qualifications, existing skills, career aspirations and personal circumstances.
You do not have to take the qualifications in order. You can move straight to the full level 5 Diploma in Education and Training if you are suitably qualified. Teacher Assist can offer you impartial advice on finding an appropriate course.
Guidance for New FE Teachers
If you are considering initial teacher training, you need access to accurate information, advice and guidance (IAG) before applying for a course. Similarly, you will need good advice and guidance while training. A good starting point is available at FE Advice. Course providers such as Teacher Assist provide learners with more detailed and ongoing IAG.
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Core Knowledge and Skills Requirements for Teaching in FE
All general teaching qualifications require teachers to have a knowledge and skills base in English literacy, English language, numeracy and ICT. Your skills must be at an appropriate level for the educators to best support the needs of your students. The Minimum Core document, refreshed in 2016, specifies the requirements in detail.
Like all the best course providers, Teacher Assist puts all applicants through an initial assessment to form the basis of an individual personal development plan (PDP). Your PDP covers any English, maths or ICT development needs. We ensure that, during your course, you have opportunities to develop your skills to a level appropriate for your future professional role as a teacher.
FE teacher trainees are expected to achieve recognised qualifications at Level 2 in maths and English before the completion of their initial teaching qualification. There are useful self-assessment tools for English and maths here on the Foundation Online Learning website (registration is required).
Deregulation of Education and Training Qualification
The Government revoked the requirement for teachers in publicly funded FE education and training to have prescribed teaching qualifications in 2013. Since then, FE employers have been able to develop individual policies on qualification requirements for their teaching staff. Policies depending on the type of organisation, the kind of training offered and the learners they recruit.
Deregulation does not mean that traditional teaching qualifications are no longer valued. Similarly, there has been no diminution in the professional standards expected of educators in the sector. It is true that employers now have the discretion to take on individuals without a teaching qualification if they feel are well suited in terms of other skills, experience and attributes. However, despite this, most employers still prefer those who have, or who are willing to gain, a teaching qualification.
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Which Education and Training Course Should You Take?
Deregulation means that, as a new or prospective teacher, you have an element of choice in your level of qualification. However, you may find it difficult to exactly match the three levels of teaching qualification to a particular job role or type of employer.
Level 4 Certificate in Education and TrainingProduct on sale
Level 3 Award in Education and TrainingProduct on sale
DET Online Course – Level 5 Diploma in Education and TrainingProduct on sale
Subject Specialist Teaching Qualifications
In addition to the general qualifications, awarding organisations also offer the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training including a specialist pathway in:
- Mathematics Numeracy;
- English literacy;
- English ESOL;
- English literacy and ESOL;
- Teaching learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability.
Course providers may offer the same subjects as Level 5 integrated specialist diplomas or Level 5 standalone specialist diplomas.
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