Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Planned Qualifications to Cut Down Requirements: Fe News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Planned Qualifications to Cut Down Requirements: Fe News

Article excerpt

But critics say half as much teacher training is half as good.

The amount of study required for FE teachers to become qualified will be halved under proposals for a new diploma in teaching.

Following Lord Lingfield's criticisms of the FE teacher training regime in his government-commissioned report on the subject, this week the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) unveiled its plans for new qualifications.

Currently the system involves three "nested" qualifications culminating in a diploma to teach in the lifelong learning sector.

Despite this week's announcement, teacher trainers have complained that they still do not know if the new qualifications will be compulsory, adding that the cut in the credit value of the qualification will reduce its effectiveness and undermine its credibility compared with training for schoolteachers.

Lord Lingfield's recommendation for abolishing the intermediate stage has been rejected by LSIS. His interim report said that the Level 3 or 4 certificate to teach in the lifelong learning sector, and the "associate teacher" role that went with it, were redundant. "So few lecturers either understood them or had used them that they were, in effect, a dead letter," it stated.

Instead, LSIS proposes a revised introductory qualification, now called a Level 3 award in education and training, worth 12 credits or 48 hours of teaching, equivalent to the existing qualification in preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector.

FE teachers will also be able to continue their training with a Level 4 certificate, worth 30 credits, or a Level 5 diploma, worth 60 credits. But the previous diploma was worth 120 credits.

LSIS defended the change, saying that some schoolteacher qualifications have the same credit value, although PGCEs, for instance, are double the size. "The credit value is sufficient to meet its purpose as an initial teaching qualification and supports the transition to a career underpinned by continuing professional development," LSIS insisted. …

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