David Powell is the Director of Partnership between the University of Huddersfield and 20 Further Education colleges who are delivering Initial Teacher Training across the north of England.
The Education and Training Consortium has partners who deliver ‘pre-service’ initial teacher education which is for those without a position and ‘in-service’ teacher education for those working in FE but without a teaching qualification. The Consortium also work with practitioners who are engaged in research degrees including PhDs., organise conferences and undertake research.
How do you attract the right people into teaching and how do you retain them?
David agrees there is a teacher shortage in Further Education, just like in the Primary and Secondary sectors. However, in FE there are some different challenges:
- A single institution may have over 200 specialisms compared with 25-30 in a Secondary school
- Pay and conditions are generally more attractive in schools than in FE
David believes we need to create a set of working conditions – including pay – that makes teaching attractive to graduates. Younger teachers may have a student loan to pay off and specialist teachers for FE may be career changers and have a mortgage to pay and a family to bring up – so the level of remuneration needs to be right to give teachers security.
Some research has been done recently on how specialists can be brought into certain areas of the curriculum – maybe as part-time staff and David says we maybe need to start looking creatively at the problem.
Also, we need to look at career structures in FE for those who want to remain, full-time. People need to have access to:
- Rewards for their expertise
Many educationalists look to the example of Finland. David points out there are several things we can learn from the Finns about teacher recruitment and retention, in FE and in schools.
The Finnish system is highly competitive, they attract highly-qualified people and give them good levels of pay and a protected profession. So teaching is seen as an attractive career. Teachers have good working conditions and…
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