There is no legal requirement for teachers in further education to undertake professional development courses. However, most employers would expect their staff to participate in courses and conferences as the need arises.
In England and Wales, responsibility for continuing professional development (CPD) lies with each individual further education institution, or with the local education authority (LEA) in the case of staff in adult education centres.
The Further Education National Training Organisation (FENTO) is responsible for the development, quality assurance and promotion of national standards for all aspects of further education staff training and development, including continuing professional development.
Institutions responsible for FE continuing professional development
Continuing professional development of teachers (CPD) may be provided within a further education (FE) institution, at a higher education institution (HEI) or at an independent training or conference centre in England and Wales or overseas. The Further Education Development Agency (FEDA) is concerned with increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of further education. It offers a range of courses including management for senior college staff. FEDA also organises conferences and provides consultancy services.
Senior staff in FE institutions in England and Wales may also provide induction and ongoing professional guidance and development for less experienced colleagues.
Some courses, traditionally those for teachers of foreign languages, may take place wholly or partly in another country. Some senior staff undertake study visits to other countries, whereby the examination of another education system provides alternative models of tackling issues of common concern. Such visits may be arranged bilaterally (for example, through the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges) or as part of European Community programmes such as ARION and LINGUA.
There are no general admission requirements for continuing professional development programmes in England and Wales. Courses leading to particular qualifications, for example, a higher degree may have specific requirements.
Curriculum, duration of studies
There is no legal minimum requirement for the continuing professional development of teachers (CPD) in England and Wales. Participation by individual teachers varies considerably, ranging from a few hours to a few days and possibly over a long period on a full-time or part-time basis depending on the needs of the individual member of staff and of the institution.
Continuing professional development of teachers (CPD) in England and Wales covers all professional development, from short courses to higher degrees.
Where teachers undertake studies leading to specific qualifications — e.g. an academic diploma, a higher degree or a National Vocational Qualification — their performance is assessed by examination or coursework, as required by the accreditation body (a university or other awarding body). For example, one of the most common qualifications; the Further and Adult Education Teachers’ Certificate is awarded by the City and Guilds of London Institute, and accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). This qualification is being integrated into the national framework of National Vocational Qualifications at Levels 3 and 4.
There is no legal requirement for teachers in higher education to undertake professional development courses. However, most employers would expect their staff to participate in courses and conferences as the need arises.
The continuing professional development of teachers is the responsibility of each individual higher education institution and there is no single decision-making body. Most universities have their own staff development officers or units.
The Dearing Report (DfEE,1977) recommended that all higher education institutions should develop or seek access to programmes of teacher training for their staff, and proposed the establishment of an ‘Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education’ to provide a national system of accreditation for such programmes. Following consultation, the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT) was established in June 1999 as a membership organisation which aims to:
enhance the status of teaching in higher education;
maintain and improve the quality of learning and teaching in higher education;
set standards of good professional practice.
Other organisations involved in the promotion of the professional development of higher education staff include:
The Universities and Colleges Staff Development Agency (UCoSDA), formerly the Universities Staff Development Unit, is a company owned by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the UK (CVCP) and the Standing Conference of Principals (SCOP). It provides specialist advice, support and resources to member universities in their planning, delivery and evaluation of staff development and training for all personnel. It is the National Training Organisation (NTO) for higher education, and now works closely with the Institute for Leaning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT).
The Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) is the professional association for staff and educational developers in the UK. It accredits programmes of continuous professional development for all staff within higher education as well as programmes for new teachers.
Institutions responsible for HE continuing professional development
Continuing professional development of teachers may be provided at a higher education institution (HEI) or at an independent training or conference centre in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or overseas. Trainers may include a wide range of agencies and individuals. Senior staff within an HEI provide ongoing professional guidance and development for their less experienced colleagues, either as part of their day-to-day oversight or as special, focused training. Although there is no set formula, such support normally begins with the induction which follows the teacher’s initial appointment to the institution and continues for as long as it is required. HEIs also make provision for their staff to undertake studies leading to a higher degree. Some staff undertake study visits and establish joint projects with HEIs in other countries, whereby the examination of another education system provides alternative models of tackling issues of common concern. Such visits may be arranged bilaterally or as part of European Community programmes such as ERASMUS and LINGUA.
There are no formal admission requirements except in the case of courses leading to specific qualifications — e.g. a higher degree.
Curriculum, duration of studies
There is no legal minimum requirement for the continuing professional development of teachers (CPD). Participation by individual teachers varies considerably, ranging from a few hours to a few days and possibly over a long period on a full-time or part-time basis according to the needs of the individual staff member and the institution.
Continuing professional development of teachers covers all professional development, from short courses to higher degrees.
Where teachers undertake studies leading to specific qualifications — e.g. an academic diploma or a higher degree — their performance is assessed by examination or coursework, as required by the accreditation body (usually a university). Some professional development programmes have now been accredited by the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILT), a new membership organisation open to all those engaged in teaching and the support of learning in higher education.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INITIAL AND IN-SERVICE TRAINING AND CAREER
PROGRESSION FOR TEACHERS
The Government is introducing a new pay system for teachers in England based on performance. The new arrangements offer teachers significant pay rises over and above the annual pay award. Teachers meeting new national standards to pass a 'performance threshold' will be entitled to a £2000 pay rise on their basic salary. Success also means having access to a new upper pay scale and up to £4,000 more in performance pay.
All teachers with a good honours degree and seven years teaching experience, and other teachers with nine years teaching experience, are eligible to apply to be assessed against the new performance threshold standards. Headteachers will be responsible for assessing teachers against national guidelines. All Headteachers are being offered training, and accredited external assessors will work with Heads to ensure that decisions are nationally consistent.
The new performance threshold standards will cover the different dimensions of a teacher’s job expressed in generic terms. They cover: professional knowledge and understanding; teaching and assessment; pupil progress; wider professional effectiveness and professional characteristics.
All schools will be provided with an extra day of in-service training to cover the introduction of the new arrangements for performance
ADVANCED SKILLS TEACHERS
Since 1999 the Government has made available funds for a new grade of teacher - the Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) - in England. The funding rewards excellent teachers who want to remain in the classroom, rather than move into a management or leadership role, and share their skills and expertise with other teachers. ASTs are able to access higher salaries than other teachers. They are required to spend 20% of their time working with teachers from other schools.
FAST TRACK FOR TEACHERS
The Government is introducing a new Fast Track for teachers in England to help recruit top quality graduates and the most talented serving teachers. Teachers and trainees will win a place on the Fast Track through their commitment to teaching, excellent subject knowledge and leadership skills. Those entering the programme before initial training will receive a bursary of £5,000 (in addition to the new Training Salary for post-graduate trainees). Fast-track teachers can expect to reach the performance threshold within five years and become an AST or enter a leadership position shortly afterwards.
The core of the Fast Track will provide a structured programme of challenging teaching posts designed to give a diverse range of teaching experience. In addition, Fast Track teachers will undertake extra tailored continuous development, including short placements outside teaching, networking and mentoring.
INCORPORATION OF A EUROPEAN DIMENSION INTO TEACHER EDUCATION
MOBILITY OF STUDENTS AND ACADEMIC STAFF
The conference in Bologna, attended by the Minister of State for Higher Education in England, Baroness Blackstone, in June 1999, provided a significant step towards ensuring effective mobility of students and academic staff throughout Europe. It is important now to build on the Bologna Declaration’s aims.
There are already several building blocks in place to encourage mobility and mutual recognition of awards. The Socrates-Erasmus programme, recently relaunched, is the vehicle to encourage and promote student and staff mobility. The European Credit Transfer System ensures comparability of degree modules. Piloting work on the Diploma Supplement, including work by the University of Westminster, will help lead to an easier system of degree recognition.
There has been a drop in the number of UK students studying abroad under Erasmus (apart from students on language courses). Overall numbers have declined steadily from a peak of almost 12,000 in 1994/95 to less than 10,000 in 1998/99. Although the arrangements are meant to be reciprocal, there is an imbalance in the number of EU students who come to the UK compared with UK students going to other EU countries of about 2:1.
The UK Government, in tandem with the UK Socrates-Erasmus Council, the national agency responsible for Erasmus, is actively seeking to do what it can to redress the imbalance by encouraging as many UK higher education students as possible to take part. Since 1998, UK students who study abroad for a year have not been required to pay any tuition fees at all - either at the UK or other European institution - for that year. And promotional activity has increased: the DfEE has produced a free booklet ‘European Choice’ which advertises the potential benefits of the Erasmus scheme to students; and the UK Socrates-Erasmus Council has produced a free booklet ‘Unlock your potential with an Erasmus experience’.
A case study of an Erasmus funded project is included below:
Canterbury Christ Church College
Canterbury Christ College works with 15 partner institutions across Europe to provide exchanges for students on initial teacher education courses and academic staff. Their partner institutions are mainly in Northern Europe, but they are also building up contacts with institutions in Southern and Easter Europe. Last year 25 students from elsewhere in the EU attended courses in Canterbury. The College also ran a pilot scheme last year for its own trainees to spend some time at the partner institutions elsewhere in the EU, and the College is expanding the scheme this year. In addition a number of academic staff have spent some time elsewhere in the EU. This has provided a useful cross-fertilisation of ideas, exchange of good practice and exchange of research evidence. Finally, the College is currently piloting an internet discussion site for students and academic staff to talk to other colleagues across the EU within the partnership.
THE EUROPEAN DIMENSION IN THE PUPILS’ NATIONAL CURRICULUM
Some of the programmes of study for the pupils’ National Curriculum in England (geography, history, art, music and - at secondary level - modern foreign languages - include a European dimension. Schools are also able to include a European dimension in other subjects if that best meets the needs of their pupils. During the UK presidency of the European Union from January to June 1998, the DfEE published a booklet for headteachers and teachers ‘Partners in Europe - Managing the European Dimension’ providing ideas, examples and case studies for including a European dimension within the pupils’ curriculum.
The European Commission allocates funding to projects which incorporate a European dimension into in-service teacher education under Action 1 (School Education - Comenious) of the Socrates II programme. A case study of a Comenius funded projects is included below.
Bristol City Council co-ordinates a Comenius funded in-service training project with partners from Denmark, Germany, Greece. The project’s activities are based on 3 key themes:
combating prejudice and stereotyping;
the European dimension in the primary curriculum; and
communication and co-operation.
The project runs courses with teachers from all of the partner countries and covers modules on the three key themes. For example, teachers participate in exercises designed to challenge stereotypes of different cultural characteristics and to raise awareness of values, problems and solutions which are common across EU national boundaries. The project gives particular attention to the way in which the European dimension can raise levels of achievement for all pupils.
The project’s most recent course was held in Santander, Spain, in October 1999, and proved very successful.
Teacher Education in England and Wales (Carolyn Holcroft)
Conferência da Presidência Portuguesa (Loulé, 22 e 23 de Maio de 2000)