Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/2098
Professional issues in further education
As the key voice of practitioners in further and adult education, UCU seeks to influence education policy across a range of issues. These include structures in the sector, funding, quality, the curriculum, professional development, learner support and governance.
The union is represented on a number of educational bodies and makes regular representations to the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS), the Department for Education, and the various sector government agencies and non-departmental government bodies. UCU offers advice to members on a range of professional issues. It campaigns for proper funding for the sector, a comprehensive curriculum offer for young people and adults and adequate training and professional development for sector staff and UCU members. Below you will find links to a range of materials and to the key players in the sector.
For further advice please email Matt Waddup.
Latest on the Institute for Learning
See: Institute for Learning
Maths CPD for maths teachers
The National Centre for Excellence in Maths teachers is putting on with the Centres for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETTs) to establish high quality CPD provision for FE teachers of mathematics in the FE sector. This will enable teachers who are already involved in numeracy or functional skills teaching to enhance their knowledge so that they can teach GCSE effectively. This programme, has been designed to focus on those elements of mathematical subject content and subject pedagogy that enable lecturers of FE numeracy and functional skills to begin the process of becoming expert teachers of higher level GCSE Mathematics.
It will also be of value to teachers of related technical/vocational and academic subjects. The programme will help them develop valuable knowledge and skills, but would need to be further supplemented by modules addressing other core areas of mathematics: in particular, number. If your college has teachers who would benefit from participation on the Enhancement Programme or your college would like to host a group then please contact the Mathematics lead in within your region. Click here for the full list of regional contacts and detail of the FE Lead Support programme. | October 2013
Update on IfL and QTLS
Last year all but one of the 2007 FE Workforce Regulations were revoked. This means that IfL membership is no longer mandatory for FE and Skills sector lecturers. The remaining regulation requiring FE lecturers to have or be on track to have a FE teaching qualification will be revoked by September 2013. The position on QTS is confused. It should no longer be a requirement to hold this. Individual colleges may not have amended their employment contracts to reflect this, and some may still want their teaching staff to have QTLS. IfL are still awarding QTLS but only to IfL members. They are also charging over £400 for the process of professional formation that is part of QTLS. If your college is still wanting QTLs, you remind them that it is no longer a requirement by BIS. If they persist in demanding it, contact your regional office. IfL annual membership is up for renewal. If you renewed it last year when it was still mandatory, there is no need to rejoin this year.
Campaigning booklet: Jobs and education - regaining the trust of young people
UCU believes that the riots of August 2011 should be a wake-up call to those who work and run education services in Britain. Further and adult education can play an essential part in winning back the trust of young people. But there must be an urgent assessment of the role of further and adult education and how it is funded. This booklet outlines current issues and offers campaigning suggestions to enable colleges and the local community to better meet the needs of our young people. Jobs and Education: regaining the trust of young people (.pdf) [400kb]
Action for ESOL
Follow the latest development in the Action for ESOL campaign here
Overview of FE issues
Further education, adult learning, workforce skills and education for 14- to 19 year-olds have become increasingly important to the nation and to the government as the influence of this crucial work on the country's economic prospects and its contribution to social cohesion have been recognised.
Further education funding is a very complex and arcane subject. Major changes in government funding policies make it even more complicated and difficult to understand.
The FE curriculum
UCU works to ensure that teaching and learning is fully valued and supported by offering information on curriculum issues and lobbying for improvements to ensure vocational qualifications are given the same status as academic qualifications.
Lesson Observations in FE
Internal college lesson observation policies and procedures have been the industrial issue that has been the subject of the most sector conference motions in recent years. This reflects the fact that lesson observation policies have become a hotly contested industrial issue in FE today.
Governance in FE
UCU has long campaigned for open, transparent and democratic governance at all levels within further education institutions.
Key players in FE
The organisations listed on this page are among the major players involved in further education provision. They range from public sector bodies to charitable organisations and play a variety of roles.
FE fees and student support
The costs of undertaking a course at college can be high - they include not just the cost of tuition itself but also living expenses. Some students are exempt from paying tuition fees; others could be eligible for financial support or a loan.