Further education (FE) providers are set to benefit from a £24 million support package so that they can continue to recruit, retain and develop excellent teachers.
The announcement, published on Gov.UK, noted how the government is investing heavily to improve further education and training, as part of an extra £400 million boost for 16 to 19 education in 2020/21 and by launching new T-Levels.
The package will support this drive by enhancing the FE workforce, helping the government deliver on its promise to improve skills and opportunities in the country. It will consist of:
- £11 million to offer bursaries and grants worth up to £26,000 to attract people to train to teach in FE, specifically in areas like English, STEM and SEND teaching.
- £10 million boost to Taking Teaching Further, an initiative aimed at encouraging industry professionals working in sectors such as computing and engineering to retrain as FE teachers.
- £3 million to implement top-level mentor training programmes, created and delivered by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to support teachers in FE – including those in the key early years of their career – to grow and progress in their roles.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson acknowledged that the government’s goal of creating a world-leading technical education system can only be achieved if we have outstanding teachers to educate and inspire the next generation.
Williamson said: “I’ve seen first-hand just how much brilliant work is already going on up and down the country. I want to thank the many thousands of further education teachers doing fantastic jobs and changing lives.
“This investment is a clear signal of the government's commitment to helping the FE sector to continue to recruit and retain excellent teachers who will help to unlock their students’ full potential.”
James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities’ Council for the Education for Teachers (UCET), commented that teacher training providers will welcome this new investment in training teachers to work in FE.
He continued: “The decision to extend the availability of pre-service training bursaries to a wider group of potential applicants in more subject areas is particularly welcome, and will help to ensure that more individuals can access high-quality teacher training programmes.”
The government has also unveiled plans to gather data on the FE workforce each year, starting from the next academic year. This move comes after a consultation with the sector in 2019 and will help to ensure the government has robust information on the workforce and a deeper understanding of who makes up the FE sector.
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