Institute for Learning
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IfL welcomes Ofsted report on initial teacher training

The Institute for Learning (IfL) has welcomed the publication of "The initial training of further education teachers" by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted). The report, published in February 2009, presents an overview of the 2004-2008 inspection cycle of initial teacher training for further education, including national awarding body qualifications. Taking the 2003 Ofsted survey as a starting point, it evaluates the extent to which providers visited in 2007/08 have programmes that equip trainees with the skills and competencies needed for high-quality teaching.

IfL's chief executive, Toni Fazaeli, said, "It is encouraging to note the improvements in many areas, and the extent to which trainee teachers display good and improving levels of reflection on, and evaluation of, the impact of their teaching on learning. Inspectors also noted that the taught element of training is good and improving, with much effective modelling of good practice by teacher trainers.

"This report is a credit to the teachers and lecturers leading the initial teacher training programmes, and the significant improvements in quality achieved since the 2003 and 2006 Ofsted reports. It is also a tribute to Lifelong Learning UK and their new teacher qualifications framework. As the sector skills council for the FE and skills workforce, LLUK has a distinctive and vital role to play in setting standards for qualifications.

"Some areas were highlighted as needing further development, and it is disappointing that trainees employed in work-based and adult and community learning settings continue to be the most disadvantaged in the quality and extent of their workplace support. We are pleased, however, to see Ofsted's acknowledgement that trainees are usually well qualified in their own vocational area and strongly committed to teaching in the post-compulsory sector; that they establish good working relationships with their students and have high expectations of them, and that they are highly motivated and focus well on their own learning and continuing professional development.

"One of our aims, as the independent professional body for all teachers and trainers in the FE and skills sector, is to promote the value of continuing professional development and reflective practice throughout a teacher's professional career, as well as part of the qualification process. Over 25,000 teachers and trainers already use REfLECT, the personal learning space and e-portolio provided to all IfL members as a benefit of membership. Excellent teachers strive for excellence in teaching and learning, and for high levels of subject or vocational expertise, which they continually develop, as individuals and within communities of practice. They are truly dual professionals.

"Initial teacher training is the start of a journey that progresses to professional formation through IfL membership to gain the full Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) or Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) professional status; upholding standards of professional practice; reflective practice; and maintaining up-to-date skills and teaching expertise through continuing professional development. IfL works closely with members, including many who are on initial teacher training programmes; partner organisations such as LLUK; the government and awarding bodies to help ensure that teaching and training, at all stages of a teacher's or trainer’s professional career, are excellent across the sector."


Ofsted's report is available to download at 

About IfL

The Institute for Learning (IfL) was formed in 2002 and is the professional body for teachers, tutors, trainers and student teachers in the further education and skills sector, including adult and community learning, emergency and public services, FE colleges, the armed services, the voluntary sector and work-based learning.

Much of IfL’s work is guided by two sets of regulations that came into force on 1 September 2007:

· Revised teaching qualifications, including the introduction of licensed practitioner status and differentiation between full and associate teachers

· Remaining in good standing as a teaching professional, including mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) for all teachers.

Under the regulations, all FE college teachers are required to register as members of IfL, undertake CPD each year and abide by the IfL Code of Professional Practice. The regulations are supported by contractual requirements for LSC-funded provision, to ensure that the scope of the regulations covers all teachers in the sector.

The government has agreed to meet the full cost of standard registration with IfL for teachers in LSC-funded institutions who register online. IfL also welcomes teachers and trainers who do not work on LSC-funded programmes; they are required to pay their own annual subscription, for which they receive a comprehensive range of professional benefits.

Teachers new to the sector from September 2007 are also required to become licensed practitioners. Although not mandatory for them, existing teachers are also encouraged to become licensed practitioners, as this will become the benchmark for the sector.

As a key partner in delivering workforce reform, IfL is responsible for managing the registration process and for conferring licensed practitioner status.

An independent professional body, IfL is governed by an elected council and works closely with several sector organisations, unions and employer bodies.


Press office:

Lindsay Baugh 07736 246 697 or 01707 392 552


Membership and other enquiries:

The Institute for Learning
Bracton House
34-36 High Holborn


Telephone: 0844 815 3202



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