ETF committed to practitioner research

Commenting on an FE Week article – The realities of research in FE – published today (11 March 2022), the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has reaffirmed its belief in the value of, and commitment to, practitioner research.

Since it began in 2009, more than 300 practitioners have completed the ETF’s Practitioner Research Programme, including the Research Development Fellowship. Over 3,000 practitioners have been directly involved with the Outstanding, Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme since it started in 2015.

Dr Catherine Manning, the ETF’s National Head of Mentoring and Practitioner Research, said:

“It is well recognised that research in the FE sector has been relatively under-supported compared to the schools and higher education sectors. Practitioner research has been helping to address this imbalance in recent years and the ETF has been pleased to support thousands of projects that have empowered practitioners to try new approaches with their learners, and to disseminate the findings of their work so that they also benefit colleagues across FE. Practitioners have told us that taking part in these innovative programmes has been inspirational and career changing.

“Unfortunately, the DfE grant that had supported the practitioner research projects is not available for the 2022/23 year. The ETF is currently exploring options for these programmes and seeking alternative funding so we can keep this positive investment in the growth of the sector alive.

“We remain committed to the value of practitioner research in advancing individual teaching and learning strategies, research literacy and value placed on research within the sector. We see the action research approach as a catalyst for targeted improvement that benefits the whole learning community – individual teachers, colleagues and learners – in a responsive and timely manner.”

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