Impact of teaching staff involvement on research highlighted by OTLA report

The impact that involving teaching staff in research into vocational teaching can have is highlighted in a new report on phase three of the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme in the North-East and Cumbria region.

The programme actively involved more than 200 practitioners from 42 providers in 13 collaborative projects. The collaborative projects were:

  • work at Redcar and Cleveland College to promote more effective partnerships between teachers and Student Support Assistants through a process of experimenting with strategies to aid learners’ self-assessment and stimulate more independent learning
  • collaboration by Gateshead Council learningSkills, ALD Hair and Beauty Academy, Foundation of Light, North East Counselling Services and Darlington Borough Council to explore ways in which mindfulness training could support tutors teaching students with complex social and emotional needs
  • the development of an action research-based model for CPD to meet the needs of young people with special educational needs and disabilities at Bishop Auckland College, SWD Training and Bishop Auckland Community Learning
  • collaborative work between Tyne Metropolitan College, East Durham College, Stockton Riverside College and Maersk Training to support construction apprenticeship trainers to develop their teaching skills
  • transformative work by South Tyneside Council, Community First North East and AutismAble that has changed the way adult and community learners are assessed to move away from standardised diagnostics to a more individual-based approach
  • an examination by Newcastle College and Community First North East of the ingredients needed to create truly alternative education programmes that help participants move past previous negative perceptions and equip them with the confidence, independence and resilience to succeed
  • the redevelopment of approaches to feedback at merging South Tyneside and Tyne Metropolitan colleges to help adult GCSE and Access students set their own short-term targets and give them control over their learning
    empowering work by Darlington Borough Council, Bishop Auckland College and South West Durham Training that has boosted the confidence of staff dealing with equality and diversity issues
  • the development of new approaches to Maths by Stockton Riverside College, Darlington College, Hartlepool College of FE and Egglescliffe School that has improved outcomes in GCSE Maths for those continuing to work towards a grade C/4 or better
  • work to develop goal-setting techniques between Kendal College and HMP Haverigg and by North Tyneside Council that has driven up students’ attainment in GCSE English and Maths
  • a programme of practice sharing by Novus and eight prisons across the North East and Cumbria that helped staff increase engagement with prisoner learners
  • the development of activities to support maths and English learners by North Tyneside Council, Northumberland County Council, HMP Northumberland, Darlington Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Springboard (Sunderland) that has increased students’ engagement with their learning.

The report is available on the ETF’s Excellence Gateway.

Julie Gibbings-Garrett, ETF’s Head of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, said:

“It is our belief that enabling practitioners to engage in action research or joint practice development activity supports a greater likelihood of longer-term change in practice. As solutions and strategies are tested, trialled and evaluated, practice becomes more embedded and honed. The report on phase three of this project underlines the value of collaboration and its impact on practice.”

The programme was led by Success North at Newcastle College, in partnership with cc Consultancy, The Education and Training Consortium/HUDCETT and Skills Digital.

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