An increased number of employers are now working closely with FE providers to address co-curriculum design, planning and delivery, enabling genuine two-way street working; and some employers are undertaking teaching training or teaching on a voluntary basis, providing real opportunities to integrate a clear line of sight to work for students and valuable personal learning and development opportunities for teachers. This has led to the establishment of deeper relationships between FE providers and employers which, in many cases, has resulted in award-winning practice, and is evidence of the success of the Teach Too programme, delegates at a dissemination event on 19 March were told.
Attendees heard from providers and their employer partners, including Stansted Airport College (part of Harlow College), The Lancashire Colleges and the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub, and The LTE Group and Manchester College. The project at Stansted reported the establishment of the first partnership of its kind at an airport, with the presence of an on-site training facility helping to build strong links with employers, helping to boost recruitment to the aviation industry, working to develop the talent pipeline and allowing for the flexible shaping of a contemporary curriculum for learners.
The Lancashire project reported tangible benefits including the active engagement of 33 employers, genuine buy-in from college staff and digital employers, and a change in attitudes to dual professionalism. The LTE Group–Manchester College project created work experience opportunities with a range of businesses, recruited highly-skilled Master Technicians. and opened new opportunities for students to gain skills in hybrid/electric technology, resulting in a ‘Good’ judgement from Ofsted this year.
The event took place following the fifth phase of the Teach Too programme, which included nine projects strategically embedding Teach Too principles and practice at a local level and a further nine doing so across their whole organisation. Amongst the projects was one aimed specifically at providing better progression opportunities for SEND learners, three with 2020 T Level providers, and one with a newly-merged, multi-campus college group. Six projects provided industrial updating for their teaching staff, with more than 50 teachers and trainers spending time in industry.
The emerging findings of an evaluation report on Teach Too echo the case studies, with short-term benefits including reinvigorated teaching staff, an enhanced talent pipeline for employers, and more-industry-relevant experience and learning for students and apprentices, all identified by the authors. Longer-term benefits were also identified in some instances, with earlier participating institutions going on to create a team of employer engagement specialists and proceed to larger-scale collaborations.
“This event emphasised how adopting Teach Too principles and practice – two-way street working, dual professionalism, and a clear line of sight of work – can have huge benefit for students, teachers and industry alike. Attendees heard some really inspiring stories about the positive effects of participation in Teach Too that underlined how collaborative working between FE sector providers and industry can help improve the quality of technical education and training. These are important learning points for the sector.”
For further details of Teach Too please visit the Teach Too pages.