Supporting Further Education and Training recovery

The pandemic has affected education in many ways. It has impacted young people and adults, organisations and systems, and these impacts will be felt for years to come.

We think these spotlight topics are most likely to be of help as we start to recover from the immediate impact of Covid and move to the next phases of our lives, as we try to establish our new ways of living and learning.

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Spotlight: Recruitment and support for new teachers

Teacher recruitment and the ‘staffing crisis’ are never far from the headlines.  

Recent research carried out by the Association of Colleges (AoC) identified approximately 6,000 vacancies in the further education (FE) and training sector.   

Although this situation is not new, the Covid-19 pandemic has added additional pressures. FE providers were forced to grapple with rapid changes in delivery, staff absences and a range of flexible working arrangements.  

This is complex – and there are no simple answers. However, there are initiatives and resources that can support you, from funding to attract experienced professionals into teaching, to support lines for new teachers and advice around safeguarding in recruitment.   

We hope the following suggestions from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) will prove of value to you and your organisation.  

 Taking Teaching Further (TTF)  

The ETF is happy to announce that registrations for Round 5 of Taking Teaching Further (TTF) have now opened.   

This national initiative – funded by the Department of Education (DfE) and managed by the ETF – aims to attract experienced business and industry professionals to teach in FE. It does this by supporting providers with the funding towards new recruits undertaking a Level 5 teaching qualification.   

Some of the providers who benefited from this programme indicated that the pandemic had caused individuals to examine their life choices and consider teaching as a way of giving something back. Others were willing to give up home-based jobs if it meant working with learners in a face-to-face setting.  

Support service for practitioners  

If you are new to teaching or are supporting a colleague who is new to FE, our support service for practitioners is a great place to ask questions or discuss issues confidentially.   

The launch of the support service follows the DfE’s College Staff Survey 2019 follow-up Research report in September 2020, which found that more than a quarter (27%) of those who left their main college did so within a year of starting work there. A further 19% had left before completing three years’ service.  

Safer recruitment module  

Another critical element of good recruitment is safeguarding. Adopting safer recruitment practices prioritises the safety and welfare of everyone in the organisation. Enrol in our ‘Safer recruitment’ online learning module to learn about safer recruitment, examine why it is important and consider how methods of safer recruitment can be embedded within your organisation.  

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Case studies 

Taking Teaching Further ROUTE 1
For FE Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges in England (colleges).  

Taking Teaching Further ROUTE 2
For all independent training providers, employer led providers, third sector training providers, local authority providers, adult and community learning providers, 16-19 academy converters and university technical colleges.  

Support lines  

Support service for teachers and trainers new to FE  


Safer recruitment


Become a teacher in the Further Education and Training sector

Additional support for Further Education and Training recovery

Resources for leaders, managers and practitioners in the Further Education and Training sector. This includes online CPD, digital teaching support, webinars, and journals. Please visit the below pages to see the help that is available.