Initial Teacher Education Provision in FE and Skills

Since 2015, the ETF has published reports bringing together data on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) from a range of different sources to give us a clear picture of the size and shape of teacher training in FE, and an understanding of who is undertaking this training.

The fourth and most recent report was published in April 2018.

The latest ITE report presents information on trainee teachers who attended ITE courses in the 2015/16 academic year, and the destinations of those on HE courses in 2016/17. The study also includes provider and qualification data from 2017/18.

The purpose of the research is to provide intelligence that can support policy makers and the sector in making informed decisions and ensuring a sufficient supply of high-quality teachers and trainers are entering FE – particularly relevant in the current policy climate. The technical education reforms outlined in the post-16 Skills Plan (2016) including T Levels are likely to have a transformative impact on the sector, changing both the programmes taught in FE and how they are delivered. Implementing them effectively will require a highly-skilled and adaptive FE workforce.

The study was commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation and undertaken by ICF Consulting Services Ltd. It draws on analysis of Higher Education (HE) and FE datasets on ITE qualifications, data from Ofqual, Ofsted and Awarding Organisations, and qualitative interviews with a selection of ITE providers.

Key findings of the latest report:

  • The delivery landscape is very diverse with 46 Awarding Organisations (AO) and 34 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) accredited ITE qualifications in 2015/16. FE colleges represent 45% of all ITE providers and 75% of Diploma or PGCE/Certificate of Education providers. Nearly 200 independent training providers and 110 Adult Community Learning providers deliver ITE, although most only deliver awards (Level 3).
  • The quality of ITE provision is good. All HEIs and FE colleges that had their education and teaching programmes inspected achieved a good (Grade 2) or outstanding (Grade 1) inspection grade.
  • There was a fall in the numbers studying for Awards (Level 3), Diplomas (Level 5) and PGCEs/Certificates of Education (Level 6/7) but an increase in those studying for Certificates (Level 4).
  • For those studying at Level 5 and above (Diploma or PGCE/Cert Ed), the in-service option is falling in popularity.
  • The overall number of ITE learners undertaking the specialist diplomas in literacy, numeracy and supporting learners with SEND has increased steadily from 20 to 254 between 2012/13 and 2015/16.
  • Around 60% of ITE learners progressed to a teaching role in FE, of which 73% gained employment in FE colleges. An increasingly high proportion gained employment in independent training providers.
  • The average salaries of ITE learners entering a full-time teaching role in 2015/16 was £25,220. This has remained relatively static since 2012/13.

Download the reports (dates related to publishing dates):