Regional Knowledge Hubs and Industry Insights

Knowledge Hubs

This strand of activity includes the creation of three Knowledge Hubs to maximise the impact of the Teacher Development Programme and Organisational Readiness elements of the offer. The hubs provide opportunities for longitudinal peer-to-peer collaboration and technical workforce development support.

Building on existing networks, the Knowledge Hubs are developing, establishing and growing networks that will ensure that CPD is relevant to the sector, and specific to the T Level routes being offered in each region. Their events and networks focus on the needs of the providers who will begin delivering T Levels in 2020 or 2021, but will also address the needs of colleagues from the wider sector who will be delivering T Levels in the future.

Each of the Hubs is responsible for a different area of the country. The Association of Colleges is the Knowledge Hub delivery partner for the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside; The Skills and Education Group is the Knowledge Hub delivery partner for the West Midlands, East Midlands, London and the East of England; and Creative Education is responsible for the Knowledge Hub for the South East and South West.

The creation of these Hubs builds on the existing evidence base which shows that longer-term CPD is more effective and that being part of a professional community of practice enhances learning amongst peers and is more impactful. This is illustrated by current ETF programmes such as Teach Too and Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment projects.

Teacher Regional Improvement Projects

In the context of the T Level Professional Development offer, collaboration is key and will actively be encouraged through provider participation in Teacher Regional Improvement Projects (TRIPs). Managed by the Knowledge Hub lead delivery partners, the TRIPs are collaborative projects designed to improve the quality of technical teaching and learning in a diverse range of settings.

Successful TRIP applicants will receive funding for their project and remission fees to attend relevant CPD offered through other strands of the support offer, and colleagues will have the support of a project peer adviser.

The first 31 TRIPs began in June and are focusing on topics including soft skills development for students going on industry placements, subject-specific pedagogy, and employer-engagement in co-curriculum design and delivery. A further 19 were announced in November. All 50 are summarised in a document available below. There is a recorded webinar available to watch now for those wanting more information on TRIPs.

Industry Insights

The Industry Insight delivery partners are working closely with the Knowledge Hub leads to offer work shadowing and work placement opportunities for school teachers and college lecturers, and also more immersive staff placements in industry over three, five or 10 days. These activities, alongside employer-led workshops – the Industry Insight aspect of the offer – will ensure that professional updating is industry relevant and, consequently, that knowledge transfer and professional exchange take place.

Announced in May 2019, these opportunities will allow those who will be teaching T Levels access to technical professional development that will support them to facilitate high-quality learning experiences, sharing industry insights with their learners and providing a clear line of sight to work. This will include visits to industry and other educational establishments and be based on the ETF’s Teach Too principles.

This activity takes three forms:

  • Work shadowing entails observing industry colleagues in their day-to-day roles in order to gain a better understanding of the workplace. Intended as a taster activity, work shadowing lasts for either a half or a full day.
  • Work placements are slightly longer – one or two days – and involve both observation and interaction.
  • Staff placements in industry are both longer in duration – of three, five or ten days – and a more immersive experience that includes practical experience as well as observation and interaction.

There are a minimum of 175 placements available across England and the intention is that they take place across all regions. All placements must be completed by 14 February 2020.

Remission funding will be available to those participating in any of this activity, with half-day sessions receiving £200 and full-day sessions £400.

Participants in Industry Insight placements are asked to submit a case study highlighting key objectives, experience gained and impact on organisations and future learners. These are available to read on the Case Studies section of the website, and will be continually replenished.

Further details are available in the flyer and guidance to applicants documents available below.

Additionally, practice and development and information, advice and guidance workshops, led by employers, facilitate the sharing of knowledge, enabling genuine two-way street working.

The Industry Insight partner in the north is Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. In the south, it is AELP.