Journalist and Writer
Hilary Wilce specialising in all aspects of education
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The Quandary - 14 Feb 2008

Why do you have to have a qualification to teach adults? Doesn’t it put people off sharing their skills?

Hillary's Advice

Since last September all new teachers of adults in colleges and community settings have been required to take qualifications that form part of something called the Qualified Teacher – Learning and Skills framework. All teachers need an Award in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS), at Level 3 or 4, which leads on to the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS), which can be at level 3 or 4. If you are already teaching, your PTLLS can be integrated with your CTLLS and delivered in a fast track version …There’s more but I won’t go on. Stuff like this can make you lose the will to live.

Does it put people off teaching adults? I suppose it must. When I trained as a basic skills tutor the college had to lay on extra sessions simply to show us how to fill in the paperwork and it made me want to hurl down my pen and never come back. On the other hand, a former computer company manager, who switched to teaching IT skills in an FE college, says he loved his training, and found it made the world of difference to his teaching skills.

Of course standards have to be maintained, but there must be plenty of linguists, plasterers, hairdressers and cooks, not to mention musicians and art historians who want nothing to do with it. Although, since funding for adult education is now being pared to the bone anyway – what a scandal -- maybe it doesn’t matter.