Teaching 'licence' for all new lecturers by 2010

August 23, 2002

All new lecturers will be expected to have a teaching qualification by 2010. That is the message from the Cooke review into teaching-quality enhancement.

This will require recruits to take teacher-training courses, accredited by the Institute for Learning and Teaching, at their employer institution.

More experienced staff will be expected to demonstrate competence in working with students. A public debate involving teaching unions, staff, students and employers is being launched later this autumn to lay the foundations for "a new agenda" for quality enhancement.

It will raise questions about ILT membership, a single quality-enhancement agency and external examiner reforms, among others.

The Cooke committee is understood to want managers to be more proactive about the ILT. This could include offering incentives to join and recognition of membership as promotion criteria.

But there is impatience about delays in consulting over the agenda when the future of staff in membership organisations such as the ILT and lecturers'

unions is at stake.

Liz Allen, Natfhe national official, has written to Sir Ron Cooke, who chairs the review, requesting more union involvement.

Sir Ron leads a team that is looking at the roles of four agencies - the ILT, the Learning and Teaching Support Network, the Higher Education Staff Development Agency and the Quality Assurance Agency - under the auspices of Universities UK, the Standing Conference of Principals and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Rob Copeland, AUT education policy research officer, said: "We have an education white paper coming out in the autumn that is going to talk about incentives for teaching.

"It is important to get this debate into the public domain to make sure that the terms are not set by UUK, Hefce and others," he said.

"The AUT took the view that teaching is not recognised as highly as research in terms of promotion but we have been sceptical about the ILT as the criterion for that," he added.

Caroline Bucklow, who was this week appointed ILT acting chief executive following Paul Clark's resignation, said the ILT planned to consult members in September about their future and collaboration with other organisations.

Sir Ron has proposed restructuring relations between the four agencies.

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