Teaching Post-16/Further Education

About the sector
The further education sector is very broad. Opportunities exist in further education colleges and sixth form colleges, as well as Adult and Community Learning - delivering a range of courses in community venues. These courses include numeracy, literacy, personal computing or can be more specialised around specific subject areas.

Other opportunities will include work based learning; training employees in role specific or developmental subjects. There are also roles in the justice sector which may include basic skills and delivering vocational courses.

Routes into teaching in further education (FE)
There are a number of routes into this area of teaching. All regulation has been removed and it is up to individual colleges which qualifications they might ask for. However, it is still possible to enter FE teaching with no teaching qualification and begin a qualification once teaching, and some colleges put all new teachers through their own in-house training, others insist on qualifications prior to starting. Courses can include the Cert Ed or Diploma in Education and Training - both level 5 courses.

Universities offer a PGCE - a level 7 qualification offering 60 masters credits. Course titles vary between institutions, but include PGCE Post-16 Teaching and Learning, PGCE Post-Compulsory Education, or PGCE Lifelong Learning and some institutions will still refer to the qualification as PCET (Post Compulsory Education and Training). This qualification can be achieved through one year full-time study at a university, or part time while you teach. 

Requirements can vary for all the courses, but as with teaching in secondary schools, for the PGCE you will need a degree in the subject (or a subject closely related with around 50% of the subject related to the course that you hope to teach) as well as GCSEs in Mathematics and English (or standard equivalents) at grade C/4 or above. For the level 5 courses, training providers are generally looking for a level 3 (A level equivalent) qualification in the subject that you hope to teach.

A comprehensive list of qualifications can be found on the Education and Training Foundation's FEAdvice website.

Applying/searching for courses
Applications for full-time study may be through UCAS or by direct application - so you need to check the institution's prospectus. Part-time places are usually by direct application. There is no comprehensive central site which lists courses - where the training provider accepts applications via UCAS, these can be searched via the UCAS search tool.

For information on what these roles involve, have a look at descriptions and information at  either National Careers Service or Prospects

Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)
QTLS is a designation awarded to teachers in the FE sector, by the Society for Education and Training. Unlike QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) it is not automatically awarded on successful completion of study, it is optional and must be applied for separately. 

It is not a requirement for teaching in post-16/further education and teachers may choose to gain QTLS for career progress and to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and commitment to employers. It is recognition of an individual's status as a teaching professional and is recognised in legislation as an equivalent status to teachers with QTS in schools.

The candidate is required to have gained their teaching qualification, register with the Society for Education and Training, undertake and record annual Continuing Professional Development and complete SET's professional formation process. Candidates must already hold level 2 qualifications in numeracy and literacy and there is a list of accepted qualifications on their website.

A full explanation of the professional formation process can be found here: Society for Education and Training QTLS information and the society has an excellent FAQ section.

Last modified: 
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 10:49