SET member Oran Blackwood, a tutor and manager at community learning provider ELATT, and learner Freddie Ford talk about what makes their learning partnership tick.

FREDDIE FORD I’m from Hackney and although I was a good student at school, I wasn’t interested in learning. Now that I am older and at college, it makes me think I should have concentrated and listened to the teachers. ELATT is local to Hackney and I came here as part of a pilot

for vocational training at my previous school. I liked it so much I stayed to continue my English and maths and study for a BTEC National in Creative Digital Media. Oran has been inspiring and helped me to be more motivated in my studies. All my teachers have good subject knowledge, but they also teach in a fun way, which is so important because it does give you that motivation to keep on learning. Oran also helped me to get a really good workplace

opportunity in a media company. That was just amazing. The work experience element wasn’t even part of my course! I plan to complete the BTEC this year and from there I am hoping to get a media-based apprenticeship. In terms of work I’d like to be a camera operator or a director of photography for a major film company.

ORAN BLACKWOOD Freddie has really grown in the time he’s been with us and he has developed a passion for photography. We are using this passion to help him develop a deeper understanding of the film and media industries in which he wants to work. Students are part of the decision-making for our courses

and Freddie is a very active voice who has driven change in the media curriculum. I was a computer engineer. My firm wanted me to get a degree

and I chose English because I thought it would be the easiest to do. One of my units was teaching and I found that I actually loved it. I’ve never looked back. Teaching has to be fun for me and the learners. If I don’t enjoy

what I’m teaching, I can see that the learners are less engaged. I am constantly learning. I believe it is important to keep up with current trends and pedagogy. In the past three years I have completed a masters in special educational needs and my NASENCO qualification, and now I am studying for a professional doctorate. I have a PGCE and Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills

(QTLS) status. The continuing professional development offered by SET is incredible.



WHAT’S NEW The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has warned further education providers that they will have to meet stricter rules governing their sub-contracted provision. It has launched a review of sub-contracting arrangements for education and training provision, with new regulations expected in 2020-21. Ofsted is also investigating sub-contractor provision. The moves follow a number of high-profile cases in which sub-contracted provision has breached funding agency rules. ESFA chief executive Eileen Milner wrote to FE sector leaders in

October saying: “The issues underpinning our investigations have ranged in seriousness from complacency and mismanagement, through to matters of deliberate and systematic fraud.”

WHY SHOULD I CARE? Providers fear that unless the sector can demonstrate it has sufficiently robust processes to manage sub-contractor arrangements, a ban on sub-contracted education and training provision may follow. A ban would have serious implications for learner access to provision, and for teachers and trainers working for sub-contracted providers. But stricter regulation will also impact on practitioners. This could be beneficial in terms of increased access to continuing professional development (CPD) as more providers seek to demonstrate the quality of their sub-contracting arrangements. Or it may lead to a potential increase in administrative duties to show compliance with stricter rules.


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