Since the Society for Education and Training (SET) introduced Corporate Partner status in May 2017, 15 colleges have already signed up for the status which serves as a badge of recognition that they are committed to investing in staff development, progression and high-quality recruitment. Several more colleges are in the process of signing up over the coming months.
Corporate Partner status enables colleges and Independent Training Providers (ITP) to access the entire suite of services offered by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), covering a vast range of continuous professional development, practical advice, support and networking opportunities. Alongside this, Corporate Partners are encouraged to engage their teachers and trainers with the ETF’s membership arm SET, which confers Quality Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS).
The aim of the partnership status is to offer bespoke solutions for colleges and keep teachers connected to their practice. This ongoing professional development offer for staff, benefits the whole organisation alongside its learners, partners and local employers3.
John Humphreys, Head of Human Resources of West London College4, said:
"We wanted to support Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and maximise both the skills of our existing staff and attract new teachers and trainers. Our key priorities for teaching and learning are to have outstanding teachers and for every learner to be able to achieve their best. The biggest challenge we are currently facing is to recruit, retain and develop teachers in English and STEM subjects – and this is the kind of tailored support being delivered by the ETF.
“West London College is in a very competitive market place and we are not just competing with FE. It is important for us to train and invest in CPD for our staff as this is a key element of developing an outstanding workforce, especially when working with local employers.”
Nigel Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive of Fareham College (rated Outstanding by Ofsted) in Hampshire, said:
“As part of our Corporate Partner status, we have accessed a number of the ETF’s CPD and networking events, and taken part in funding opportunities such as the Outstanding Teaching and Learning Assessment (OTLA) grant collaborative project. The partnership helps us stay up to date with key issues across the sector. With a key strategic priority to invest in our staff, we find accessing CPD activities across all areas of the curriculum particularly valuable. These have included; managing student behaviour, supporting learners with maths and English, developing an awareness of student mental health issues and supporting students with additional needs. Flexible methods of study that can meet the diverse needs of the Fareham workforce is key to engagement and thus the online courses offered by the ETF are a really effective and accessible mode of delivery.
“The student experience is our top priority and our staff must have the support and skills to provide a consistently high-quality service. By being engaged with SET, staff feel well supported with their training needs and feel that they are invested in. Our vision for the next five years is to prepare our students for meaningful careers through the provision of outstanding technical and professional provision. We will do this primarily through ensuring our staff are qualified and confident professionals who are passionate, innovative and committed to learners of all types and can act as ambassadors for the College and business sectors they serve.”
In West London's College latest Ofsted report, inspectors said:
“Leaders and managers have invested highly in their workforce to ensure that they have the skills to deliver the ambitious vision. Opportunities for staff to develop, progress and gain qualifications, additional responsibilities and promotion are now very good. Managers and teachers value the extensive work with the Education and Training Foundation through which staff develop, improve and share their effective practice in order to improve.”
About the Education and Training Foundation: The ETF is the government-backed, sector-owned national workforce and professional development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. Its role is to support the continuing transformation of the technical and vocational education system by ensuring the sector has world-class leaders, teachers and trainers. This leads to ever-improving learner outcomes, a better skilled workforce for employers and a stronger economy, country and society.
We do this by improving, driving and championing the quality of leadership, teaching and training through four key pillars:
- Setting professional standards, running the sector’s professional membership body (Society for Education and Training and for awarding practitioners with QTLS and ATS
- Supporting sector change
- Leading workforce development for leaders, governors and practitioners
- Providing key workforce data and research.
About the Society for Education and Training: The Society for Education and Training (SET) is the professional membership organisation for over 16,000 practitioners working in the Further Education and Training sector. It is managed by the Education and Training Foundation.
SET Corporate Partner benefits include:
- SET partner logo for use on website and marketing materials
- Discounted SET membership for your staff
- Use of SET CPD tools and support on how to integrate it into your performance development review (PDR) processes
- Access to the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) training courses at discounted rates
- Complimentary SET membership for one member of your management team, and three copies of SET's journal, InTuition
- Staff workshops to get maximum value from SET.