Education Quandary: 'Why do you have to have a qualification to teach adults?


'Why do you have to have a qualification to teach adults? Won't this simply deter people from sharing their skills?'

Hilary's advice

Since 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're already teaching, your PTLLS can be integrated with your CTLLS in a fast-track version... There's more, but I won't go on. This stuff 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 just to show us how to fill in the paperwork; 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 in an FE college says he loved his training and found it made a 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, as funding for adult education is being pared to the bone (and that's a scandal), maybe it doesn't matter.

Readers' advice

I, and many others like me, teach computer skills to the over-fifties (on a voluntary basis) at an Age Concern drop-in computer centre. As far as I know, none of us has any special teaching qualifications, or indeed computing qualifications. I certainly don't; I am entirely self-taught.

It is extremely enjoyable and satisfying to do, and it helps the ever-increasing take-up of the internet and computing by the older generation who missed out on learning these skills through school or work.

I hope that your correspondent will investigate further, and find a way to pass on her skill to others.

Rosalind Gleeson, Surrey

Teaching adults is not just a question of passing on skills. It is a profession in its own right.

Just as we do not want our primary and secondary schoolchildren taught by anyone who happens to be able to read or write, or who knows a bit about biology and geography, so we, as adults, should be able to sign up for classes confident that the people teaching them will have a full array of skills.

Melanie Knight, West Sussex

When I go to my weekly Pilates class, I want to know that my teacher is properly trained and that she knows how to tailor what we do according to how much people want to push themselves, or whether they have shoulder or back weaknesses. I went to a yoga class where a girl pulled a ligament so badly that she was on crutches for nearly a month.

Gina Bellavera, Bristol

Next Week's Quandary

Dear Hilary, I believe this country needs a national community service scheme for school leavers, with every leaver doing at least six months' work for the common good. It would be egalitarian, help to foster a sense of society, and get things done. People tell me it would infringe personal liberties, and that it wouldn't work. Isn't it at least worth talking about?

Send your letters or quandaries to Hilary Wilce, to arrive no later than Monday 11 February, to 'The Independent', Education Desk, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; or fax 020-7005 2143; or email h.wilce@btinternet.com. Please include your postal address. Readers whose letters are printed will receive a Collins Paperback English Dictionary 5th Edition

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Travel
travel
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
health
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
News
Sir Chris Hoy won six Olympic golds - in which four events?
news
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

English Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a dynamic En...

Year 5 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a flexible inspirat...

Foundation Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a ni...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform