Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

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Post-16 Forum

Chair: Karen McGrath (Birmingham City University); Vice Chair: Russell Shobrook (University of Plymouth).

The UCET Post-16 Forum provides a space for colleagues to keep up to date with national developments in the field of generic teacher training and specific training for those who teach in the FE and learning & skills sectors. It provides an opportunity to comment on and influence new policies, and initiatives that affect post-14 learners. The committee meets three times a year on Fridays, usually with an invited speaker of national standing to address the group at morning symposia. Key discussion topics include: the ongoing implications of de-regulation, and the importance of retaining an appropriately qualified teaching force in the sector; the delivery and further development of the Diploma for Education and Training; the role of teacher education in relation to QTLS; and the implications for post-compulsory teacher education of the OFSTED inspection process. Regular discussions take place between members of the forum and colleagues from the Education and Training Foundation.


Photo of Karen McGrath
Karen McGrath

Karen McGrath spent many years teaching and as a manager in a number of FE colleges before moving into Teacher Education in 2007 to manage the PGCE PCET courses and college partnerships at Birmingham City University. She has a degree in English and Education, an MSc in Education Leadership and Management and is in the process of writing her EdD thesis. She is also Learning, Teaching and Assessment Fellow at the University, which has led to her running a range of staff workshops across the University for staff and student mentors. This has also resulted in a soon to be published article written in collaboration with a colleague (Clarke, N & McGrath, K. (2017) Pandora’s box: Teaching in Higher Education. Nursing Education Today). In regard to inclusive approaches to teaching and assessment, Karen is used as a role model for other teachers in the institution, and her examples of teaching and assessment are frequently used to demonstrate to colleagues how to achieve real inclusivity in practice. Karen is a member of the ETF Prevent Provider Group and takes an active part in the quality assurance of materials for publication. Her role includes a critical evaluation of the ETF Prevent duty support programme and also involves input into DfE approaches to implementing the Prevent duty guidance for FE and training. Karen is now Head of Department for Secondary, Post-compulsory Education and Training, and Adult Education.