We are very pleased to publish this research report presenting an exploration of excellent practice in teaching, learning and assessment in the further education (FE) and skills sector in the UK.

It is our ambition that excellence should be available to everyone, wherever they work or study, whatever type of institution they attend, and whatever their level of learning or ability. We know there is much excellent practice occurring in all four nations, but we also know the sector is facing multiple challenges; the recruitment and retention of staff, ability to invest, and dealing with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to name a few. We commissioned the Association of Colleges (AoC), a valued partner representing further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England, to carry out this research identifying the key ingredients for success which leaders from across the sector can take forward to embed excellence in their institutions and how WorldSkills UK can support them in doing so.

Key findings:

The conditions identified with broad consistency across the four nations to support the embedding of excellence were:

  • a whole organisational approach to excellence, including a shared responsibility for embedding excellence, having clear lines of accountability and creating opportunities to share best practice and develop collaborative and partnership working
  • investing in and developing staff, including providing opportunities to undertake high-quality, purposeful continuing professional development (CPD) and the time and space to develop innovation in teaching practice
  • engaging employers is critical to developing a relevant curriculum, training techniques, appropriate CPD and employability skills
  • recognition of the importance of transferable skills.

Underlying all of these factors is the importance of the role of staff in developing excellence. The WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence, run in partnership with the awarding organisation NCFE, is a programme providing CPD for educators founded on the insights gained through international benchmarking and participation in international skills competitions. It links the quality and delivery of the provision of CPD for staff with raising standards

The research findings and recommendations will interest educators, senior leaders, employers and providers working within the sector. We look forward to working with you to embed the ingredients for success in developing excellence in technical and vocational education and training for the benefit of all young people within your institutions.

Read the full report

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