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Section 6. Qualifications and workforce development

In September 2007 new qualification requirements for teaching and supporting learning in the lifelong learning sector were launched and a new Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status was introduced.

All teachers who started teaching after September 2007 who do not currently hold a teaching qualification need to complete an introductory programme to give them a threshold licence to teach. Most teachers will need to achieve further qualifications appropriate for the job role that they intend to carry out. ESOL teachers will also need a subject-specific teaching qualification.

Equipping our Teachers for the Future: Reforming Initial Teacher Training for the Learning and Skills Sector explains the strategy for teacher training and qualifications.

The Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) professional standards contextualised for ESOL describe what ESOL teachers need to be able to do, and what they need to know. LLUK also has an information and advice service.

The Institute for Learning (IfL) is the professional body that oversees Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the learning and skills sector. All practitioners are required to register with them, and qualified teachers must complete annual CPD to maintain their professional status. The Institute for Learning provides a 'reflect' model and 'reflect' tool that practitioners can use for their CPD. 

The Professional Development Planning (PDP) kit provides information and materials to support this area of work.

The Talent website has useful information for existing and part-qualified teachers, including a database of teacher training courses.

The National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) is the national forum and professional organisation for ESOL practitioners. For nearly 30 years NATECLA has shared expertise and participated in new developments in ESOL.

ESOL researchers and practitioners can share practice and discuss ESOL-related topics via the JISC online community.

The Reflection and action in ESOL classrooms booklet illustrates some ways in which ESOL teachers can reflect on their teaching and shows some stages they might go through if they want to carry out action research in their classrooms.