Evaluating continuing professional development for maths and English practitioners in further education and training

Maths and English skills of many learners remain below the level required to thrive in post-16 education, training and employment. To address this, the government requires 16–19-year-olds studying in Further Education (FE) to complete either GCSEs or functional skills qualifications in maths and/or English if they did not pass these at school. This has created a dual challenge for FE teachers.  Firstly, there are more FE students enrolling for maths and English than ever before and second, qualification requirements are changing. Together, these factors have led to a need to upskill and re-skill existing FE practitioners.

To support FE practitioners to deliver high quality maths and English qualifications, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) run a Maths and English CPD programme, funded by the Department for Education. The programme aims to enhance practitioners’ own skills and pedagogical practice to ensure high quality teaching, learning & assessment, and to improve learner attitude to, and outcomes and attainment in, Functional Skills/GCSE maths & English. It comprises a range of activity, including 1-hour webinars, 2-hour interactive courses, extended Level 5 courses and asynchronous online courses.

SQW are delivering a theory informed evaluation that explores the process of implementation and the effects of the programmes on both practitioners themselves and their organisations. We will use evidence from research interviews, focus groups and case studies with participating practitioners, organisations, and delivery partners as well as participation data from the ETF booking system and participant surveys. Our aim is to provide ETF and its partners and stakeholders with a rigorous, independent assessment of the achievements of the Maths and English CPD programme, alongside a set of strategic recommendations for future development. 

If you would like to know more about this evaluation, please contact Jo Hutchinson.