A professional development centre for teachers has been
selected as an example of good practice for a European
The Black Country Literacy ESOL and Numeracy Professional
Development (BLEND) Centre is part of the School of Education and
is based at Walsall Campus. It is used by teachers in the Black
Country who are involved in the delivery of Skills for Life.
Fifteen initiatives from across Europe have been selected as
examples of good practice for the study carried out on behalf of
the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education and
Culture) and Cedefop, including BLEND. The collection of examples
focus on professional development opportunities for in-company
trainers in Europe.
Since 2001 it has been a requirement for teachers working in
further education to hold, or be working towards, a teaching
qualification. From September 2007 all new entrants to further
education teaching will be expected to be working toward the new
award of ‘Qualified Teaching Learning and Skills’ (QTLS).
The School of Education offers a number of routes leading to
QTLS for those who wish to be employed in a variety of post-16
educational and training establishments.
Teacher training courses are delivered at BLEND, in the form of
PGCEs, Cert Eds (Integrated Skills Route) and stand-alone subject
specialisms. Many short courses are also delivered for teachers
involved in Skills for Life, for example, Approaches to Skills for
Life for Vocational teachers, Writing a Good ILP, Using Digital
Media in the Classroom, Practical Strategies for Teaching Literacy,
ESOL and Numeracy.