Members’ blog spot

Kashif Imran, Functional Skills Tutor at Milton Keynes College attended last year’s CPD courses and describes the experience.

‘As a new teacher entering the FE domain these courses were very helpful and interesting. It taught me a great deal about employment rights and how employers have a duty of care towards you. I am now confident in challenging decisions that I am not happy with in my workplace as well as questioning management decisions that affect my daily work routine.

‘The assertiveness skills course teaches you how to be more assertive not only in the workplace but in general life. There was a comprehensive handbook to compliment the course which I find useful to refer back to from time to time. Particularly in my workplace it helped me to say ‘no’ to others and allowed me to express myself more eloquently.

‘The voice care course is particularly useful for those who do a lot of talking in their day to day job and want to learn how to use their voice more effectively. It teachers you strategies on how to look after your voice and ways you can vary it to gain the attention of others. After attending the session, I find myself varying the pitch of my voice when delivering a teaching session and found the information gained from the session very worthwhile.’


  5 comments for “Members’ blog spot

  1. I left school in the 1950s at 15 – a secondary modern school failure. I was able to move straight into a five year apprenticeship with Laycock Engineering Ltd. (Older readers will probably remember the Laycock De Normanville Overdrive.) After compulsory National Service in the army I continued to work for the company for several years, during which I gained experience as a machinist, gauge and tool inspector and Tool Room jig borer. I subsequently worked at The University of Sheffield as a workshop technician, building research equipment, then a spell as Chief Technician at a College of Further education.

    With the aid of a student grant, I entered Teacher Training and from 1970 was employed in FE teaching engineering workshop skills for the next ten years. Whilst at Teaching College I heard on the radio Jenny Lee anouncing the launch of ‘The University of the Air’, which hit the streets the following year as ‘The Open University’. I signed up for a degree course in 1973, studying part time both mechanical and electronic engineering subjects and graduated seven years later with a 2.1 degree.

    This allowed me to be accepted by The University of Sheffield on a Masters’ Degree in Control Systems – the first O.U. graduate to be accepted in the Department of Control Systems. This was paid from the then ‘FE Pool’, from which I received full salary for a year, all course fees and the college at which I was employed received the cost of a tempory lecturer to cover my teaching hours for the year (and at the time of writing he is still working there). I graduated as MSc(Tech) the following year and returned to the FE College where I was able to add to my C.V. teaching of Instrumentation, Control and Robotics. I later, from 1989, led a course at the college for Sheffield Hallam University, which accepted ex A level students with the wrong subjects for entry to engineering degrees, or people over the age of 21 who were able to pass the course, and provided them with the skills and knowledge to enter engineering degree courses, in many cases very successfully. Over the next 14 years it enabled between 600 and 700 people, from all over the world, to successfully complete engineering degrees.

    As part of the decimation of manufacturing, in 1996 I accepted a generous early retirement package, provided to save the face of a government who couldn’t get rid of the likes of me fast enough, but was re-engaged by Sheffield Hallam University to prevent the demise of their, by now, very popular ‘Foundation Year in Engineering’, continuing to lead the course until compulsory retirement at 65.

    Casting round for something ellse to do, I signed up for a PhD part time and also carried on with some part time teaching. The PhD was successfully completed last year and my teaching career ended in the early part of this year at the age of 75. How’s that for a secondary modern school failure and CPD. And mainly financed by the good grace of a benevolent Welfare State to which I contributed. Shame on the Tory **** ***** who have vandalised it so young people of today have little chance of following a similar path.

  2. I love the idea of our union put together a set of resources for CPD. The trade union movement has a long and proud history of education and training. Especially at a time when employers in the ‘education’ industry seem to have put two fingers up generally to training and staff development, encouraged by a Government who seem to be on a path of de-professionalising us as a teachers and lecturers.

  3. Well done – the 11+ system stunk and was nto a reliabel indicator of a child’s ability. I went to a secondary modern, which then became a comprehensive and was not allowed to sit GCSE’s ( none of us were ! ) as we were deemed to be too think – only the grammar school children could do that ! I went on later in life and achieved a BA Hon degree and a MSc and now have 3years left before I retire as a teacher of mature students !

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