Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning (TELL)  Research Network #TELLResearch

Other pages in this section are | Big Bibliography | History | Events |

What is TELL about?

Firstly, TELL is free and anyone with a genuine interest can join by emailing

Jim Crawley at

Our agreed objectives are:

  1. To enhance practice in LL teacher education across the UK.
  2. To highlight and promote the achievements of LL teacher education across the UK
  3. To ensure teacher educators from all parts of the LL sector have opportunities to engage in the network
  4. To support and promote innovation and development in LL teacher education across the UK.
  5. To contribute to building research capacity in the LL teacher education community.
  6. To become a trusted and authoritative voice for the interests and aspirations of LL teacher education
  7. To connect LL teacher educators across the UK
  8. To contribute to policy development and implementation in the field of Teacher Education in the UK.
  9. To curate, collate and disseminate LL Teacher education research, history, information, events and activities across the UK.

There are currently over 320 members. We have got very good relations and links with other networks such as the Association of Research in Post Compulsory Education (ARPCE) the Learning and Skills Research Network (LSRN), #FEResearchmeet and others.

Members receive regular email updates, and this website featuring TELL, FE research and teacher education is available with a range of resources, updates and information.

We hold approximately four free network meetings around the country at colleges, universities and other venues, where members share research, ideas and news and discussion points in a meeting usually running from 11.00 to 3.00. We also take part in events organised by other relevant organisations such as the Learning and Skills Research Network (LSRN), the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and Association for Research in Post Compulsory Education (ARPCE).

Does TELL carry out research or support others to carry out that research? 

TELL has not yet carried out research of its own as its main focus is supporting research, but more members are publishing research each year and recognise that TELL support has helped.

TELL supports research through the network and on social media and we have a hashtag (#TELLresearch). TELL has produced a book, published by Critical Publishing, written by members and featuring their research which is the first book written by FE teacher educators about FE teacher education which has ever been published.

The details are:

Post Compulsory Teacher Educators – Connecting Professionals

The book is written by TELL members (Jim Crawley – editor, Azumah Dennis, Vicky Duckworth, Rebecca Eliahoo, Lynn Machin, Kevin Orr, Denise Robinson and Nena Skrbic).

More information at:

If it does support others, how does it do this (e.g. through research grants or sharing of best practice)? 

The network supports members through various online and face to face activities, and research can be shared in a supportive, informal atmosphere at meetings. Members can make requests via the network and make contributions at network meetings or via the use of digital technologies.

What areas do you focus on? Who do you work with? 

The primary focus is on FE teacher education and related research, but this does tend to mean that most FE-related research is relevant. We welcome anyone who wishes to join and / or attend meetings.

Where does your funding come from? How much do you get?

The unique thing about TELL is that it is all free and voluntary. When we started we agreed that operating on a completely voluntary basis meant we could choose what we did and how we did it and the network has actually thrived on that basis.


There were 263 members as of November 2017, and they were

190 Female

73 Male

111 have university email addresses

92 have college email addresses

60 have other email addresses

Geographical coverage is more difficult to draw out, but browsing the membership gives a good impression that there is reasonably good coverage of England with a small number of members in Wales and Scotland.

The number as of June 2018 is 324 members


Members host network meetings and provide a venue and refreshments for the day; the book was written without funding and the supplement is also being written in their own time by the team of three working on it and other contributors. In the austere times we are operating, this is fantastic, and we are very proud of our network and the way in which it operates.

Other organisations / networks which promote / support research in the sector

LSRN (Learning and Skills Research Network)

LSRN aims to help people, in going about their professional practice, engage with research and development. It does this by:

  • demonstrating the value of research and development
  • helping build the capacity of the sector
  • exploring ways of increasing the influence of findings.

The aim and purposes have remained steady since the Network began 16 years ago. They are explained in the key document LSRN: purposes and values

Activities are organised at regional and national levels. To find out about these and to make contact go to Convenors.  

To make contact with the National Planning Group email: Andrew Morris:

ARPCE (Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education)

The ARPCE promotes good practice in the Further Education sector and related fields such as Adult and Community Education. We constitute the Editorial Board for the highly successful journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education. We are independent, non-profit making and committed to high quality research and best practice in post-compulsory education.

BERA (British Educational Research Association)

BERA is a membership association and learned society committed to advancing research quality, building research capacity and fostering research engagement. BERA aims to inform the development of policy and practice by promoting the best quality evidence produced by educational research.

Post-Compulsory Special Interest Group (SIG)

The sector of post-compulsory education and lifelong learning is a wide and diverse one, covering areas such as the study of 14-19 education and training, further and higher education, adult education, informal learning and lifelong learning. This SIG aims to facilitate and stimulate debate amongst researchers in the field and assist them in communicating their work to inform understanding and to influence post-compulsory and lifelong learning education policy and practice. We also particularly welcome researchers and those interested in research in this sector, who are based in public and private institutions and organisations, beyond higher education institutions.