TELL update June 2018

Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning (TELL) research network update 26th June 2018 – Twitter hashtag #TELLResearch


This is the new ‘Teacher Educator UK’ website. The home page URL is

It replaces as Wikispaces is about to close, so content had to be moved.

This site is mainly items transferred from the old site, but it’s a more up to date website platform, which is flexible and more visually interesting as a site.

The content is still developing, but please do take a look at the home page, where you will see what’s on offer, and some ways in which you can use the website to support your teaching and learning, and promote and disseminate your activity and research.

Contributions needed

If you would like to contribute to building the website, or propose / edit sections / pages, or post articles, pieces etc. please do email me on

Questions / ideas please?

I’m going to initiate some research about TELL during the 2018/19 academic year, so will be asking for suggestions / ideas / questions you would like to see included.

The tentative research question is

‘In what ways has TELL contributed to building research capacity in the FE and Skills sector, and what more could it contribute?’

Please contact me on with any ideas





Keynote speech – Robin Simmons – University of Huddersfield

Robin Simmons is Professor of Education at the University of Huddersfield. His research interests include contemporary and historical education policy, the political economy of education; and education and social justice. Robin is particularly interested in

post-compulsory education and training, especially provision for those on the margins of education and work. He has acted as principal investigator and co-investigator on a range of significant research projects, including work funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Raymond Williams Foundation and the Society for Educational Studies. Robin’s most recent book is Education and Working-Class Youth published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.

From architectural planning to organic change: Mrs Thatcher and the abolition of the colleges of education revisited

This paper revisits the abolition of the colleges of education in England and Wales – specialist teacher-training institutions once some 160 strong, which were effectively eradicated in the years after Margaret Thatcher’s 1972 White Paper Education: A Framework for Expansion. Its central argument is that the way in which change was enacted following the White Paper represented a significant break with the model of policymaking which had held sway since the end of World War Two. Whilst more far-reaching change would come following Mrs Thatcher’s ‘conversion’ to neoliberalism later in the decade, the fate of the colleges of education was, I argue, an important if largely overlooked episode in the history of education – especially in terms of violating the collaborative relationship between central government and local authorities which had, until that point, dominated education policy in post-war Britain.


TELL_Bolton_Simmons_Published paper

13.00   Lunch

Research showcase – research and development updates from:

13.30   Howard Scott – Wolverhampton University

The use of social networks for learning have a range of affordances in keeping with the FELTAG directions of travel for the sector, but analysis of the student-teacher interactions in this case study also revealed ambivalence among the peripheral 16-19 aged members of communities. This is clustered together as Social Media Fatigue, revealing a divergence from online form as a form of provision among students needing more acute levels of support than mobile offers. However, across a Continuum of Engagement, a convergence to goals and peer-support was seen in analysis of activity among adult groups. The talk will discuss the significance of blended approaches for post-compulsory education students and staff.


14.00   Colin Waugh – Independent and Editor, Post-16 Educator

‘The Liberal and General Studies Project’

Just over 50 interviews have so far been recorded for this project with people who taught Liberal and/or General Studies (L/GS) as an element in vocational courses in FE colleges between 1960 and about 1990. The historical roots of this provision are also being investigated. In November 2017 we published a report titled The Real Radical Education? (available at featuring interim analyses of both these aspects.

The presentation will focus on four aspects of interviewees’ responses: L/GS practitioners’ origination/adoption and implementation of experimental teaching and learning strategies and materials; their attempts to modify relations between and amongst the members of student groups; situations in which students were sufficiently engaged to take control of sessions; ways in which students were changed by their participation in L/GS. (Talk plus questions and discussion. Copies of report available at session.)


14.30   Amanda Turner – University of Bolton

Incidental Learning for trainee teachers

The research/discussion in this part of the day will provide an opportunity to critically analyse a theoretical framework for incidental learning. I will be presenting the model at the meeting, and would appreciate a discussion based on the different elements and experience for trainee teachers.



FE Transforms survey

This survey is designed to capture your thoughts and feelings about transformative teaching and learning. After asking about your teaching practices, the survey asks questions relating to the conditions that facilitate transformative teaching and learning in your college / place of work.


RE-imagining FE Conference at Birmingham City University on 27th June
Link to conference website:
Twitter hashtag: #ReimagineFE18

EAPRIL WEBINAR – Tuesday 3rd July

Invitation to Webinar by Clouds 3 and 12 on:

How collaboration can contribute to the professional development of teachers and leaders in education on Tuesday 3 July 2018 at 15.00 (Central European Time).

EAPRIL Clouds 3 and 12 are organising an interactive Webinar about educational collaboration on Tuesday 3 July 2018 at 15.00 (Central European Time). We are inviting all those interested in the challenges surrounding collaboration in education; why teachers and leaders find collaboration useful; and suggestions for ways in which teachers and educational leaders can get the most from collaborating together.
The event is an opportunity to share and discuss research findings and good practice ahead of the EAPRIL annual conference.  Registrations for this event are welcome before Monday 25 June 2018.

Please click on the link to register:

An #FEResearchmeet will take place on 4th July at Bedford Sixth Form.

A keynote from professor Jean McNiff, and two ‘strands’ of workshops. The first will be the research strand that was so successful last year. To present in this strand you need to be a researcher working within the sector. The second strand is the ‘development’ strand. This strand is to support others on their research journey with workshops on everything from action research to masters, PhDs to publication. This strand is open to ex-FE staff as well as present staff as we recognise that many ex-colleagues want to continue to support those working within the sector.
The day will culminate with a panel made up of key ‘leaders’ from around the sector who will address some of the issues that arise from the workshops.

Tickets at

Early Career Researchers in Post-Compulsory and Lifelong Learning
To support early career researchers and those new to research in Post-Compulsory and Lifelong Learning (PCLL), we are holding two events:

Wednesday 18 July 2018 at Birmingham City University
Thursday 19 July 2018 at Bedford College
Keynote lectures and workshops aim to target key concerns and develop the capabilities of early career and new researchers. This day provides networking and discussion opportunities for those researching PCLL.

Birmingham City University – 18 July 2018

Bedford College – 19 July 2018


BERA offer a limited amount of bursaries for BERA Student Members only.

Bursaries are available for BERA Student Members to the value of £75 towards travel. To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 250 word statement with a brief overview of your research, stage of your research, indication of particular experiences that you would like to discuss and why you want to attend this event and why you need the financial assistance. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.


None notified by you or noticed by me this edition.

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