Adult education lecturers or tutors work in the post-16 education sector, and are involved in teaching a vast range of subjects and skills to a very wide range of people for many different purposes.
Many tutors are involved in developing and delivering ‘skills for life’ programmes, teaching numeracy, literacy, ICT and ESOL courses. Employers include adult community and FE colleges, outreach centres and charitable organisations. A lot of jobs in this sector are part-time, and tutors often work for more than one employer.
Applicants for jobs are increasingly likely to have a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or equivalent qualification, and there are now specialist courses for graduates intending to teach in this sector. As with other initial teacher training courses, it is necessary to gain some pre-entry relevant work experience.
Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:
National Careers Service - profile of a Skills for Life teacher from the government's careers service, which includes teaching literacy, numeracy and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
Association of Part-Time Tutors (APTT) - a support, training and development group in the UK for part-time teachers in adult, further and higher education. The site includes a useful section on getting and staying in work, as well as information on the APTT and the training it offers.
Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) - clearing house for applications to UK initial teacher training (ITT) courses, including further/post compulsory education courses suited to the FE sector.
Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA) - Over 150,000 people every year follow a course of study in one of the residential colleges in England and Wales. ARCA colleges are a group of colleges specialising in short-stay residential adult education courses for the general public.
Institute for Learning (IfL) - professional body for teachers, trainers, tutors and student teachers in the learning and skills sector. (Adult & Community Learning, Emergency & Public Services, FE Colleges, MoD/Armed Services, the Voluntary Sector and Work-based Learning). New entrants to the profession in England will need to join the IfL in order to become a registered teacher and the site explains how this can be done.
Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) - the national standards setting body with responsibility for workforce development for all staff in the UK lifelong learning sector.
National Centre for Languages (CILT) - site provides information about routes into teaching, including training to teach languages in adult and further education.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) - a charity which aims to promote the study and general advancement of adult continuing education in England and Wales.
National Literacy Trust - contains useful information for professionals working in this area. The section on volunteering is helpful if you are looking for work experience.
Skills for Life - a government initiative to improve the basic skills used in everyday life, providing qualifications for over-16s no longer in compulsory full-time education. Certificates include reading, writing, maths, ICT and ESOL.
Skillswise - BBC initiative which aims to help adults improve their reading, writing and maths skills. The site is designed for both learners and tutors.
Talent (Training Adult Literacy, ESOL and Numeracy Teachers) - offers impartial advice on Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for new and existing teachers and their employers, working in a range of teaching and learning contexts within the lifelong learning sector. Site also includes a jobs board.
Teacher Support Network - the national independent charity that provides practical and emotional support to teachers and lecturers (both serving and retired) and their families, regardless of age, length of service or union affiliations.
Workers Educational Association (WEA) - the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of community-based and workplace-based adult education, prioritising people who face barriers to learning. Vacancies are advertised on the site.
Lifelong Learning Strategy for Scotland - the Scottish government’s report on the future of the lifelong learning sector, also available to download.
Lifelong Learning Sector Profile - produced by The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils (Scotland), providing sector information and statistics. This report may be downloaded.
Office of Lifelong Learning, University of Edinburgh - the department providing a programme of education open to the entire community. There are day, evening and weekend classes, with longer course run during vacation periods. Most UK universities and FE colleges offer continuing education/lifelong learning opportunities and employ tutors to deliver these programmes.
Scottish Adult Learning Partnership (SALP) - a voluntary organisation established to support and encourage people alienated from the traditional education system. SALP promotes lifelong learning, active citizenship, equality of opportunity and social inclusion. SALP is also closely linked to all major educational strategies and community learning plans.
Workers Educational Association Scotland (WEA) - the Scottish section of the Workers Educational Association
This article was published on Apr 5, 2012