Best practice teaching skills programmes made available throughout the UK

The Learning and Skills Network (LSN) - an independent not-for-profit organisation committed to making a difference to education and training - has concluded a deal to distribute Echelon Learning’s series of nine, online, interactive, video-rich teacher training programmes throughout the UK. The programmes, initially developed for Westminster Kingsway College (WKC), highlight best practice in teaching and are particularly intended for those teaching in colleges of further education.

[UKPRwire, Wed Jan 14 2009] Designed to help all users develop planning and pedagogical skills, the Teaching Best Practice programmes are suitable for both new lecturers needing to acquire and develop new skills and for existing teachers as part of their continuous professional development (CPD) activities.

“The programmes, which use video to highlight examples of best practice in teaching and learning, focus on teaching skills and classroom management skills,” explained Echelon’s Hugh Garai, “As such, they are applicable to teachers of all academic disciplines.”

WKC commissioned the programmes following some feedback following an Ofsted inspection of the college. Peter Armah, WKC’s head of human resources and development, explained: “We decided to develop some programmes which outlined best practice around key topics such as ‘effective differentiation’, ‘managing classroom behaviour’, ‘managing punctuality and attendance’, ‘integrating key skills into the curriculum’, and ‘making effective use of information and learning technology (ILT)’.

“Making these learning materials available online meant that our staff were able to tap into them as and when they wished. Later, we augmented these online learning materials with workbooks.

“A key strategy was to train the College Advanced Practitioners on how to use the programme, enabling them to become a resource to deliver both individual and team training.”

Based at centres in Camden and Westminster, WKC has some 14,000 students and a teaching staff of 600. The college offers a wide range of further, adult and higher education programmes, available for people of all ages from 14 years upwards.

"Using actual classes with WKC teachers and students enabled us to communicate programme content clearly in a context familiar to users and helped us to spill the beans on the magic ingredients that really make a teaching session that has the ‘wow’ factor," Armah continued. "The overall aim was to develop programmes that could address both generic and subject specific issues, which are easy to use, accessible from anywhere, and flexible."

The programmes are suitable for team discussion, reflective practice, independent and active learning. They can be used for curriculum team meetings, college planning and development days, subject sector days, centre days and cross-college days and for one-to-one support.

“Ever since we introduced these programmes, we have received highly positive feedback from those who have been using them,” Armah continued.

“We realised that other colleges face similar issues to WKC and so could benefit from these types of programmes. From there, it was a short step to deciding to make these learning materials available to the whole further education sector,” he added.

According to Garai, Echelon completed the last of the nine programmes - each of which contains some ten modules - towards the end of 2008. Although the programmes were originally designed for WKC, other colleges – including a large college in the east of Scotland – have also been using them with great success.

Further details of these programmes are available from the LSN (tel: 0845 602 5668
email:; web: or from Hugh Garai at Echelon Learning on 020 8568 1500 or email


For further information please contact

Media contact: Bob Little Tel + 44 (0)1727 860405; Email:

Sales contact: Hugh Garai Tel + 44 (0)20 8568 1500; Email:

About the Learning and Skills Network

The Learning and Skills Network (LSN) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation committed to making a difference to learning and skills. LSN aims to do this by delivering quality improvement and staff development programmes that support specific government initiatives, through research, training and consultancy; and by supplying services directly to schools, colleges and training organisations. It provides services for:
• policy-makers
• organisations that fund, manage and provide education
• individual providers and practitioners
These services fall into three broad categories:

• Programmes – to support learning providers (leaders, managers, teachers and trainers), to meet the challenges they face as the sector develops. Funded by QIA, the DCSF and the Learning and Skills Council among others, each programme is designed to support a particular priority.
• Research – focusing on sector priorities, including planning and funding, widening participation, technology and learning, and major programme evaluation. Its research supports policy-makers at a national or regional level by providing evidence about what works, and aids practitioners by highlighting and disseminating good practice.
• Training and consultancy.

The Learning and Skills Network, Fifth Floor, Holborn Centre, 120 Holborn, London, EC1N 2AD (tel 0845 602 5668; email;

About Echelon Learning Ltd

Echelon is an organisation development consultancy with a 20-year track record of delivering targeted communication, training and performance support solutions that really make a difference to corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations and professional bodies.

The company helps its clients create and sustain improved operational performance by developing high levels of employee engagement and competence that leverage their ability to achieve outstanding results, particularly in times of change.

Echelon publishes a wide range of self-development solutions that support lifelong career development:

Clients include:

Channel Tunnel Rail Link
London Overground Rail (LOROL)
Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply
Department of Work and Pensions
Festival Housing Association
Royal Town Planning Institute

Company: Echelon

Contact Name: Bob Little

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 00 44 (0) 1727 860405

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