What’s the deal with Guided Learning Hours? – Ofqual

Last night I was busy minding my own business on @Twitter reading and retweeting. I like to know what’s going on in the world of FE and the skills agenda, and I follow @NickLinford as he is always on top of things. I caught a conversation between Nick and @bobharrisonset (another mine of information). It seemed as if there was a little disagreement going on:


so of course I waded in.

Well one thing lead to another, including getting incensed at the word “delivery” as if it describes what teachers do:

Bob pointed me to the Ofqual website and you can read it here, including my comment:

What’s the deal with Guided Learning Hours? – Ofqual.

I said that GLH in principle are all the things stated in the viewpoint, and on the face of they perfectly acceptable as a way of measuring student entitlement. However it is the reductionist way that they are used in institutions to compact curricula and tie teachers to physical spaces that causes the problem with regard to the poor outcomes achieved by a significant number of courses. Far from ensuring quality of experience and outcome they serve as a blunt surveillance tool managed by accountants. Teachers are the best people to know how many hours should be allocated, including whole group teaching, seminar, tutorial and supervised study/practice. Find a funding formula that allows professionals to thrive in a culture of education.

The reply from Bethany Hughes was positive, promising a review to look into GLH. I am keen to be part of that consultation and would welcome the opportunity to reflect a philosophical, professional perspective. Since the demise of the FTE as a funding formula FE has been managed by accountants, keen to balance the books (not a bad thing in itself), but not in  a position to understand that ‘delivery’ based models and methodologies have no place in an education process. More to come on this when I’ve thought about the things that I would suggest to the minister for skills Matthew Hancock.

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