Support Tutor Check List

I’ve just been emailed the check list below and thought I’d share it following a conversation with a tutor here in sunny Nottingham.

Checklist for observing sessions where a learning support worker (LSW) is in place

  • Does the LSW have a copy of the lesson plan?
  • Has the LSW received copies of any resources to be used in advance of the lesson?
  • Is the role of the LSW clearly identified on the lesson plan?
  • Is the LSW punctual and is their attendance recorded at the bottom of the register?
  • Does s/he have appropriate learning support records to record activities and progress?
  • Is the LSW using language at an appropriate level for the student/s?
  • Has the LSW prepared or modified any learning aids/resources to support the student/s to achieve their learning outcomes?
  • Is any assistive technology requested, in place, appropriate and working?
  • Does s/he have appropriate specialist knowledge?
  • Is there effective interaction between the LSW and the tutor?
  • Is the LSW well-used in the lesson or does s/he look under-used at any stage?
  • Is the LSW responsive to the needs of the student/s without doing their work for them?
  • Does the LSW divide his/her time well between students needing support?
  • Are equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practices modelled by the tutor and LSW?
  • Does the LSW use appropriate strategies to sustain the student/s interest?
  • Does the LSW involve the student in the identification and recording of their progress?


  • Are students suitably challenged by the lesson? Does it hold their interest and attention?
  • Do they feel able to question and comment when working with the LSW?
  • Do they take an active part in the lesson or do they look isolated?
  • When they contribute to the lesson are their responses appropriate?
  • What learning progress does each student make as a result of the support they receive?
  • What is the standard of work in their files/portfolios?
  • How are they progressing towards achievement of learning outcomes?
  • Is there evidence that LSWs have been able to support students to address actions for improvement following feedback?
  • Are students making sufficient progress to achieve their learning goal/qualification or to reach their individual targets?

Please note that direct learning support does not include care or voluntary support. However, the tutor is responsible for the effective deployment and management of all support in lessons.

IT tutors needed in Leicester City

IT tutor needed for OCR CLAiT levels 1 and 2 and beginners computing/OCR entry 3 qualification at the WEA 101 Hinckley Road Centre in Leicester (LE3 0TD).  Courses are offered on Mondays (morning, early afternoon and evening).  Other possibilities are Tuesday afternoon, as well as offsite provision on various days with a new community partner in an outreach venue.  For that the ability to speak  an Asian language would be helpful.   When teaching accredited courses, tutors should hold the qualifications themselves.  If you are interested, then please get in touch with Helen Salisbury, Organiser on 0116 255 6614 or email:

Tutors needed for Newark area

Are you available to teach in the Newark area? I am tutor organiser for the Newark Branch and we would like to hear from you if you are. We are currently planning our adult courses for Spring and Summer 2015 so please contact me on if you are interested giving details of your subject area(s)/course(s) and availability. If you are one of the tutors who responded to my similar post last year, I would still be interested to hear from you with any updated information.

Thanks, Julie.


NIACE’s Digital Learning Conference 2014

Learning for a Digital Tomorrow’ 14 November 2014 | NEC, Birmingham

Niace are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of FREE places at their Annual Digital Learning Conference 2014 – Learning for a Digital Tomorrow.

Date: Friday 14 November
Venue: The NEC, Gallery Suites 1-2, Birmingham, B40 1NT
Time: 9.30am-4pm


This conference will provide a dynamic, solutions focused forum bringing together policy makers, employers, colleges, learning providers and learners to focus on two key issues for the FE and Skills sector: How to give learners the skills they bridge the E-skills gap and; how learning technology can be used effectively in line with recommendations from the Further Learning and Teaching Action Group (FELTAG)

Conference Outline:

By 2015 over half of the UK workforce will require higher level digital skills. However, 62% of employers do not think their workforce currently have the skills they need, while approximately 9.5 million people across the UK do not even have basic digital skills.

The voluntary and FE and Skills sectors play key roles in supporting the development of digital skills, from basic online skills to higher level skills, for life, for learning and for work. The conference will explore how education can better prepare learners for the digital future, through presentations from Maggie Philbin, Chair of UK Digital Taskforce, Chief Executive of TeenTech and a technology broadcaster, debate and open discussion with employer, Learning Provider, LEP, Local Authority, Examination Board, Further Education, Family and Community learning representatives and seminars with Barclays Digital Eagles and Third Sector agencies.

The conference will also address implementation of FELTAG recommendations published on the 16 June 2014.  With keynote speeches and seminars from the BBC, ECORYS, JISC, Ofsted, The Skills Funding Agency, the Gazelle Group, leaders from Higher and Further Education and key providers of family and intergenerational learning,  keynote and seminar conference sessions will explore how the FE and skills sector can meet the FELTAG challenge, using technology to offer increased opportunities for learning, overcoming barriers of engagement, geography, availability, access and cost, while ensuring that those who could benefit most are not left behind in the technology revolution.

For more information and to register, please view our conference programme at

Join in the conversation with @NIACEhq on Twitter by using #NIACEdigi

Sewing tutor needed in Leicester city centre

Tutor/s needed for January in 2 community venues in the city for daytime courses (one is definitely 4.5 hrs on a Thursday, the other can be negotiated).  Both venues have sets of sewing machines.   Courses would cover basic sewing skills including use of sewing machine, hems, neatening, zips, buttons, selecting fabric (including recycling),using simple patterns and cutting out plus simple decorations.  Items to be made might include bags or items for the house.  Other options might be repairs or simple children’s clothes.  Tutors must be female although it is not essential to speak other languages.

If you are interested, contact Helen Salisbury, Organiser:  email or call 0116 255 6614.

4 trends in tech that all teachers should know about

Another article discussing teaching practice in schools, but I would suggest this is equally applicable in adult education.    Use of technology has been heralded as the 4th basic skill for some time, but is undeniable now.

Of course it is our students right not to use it if they choose not to, but for many this is not a free choice.   WEA classes (in my opinion) should be empowering students to make an informed choice after trying and seeing the potential of technology to enhance their learning.

Controversial opinion alert:   We wouldn’t say it is okay for tutors not to be able to read and write, so why do we at times imply it is okay for tutors not to be IT literate and make use of technology in their sessions?

It doesn’t mean you must have internet access in the classroom as we all know that isn’t always possible in community learning.  Although with the exponential increase in use of smart phones and mobile connectivity even that is changing rapidly.   We can make use of technology in all kinds of creative ways in any subject area to enhance students learning experience.  Most easily by referring them to additional resources and extension learning in appropriate ways that fit the learning styles of the particular students in each class.  However we can do far more than this.

Does anyone have interesting examples of how they have done this which could inspire colleagues struggling to think how it could add value to their sessions?

Teach like a pirate!

Much of the work we do in the WEA is about engaging people in education and learning who missed out and feel or felt it was not for them.

We also of course work with many repeat students who have caught the bug and love learning.   But for the others we have not yet managed to engage, what will or can make a difference and enough of a difference to make them step back inside a classroom or learning space for the first time (even if we don’t call it that).

This is something I and many colleagues are very interested in.  How do we engage with missing learners?

We know the basics – go to the mountain not the other way round, fish where the fish are and get out and find people where they feel comfortable and safe.   But what do we do when we get there?

I think there is much we can learn from different countries and different contexts in this  regard and will fairly often share films and articles etc in social media – however it would be good to share more of these resources in this space.

Something I saw this morning on social media is linked below – taken from a school context but some good transferable principles.  Dave Burgess speaks of 3 spheres in teaching (think venn diagram).  There are lots of models of teaching and learning, but I really like the simplicity of this.  He suggests the 3 spheres are content, method and presentation.   AND that presentation is often neglected.   He is right, with the best content and methods in the world, if presentation isn’t right for the particular group of students and the individuals there on the day it will not light the fire and start a love of learning.

What are your most positive and memorable experiences of learning?  All 3 spheres need to be right for me for it to be an outstanding learning experience, and what makes presentation memorable is a genuine visible passion and commitment to the subject and the students.   There is so much of this in the WEA, but always room to think how to do things differently to reach those missing students

The audio on this film is not good but I’m glad I persevered.   The interesting bit is after the initial demonstration and performance.    Do you have any interesting links or approaches that you’d be willing to share with colleagues?  If so please let us know by posting a comment on here or emailing me on and I can post for you.   Hope you all have a great weekend! 

URGENT – Support tutors needed in Nottingham

I urgently need female support workers for a range of courses running in Nottingham on a Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon which have started this week.   Please get in touch with me via email if you are interested and available.

URGENT – tutors needed asap

I’ve recently made a link with Tesco Extra in Swiney Way Toton (NG9) to use their new community room. This room is a lovely teaching room with 4 PCs access to the internet and free refreshments.

We are about to start one course there on Tuesday afternoons and today Tesco have been back in touch asking if we can offer other courses on Monday and or Friday mornings before Christmas. They also have some evening slots available.
As this is a new community space I think the sorts of courses that may go down well are craft courses, art courses, social media or singing .. the types of courses that will engage new, younger students. However, I am willing to consider any suggestions.

If you have a course of 13 or 14 hours length ready to go please get in touch with me asap.
This branch of Tesco has a community noticeboard, a FB page and access to 7000 households via local magazines; so I’m hopeful of recruiting 12 people.
Contact Nikki