19 Apr 2017
In all my years of teaching, I have never come across a qualification which has changed names so often, leading to so much perplexity. This modest little qualification has previously been known as many names despite changing surprisingly little in content or structure. As an educator, it is a bit of an annoyance when people (and fellow trainers!) cannot seem to remember the name of the qualification they are enquiring about. So, I’ve decided to provide a short and definitive history of the evolution of this qualification.
Originally, when it first appeared in 2007, it was called the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Its abbreviated version PTLLS, became much more well-known, pronounced as ‘petals’. Various spellings of the abbreviation abound, for example, PTTLS or even PTTLLS (seriously!). Doesn’t help that while it was the PTLLS (correct abbreviation), it was available as both Level 3 and Level 4. At the same time, the Certificate to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector aka CTLLS (‘kettles’) was also available at both Level 3 and Level 4! But that’s a different story.
The Lifelong Learning qualifications (LLUK) were offered by a large range of Awarding Organisations in the UK, but generally the most demanded were the City & Guilds and Edexcel BTEC branded ones. The popularity of these two brands was such that the PTLLS was quite often referred to as the ‘7303’ which is actually just a number assigned by City & Guilds to the PTLLS qualification. It’s an internal code they gave it. It has nothing to do with the qualification title. This became obvious when they changed the qualification to ‘6302’ in 2011. Strangely, on Google Adwords ‘7303’ searches still remain popular, despite that City & Guilds Qualification Number expiring 6 years ago. Not much changed regarding the substance of it, unless you count the 30 minute micro teach being changed to the 15 minute micro teach. Yes, make it even shorter and more difficult for beginner teachers to deliver a well-rounded ice-breaker, delivery, assessment session all in 15 minutes, with a group of random strangers who came from vastly differing backgrounds.
In 2013 the whole LLUK and related qualifications were revamped; the LLUK was replaced by LSIS (Learning Skills and Improvement Service) and the Education and Training Foundation. The IfL (Institute for Learning) was disbanded and the QTLS/QTS (Fully Qualified Teacher Status) membership and management was handed over to the SET (Society for Education and Training).
The old worn out PTLLS became the new, shiny Level 3 Award in Education and Training, or as I like to call it, the AET. What changed you ask? Other than the name? Again, not much…. although they did make the micro teach requirement flexible now. So now you have to be ‘involved’ in micro-teaching for 60 minutes. You can teach for as long as you like, once you make up the remainder of the time observing and participating with others micro-teaching.
So now when someone asks you, know a good place to do my PTLLS, or 7303, or PTTLLS online? Just smile and nod and tweet them this article!
Happy studying to all trainee teachers!