INTO University Partnerships’ educational arm for teachers, NILE, is collaborating with English UK to deliver a state-of-the-art TEFL qualification.

The initiative, AccessTEFL, is aimed at facilitating entry into the English language teaching domain in the UK through a combination of job-based training and a comprehensive CPD programme.

AccessTEFL is set to provide a pathway for those without a TEFL qualification, awarding them TEFLi status and eligibility for teaching roles according to Accreditation UK’s standards.

The scheme will be run by English UK, with day-to-day support, oversight and moderation from teacher training specialists from NILE – Norwich Institute for Language Education, part of the INTO University Partnerships group.

NILE, renowned for its contribution to the training of over 70,000 English language teachers from more than 90 countries since 1995, is a leader in professional development in this field.

The initiative was inspired by the findings from the regular review conducted by Accreditation UK, which highlighted the advantages of an apprenticeship model in teacher education.

As a result, English UK has put forward a cost-effective qualification path aimed at enlarging the qualified ELT teacher base, improving accessibility to the profession, and enhancing support for newcomers. Participants will receive guidance from NILE’s experienced teaching staff, acquiring essential skills for the UK ELT context, with mentorship and professional development provided by their schools.

Thom Kiddle, Director at NILE, expressed his excitement about the partnership: “We are excited to be working on a new project with the team at English UK – developing and managing a situated and supported CPD scheme, AccessTEFL, for new teachers joining English UK schools.”

“The scheme, to be launched later this year, will ensure new entrants to the profession are supported with structured, focused development activities, observation and feedback while they learn their craft and help accredited English UK members recruit teachers in combination with the traditional TEFLi routes.”

The AccessTEFL curriculum requires 40 hours of theoretical study and 80 hours of teaching practice, including mentorship and interaction with other teaching professionals. Key areas of study include The English Language, The English Language Learner, The English Language Classroom, and Reflective Practice.

Speaking on the initiative, Jodie Gray, Chief Executive of English UK, said: “We are delighted to launch ATEFL after many months planning. Many ELT centres have been struggling to hire enough qualified teachers to meet increasing student demand, and that could impede the continuing growth of UK ELT.”

“We believe ATEFL is a great way for centres to grow and develop their own staff, supporting people who are keen to teach English in the UK but who do not have a conventional TEFLi qualification. This is an affordable and accessible way for centres to train high-quality staff as part of their staff CPD, and we hope that as many as possible will be able to take advantage of it.”