College Celebrates Staff Success in Achieving Advanced Teacher Status

12 June 2019 | College News

Director of Student Journey at City College Plymouth, Bob Hunter, has recently been recognised for his advanced professionalism and mastery in further education by the Education and Training Foundation, and has been awarded Advanced Teacher Status (ATS).

Through the Society for Education and Training, ATS was introduced two years ago, and at present less than 30 teachers in the country have achieved this status. Bob said: “This award, and with it, Chartered Teacher Status, is the highest award you can achieve in terms of teaching. I’m lucky to have had the College’s support in terms of financing the programme, in providing an internal mentor and their flexibility to enable me to attend various events in London. Without this support I wouldn’t have become one of the first in the country to have achieved this accolade. It has taken a whole year to complete but it has been worth it, it’s a great achievement.”

In order to fulfil the requirements for ATS, Bob developed an extensive portfolio over a 12 month period and attended an oral examination in London. Throughout the process Bob had to demonstrate advanced self-development, the development of others through mentoring, and a contribution to organisational development. For this latter aspect, Bob focused on a blended learning project for Imerys, a local employer in Cornwall, supporting the delivery of an off-site Higher National Certificate programme in Engineering. Speaking about this project, Bob said: “Internally, this aspect of the programme also helped to raise the profile of blended learning; it was the focus of an Outstanding Teaching and Learning Assessment project; and it also contributed to the College winning the 2018 Training Partner of the Year at the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance Skills Awards.”

City College has a long-standing reputation for investing in staff training and regularly supports continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities for its workforce. Bob said: “I’ve worked here for 18 years and from the day I joined the College I have been supported to develop my own CPD, which has included a university-level degree, management training, and most recently the ATS programme.

“City College is one of the few colleges in the country that still supports teacher training. The College recognises the value that professional training qualifications, including Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills and ATS, gives its teachers. Ultimately, they want to ensure that staff at the College are highly qualified, which is also an expectation of Ofsted.”

Bob has been approached by the Society for Education and Training to be a national mentor for future ATS candidates and is already supporting an internal City College colleague, Lisa Thompson, who has just signed up to the ATS programme. If you are interested in finding out about teacher training opportunities at City College Plymouth, please call 01752 305300 or visit

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