floribunda kindly commented on my earlier two rants as follows:
"Hi Helen -- for us non-Brits, could you explain what "Cities and Guilds" is exactly? Or point me to a previous blog if you've already done that?
Um - no I didn't do that - obviously I should have done!
According to their website, in 1878 'City & Guilds was established following a meeting of 16 of the City of London’s livery companies and the Corporation of London, the traditional guardians of apprenticeships and work place training. Its aim was to establish a national system of technical education. ' It is now the main examining body in the UK for vocational education - so they do everything from plumbing, cleaning, photography, embroidery etc and much more. It is an internationally recognised qualification too I believe but is London based in its admin.
As I understand it the textile related courses were often available in local adult education centres and further education colleges, so available as night classes for example along with Spanish and maths and car maintenance etc. However, much funding has been withdrawn from such courses by the education authorities and so now the main source is probably textile artists who are making a business from it with mainly online teaching. Linda Kemshall told me that to teach City and Guilds you are supposed to have the level above that which you are teaching so there should be some guarantee of quality but as my experience shows (and I believe that of Gina if you see her comment on my last post) holding a qualification (even an old style school teaching certificate) is no guarantee that someone is a good teacher.
Recently in the UK they introduced a requirement that to teach in formal education establishments you need a teaching certificate but this only a very short basic night class course as well. Obviously mots people making a career of teaching would have a formal qualification but for example, a local watercolour artists who was teaching a leisure evening class is now caught by this. I anticipate that private institutions and distance learning are in any event exempt from this. Certainly I do not need it to teach law to other lawyers on commercial courses for example. The requirement will probably prevent some very good textile artists sharing their skills in formal education settings though, unless they take the certificate.
Doing a City and Guilds therefore gives you a proper recognised by employers qualification... the question is whether we need one or not!