Ann Gravells is an author of textbooks and resources for Education and Training in the UK and has her own educational training consultancy.

ann gravellis

Ann is the Author of The Award in Education and Training (2013), Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (2011), Equality and Diversity in the Lifelong Learning Sector (2012), Passing PTLLS Assessments (2012), Delivering Employability Skills (2010) and many more. Ann has achieved a Masters Degree in Educational Management, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and a Degree in Education as well as Management, and Learning & Development qualifications. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Learning and holds Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) status. For more information, please visit www.anngravells.co.uk.

She is now helping Training Qualifications UK develop their qualifications in Education and Training, so we asked her a few questions about how she got to where she is now in her career, her experiences with us so far and her strong social media presence.

What is your experience in the further education sector?

I have worked in the further education and skills sector for around 30 years. I began by working as a hotel receptionist when I left college, I was training people on the job and really enjoyed the training aspect. That's why I decided to become a teacher. I was teaching part time, whilst getting my qualifications in teaching by attending evening classes. The subjects I was teaching at first were the subjects I had experience in, such as office work, hotel reception work, typing (back in those days before everybody had a computer!). I gradually progressed from teaching office skills to teaching new staff at the college and got into the staff development and teacher-training side of things.

How did you get started as an author in education?

I had been teaching for quite a few years and I felt that the courses I was teaching used textbooks which were pitched at too high of a level for the type of person that was taking the course, they needed something really easy and simple to relate to. I thought back to when I was doing my own teacher training and I felt there were no books that were suitable as an absolute beginner. So I just got the idea, approached a publisher and said "I have this idea for a new book" – coincidently, a new qualification was coming out in teacher training at the same time – and they said "Yes, let's go with it." So, that was that!

Ann Gravells with TQUK Managing Director Andrew Walker.

 

How have you found working with TQUK so far?

Really nice! Andy (Walker, Managing Director) is lovely and all the staff in the office are very helpful, very personable. I like the idea that this Awarding Organisation is focused on customer service and quality. As a smaller organisation, I think that has to be the key and it's great that TQUK are going to maintain that.

 

 

Ann Gravells with TQUK Managing Director Andrew Walker.

What do you think is the advantage of the online system for training centres?

To make things quick and easy! I think technology is the way forward nowadays, people aren't doing so much face-to-face and to be able to complete a form online and then have a real, live human being call you to follow it up would be advantageous.

What are the advantages of utilising social media for training centres?

For anybody not on LinkedIn yet, you really should join. Then search for the name of the qualification your centre offers and you will probably find that there is already a forum on there that you can join. It is an excellent way to communicate with other people in the same situation as you. If there isn't already a forum there, you can set one up. I'm fairly new to technology myself, so I haven't had a Facebook or Twitter account for much longer than a year, but it is a great tool for promotion and keeping in touch with learners. As most people now have smart phones, they can check their email wherever they go, as well as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn groups they belong to. It's a way of very quickly getting information out there. However, I don't think we should forget the traditional forms of communicating such as speaking face-to-face or telephone, for people who prefer not to embrace social media.

Ann Gravells is an author of textbooks and resources for Education and Training in the UK and has her own educational training consultancy http://www.anngravells.co.uk/