Frequently Asked Questions: Masters in Educational Practice (MEP)
Q1. What is the MEP and how will it benefit me?
- The MEP is a practice-based Masters programme designed to enhance and support the teaching practice and professional development of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs).
- It is based around the every-day experiences encountered by all teachers and will help those new to the profession to develop and apply current educational thinking to improve their own classroom practice and outcomes for learners.
- Participants will be provided with high quality resources, mentoring support, and opportunities to engage with other NQTs and lead professionals to share good practice.
Q2. What does the MEP look like?
- The MEP will cover key professional areas, identified as priorities for NQTs: behaviour management, additional learning needs and reflective practice
- It will develop the knowledge and skills needed to address the National priorities of literacy, numeracy and reducing the impact of poverty on attainment.
- It will also focus on child and adolescent development and learning, leadership and action enquiry.
Q3. Who will be eligible for the MEP?
- All Newly Qualified Teachers working in Wales and commencing their induction from September 2012 are eligible on the basis that that they have a first degree; have a teaching contract of 0.4 so there is sufficient teaching time to deliver the assessment requirements; and have a contract lasting until the end of the spring term 2013.
- Supply teachers starting their induction from September 1st 2012 will also be eligible on the basis that they meet all other requirement.
- A full list of eligibility criteria can be found at www.cf.ac.uk/mep.
Q4. How will I apply for the MEP
- When schools notify the GTCW that you are commencing your Induction, the notification will also include confirmation of whether you wish to participate in the MEP.
- All schools will have received information on the MEP at the start of the autumn Term in 2012 and further information will be available on both the GTWC website and www.cf.ac.uk/mep.
- If you meet the teaching contract requirements GTCW will forward your details to Cardiff University, who are responsible for the delivery of the MEP and who will process your registration for the MEP.
- Further detail of application procedures are available here.
Q5. How much time will I need to spend on MEP work?
- Much of the MEP will be based around classroom experience and for each of the MEP modules participants will need to apply current research and best practice to secure higher standards of teaching and learning. The MEP content and activities will therefore be consistent with what the best teachers do to continually develop their practice.
- Schools will be asked to release participants to attend the taught components of the modules as part of their commitment to the MEP. In their first year of teaching teachers will be expected to use some of their additional Induction non-contact time to engage with the MEP learning materials, to work with their External Mentor on application of best practice and to carry out the MEP assessment requirements.
- There will, however, be a requirement for participants to spend some of their own time analysing the latest research and completing assessment activities. More specific information will be available at the start of each module.
Q6. What will it cost?
- As part of its commitment to the teaching profession the MEP provision, excluding teacher release time is fully-funded by the Welsh Government. There is no cost to individual practitioners.
Q7. What provision is made for Welsh-medium and bilingual provision?
- The MEP will be fully accessible through the medium of Welsh and has a fully bilingual identity.
- All components of the MEP will be available through the medium of both Welsh and English, including teaching, mentoring, learning resources, assessment, feedback and other areas of support.
- You will be asked to provide information on your language preference at registration.
Q8. Will the MEP have the same status as other educational Masters degrees?
- Yes. The MEP has been designed in consultation with a variety of international experts including Professor Alma Harris, Institute of Education, University of London; Michael Fullen, Professor Emeritus and Ben Levin, Professor of Education, University of Toronto; and Professor David Reynolds, Southampton University.
- It is a Cardiff University award, operating under the normal regulations for a Modular Taught Postgraduate Programme.
- It has been accredited and validated through Cardiff University, and developed and delivered via an Alliance between Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities and the Institute of Education, University of London.
- The Programme draws on the extensive experience and expertise of the four HEI partners in delivering high quality and internationally recognised postgraduate degrees.
Q9. What happens if a need to take a break from MEP studies?
- Most participants will be in a position to complete their MEP over a period of around three years, although a few may take as long as five years.
- There may be times when participants will have to take a break in studies before completing the Programme, for example if they do not have a teaching contract during a spring or summer term of each MEP year, are on maternity leave, or if have a period of illness. In these circumstances participants should inform to their External Mentor, GTCW and apply for a break in studies to Cardiff University. Where appropriate, arrangements may be made to provide specific support to participants to re-enter the Programme, and this can happen in the autumn and spring of each academic year.
- Where completion of the whole MEP cannot be achieved, for example where a teacher ceases to work in Wales, participants will receive credits for the modules completed, and these credits may be used in respect of study for another post-graduate qualification. Every attempt will also be made to ensure that individuals exit from the MEP at points where a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded.
Q10. What is the time commitment for NQTs in terms of time out of the classroom?
- The MEP is a practice-based Masters where each taught module is introduced at a regional learning event. This will require release from timetabled teaching. The development of assessment activities and reflection on taught materials will rely on a combination of use of non-contact time, often supported by the External Mentor, and the teacher’s own time, the latter being in line with the commitment required for all Masters programmes.
Q11. Will mentors visit NQTs in school during term time?
- Yes, by agreement using non-contact time where appropriate and to carry out lesson observations as required for Induction and the MEP.
Q12. Will NQTs who started their Induction year earlier this calendar year still be eligible for the MEP?
- The MEP has been developed to account for the training and development needs of NQTs. Consequently, only those beginning their Induction year in September 2012 will be eligible.
Q13. Is it possible for NQTs with M-level credits from previous programmes to transfer these to the MEP?
- Unlike other Masters programmes, the MEP has been developed to be a practice-based qualification, so other M-level credits can not be transferred as accredited prior learning.
Q14. Does the MEP include a dissertation?
- The final MEP module takes the form of an Action Enquiry Project. This is an extended piece of work that focuses on classroom based experience rather than a traditional essay type dissertation.
Q15. What funding is being made available by the Welsh Government for teacher release time in respect of the MEP?
- Teacher release time during the year 1 of the MEP is to be covered by the funds provided for statutory non contact time. No decision has yet been made with regard to the Welsh Government providing funding for teacher release in year 2 and subsequent years.