Why we’re obsessed with bums on seats

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I’ve heard the phrase “bums on seats” a lot in colleges. It comes up in conversations when staff are faced with something so unworkable that the only explanation could be the single-minded pursuit of enrolment and retention – and the funding it brings.

It’s why a face that started in childcare, moved on to IT and took a quick jaunt over to drama is now back in childcare again. And why learners who are highly disruptive continue to be so because of a behaviour policy that has 43 steps before removal – to give them a chance so that moolah doesn’t disappear.

It’s one of those codified phrases ...

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