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FE staff do not rate the sector's leadership skills, survey shows

People working in the FE and skills sector do not feel positive about standards of leadership and managment, according to a new survey.

Fewer than half (44 per cent) of those who responded to the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Perceptions Survey 2014 thought the standards in the sector were very good or good, while 22 per cent rated leadership and management as bad or very bad.

Only a third (32 per cent) were positive about the standard of governance.

The poll, which ran between September and October last year, had 255 responses from across the sector in England, including 92 people working in FE colleges.

The results, published today, suggest a hardening of attitudes; in a previous survey carried out in spring 2014, 52 per cent were positive about the standard of leadership and management and only 7 per cent gave a negative response.

However, the report says the difference could be due to a higher proportion of teachers and trainers in the latest survey, as there was considerable variation in the response depending on job role.

While 58 per cent of principals/chief executives responded positively on the standard of leadership and management, just 28 per cent of teachers and trainers did.

The results also show almost 60 per cent of respondents thought professional standards within the sector were very good or good, but only a third responded positively on the standard of workforce development.

Just over half thought vocational education and training standards were very good or good.

The ETF said was “encouraged” at the high rates of satisfaction with the organisation.

Ninety per cent of respondents who have previously engaged with the ETF said they would do so again, and three quarters said they were likely or very likely to use its services.

Olivia Dorricott, director of leadership, management and governance at the ETF, said: “It’s great to see that awareness of the Foundation’s role and remit has risen significantly since we carried out our initial survey.

“Overall, the perceptions survey provides a positive and encouraging picture of our first year. Those…who have engaged with us report consistently high satisfaction rates, often well in excess of 70 per cent.

“But we clearly need to do more to achieve whole sector awareness of the range of programmes and support we offer, and will be striving to improve our communications reach in order to achieve that.”

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Government urges FE sector to 'excel' by tackling poor teaching and governance - July 2014

Governors 'lack expertise' to deal with colleges in financial trouble, warns FE commissioner - June 2014

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