FE teachers' biggest challenges? Long hours and heavy workload

Over half of FE teachers surveyed said that working long hours was one of the biggest challenges they faced in their roles

News article image

Half of FE teachers say that working long hours is one of their biggest professional challenges, according to a new survey.

The Unlocking the Potential of Digital Learning report, by YMCA Awards, reveals that 54 per cent of teachers surveyed felt working outside of their regular teaching hours was a major challenge, while two-thirds (62 per cent) said that resource issues, such as having a heavy workload, was one of the most concerning aspects of their role.

Two-fifths (42 per cent) of teachers also said that keeping up with industry changes was one of the biggest challenges they faced at work.

The report, which covered staff at 26 FE colleges, shows that over two-thirds (68 per cent) of teachers said being put under pressure with fewer resources was one of their biggest concerns for the future, while 56 per cent said government changes to education was a major worry.

'A long-hours culture'

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: "Many staff in further education work unreasonable and excessive hours, and feel that their workload is often unmanageable.

"Many are not given adequate time to do preparation and marking on top of their face-to-face teaching hours with students. Add to that a growing administrative burden and you get a long-hours culture that’s not sustainable for people in the long term."

Commenting on the findings, Adam Williams, YMCA Awards’ head of products and services, said: “Easing challenges for FE professionals and reducing time spent on admin allows great support and face-to-face time with learners."

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES FE News on Twitter, like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you