Heavy workload stalls teachers' career progression, survey finds

7th August 2017 at 17:18
Lack of time for CPD a significant barrier to career progression in colleges, according to an Education and Training Foundation survey

Workload and lack of time for continued professional development are the most significant barriers to career progression in further education, according to a new report.

The research by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) also reveals a lack of encouragement and support from college management, insufficient promotion or development opportunities and a lack of appropriate subject-specialist training were seen as barriers by the FE staff in the survey.

Only one in ten respondents reported that they had not experienced any barriers. Those surveyed felt gaining more on-the-job experience, undertaking courses, and having the support of a mentor or line manager would help their career progression.

A quarter of staff said their main priority in terms of career progression was developing more expertise in their current role, but about one in six said they would like to take on greater management responsibilities, while 13 per cent wanted to  develop their knowledge of the sector or their subject. One in 10 wanted to remain in their current role.

Inspiring the next generation

Meanwhile, enjoyment of working with young people and adult learners, as well as inspiring the next generation, were cited as the most popular reasons for joining the FE sector.

Charlynne Pullen, head of data and evaluation at the ETF, said there has been much anecdotal evidence of career progression trends in further education and training, but this was the first comprehensive research report to share with the sector.

“The research shows there is a willingness and a demand for more training and career progression, the challenge is how to turn that into a reality across the whole sector," she said. "Given the need to transform technical education in this country and the increasing role workforce development will play, this research will support better decision-making and analysis on how we move forward.”

In June, a separate ETF report found that almost two-thirds of FE teachers do not spend any time at all on CPD.

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