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Lecturers do not let low pay get them down

MOST lecturers would recommend their college as a good place to work, according to a national survey on job satisfaction levels in further education.

Low pay, frustration with management and excessive bureaucracy continue to hit morale in colleges - but are not enough to wipe the smile off a lecturer's face, it seems.

The survey, published every year by the Learning and Skills Development Agency, found that 70 per cent of lecturers enjoy their job and most would recommend the same workplace to a friend.

This, says the LSDA, reflects the level of job satisfaction which lecturers derive from teaching and their contact with students - rather than how they feel about the way they are treated.

The survey, which also included support staff, suggests there are rich vocational rewards to be had in FE, but many lecturers find themselves working in institutions which think are badly-run, with poor communication from managers.

The findings suggest they would be happier if other issues were addressed.

Apart from concerns about pay - namely parity with schoolteachers - many lecturers cited lack of resources and poor behaviour by students as issues which need to be addressed.

Behaviour is seen as a growing problem as colleges increasingly open their doors to schoolchildren from the age of 14. Lecturers feel they are not trained to deal with discipline problems among compulsory-age children and do not understand the legal implications of working with them.

The report said: "As with all self-selecting surveys, where participants choose to take part, the results should be treated with some caution. The large majority of those surveyed appear to enjoy their job and would recommend their college as a good place to work. These findings suggest that intrinsic job satisfaction is primarily influenced by factors directly related to the education and care of learners."

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