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Lecturers search for way out

Six out of 10 college lecturers are considering leaving the profession, according to a survey for their union NATFHE, Ian Nash writes.

The main reason cited in the survey of 1,000 lecturers was demoralisation because of the working conditions. More than three in 10 (35 per cent) said they were actively looking for work outside colleges and universities. Two-thirds of lecturers surveyed were in FE.

Eight out of 10 said they would seriously consider early retirement. The findings emerge just as the Government is looking to restrict early retirement, the main route used by colleges to shed staff to make economies.

More than seven out of 10 (72 per cent) were dissatisfied with pay, the study by researchers at the University of Luton suggests. Nine out of 10 (89 per cent) thought the administrative workload was too heavy.

One in five lecturers said they regularly worked a 50-hour week and three-quarters said they often took work home at weekends.

Derek Betts, NATFHE head of policy, said: "It is untenable to expect high-quality post-school education when staff are working under such severe strain."

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