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Managers seek support and training in pay talks

Professional development courses should be a key demand in pay negotiations, says the Association for College Management.

Just as wages, working hours and holidays are at the forefront of pay talks, it says the chance to attend courses during work time is also important.

Peter Pendle, general secretary of ACM, said: "It's a win-win situation for all concerned.

The students, teachers and management would all gain from more people being given the chance to learn new ideas and methods."

The ACM has said it will lobby for professional development to be included in the pay and conditions negotiations between unions and the Association of Colleges.

Mr Pendle said the ACM's main focus was on middle-managers who are suddenly thrust into senior roles without adequate training.

"You can get a good teacher or an administrator appointed to a management position and find they haven't received the support and training they need," he said.

"We believe workshops offering help on things such as discipline, motivation and other skills are very important.

"Our members are professionals who want to do their jobs well, want to improve their own performance and that of their institutions."

Research carried out by the assoc-iation showed that most members want more professional development.

With this issue high on the agenda as part of the Government's drive to improve colleges' performance, the ACM could well be pushing at an open door.

The AoC, which represents the employers in pay talks, has welcomed the prospect of talking more about training during negotiations.

Sue Dutton, its deputy chief executive, said: "Staff development has always been an important part of the AoC programme.

It is an absolute priority for the sector in terms of raising standards and we will be very pleased to talk with all the trade unions about how we can take forward this agenda together."

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