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Old chuffers huff and puff

It seems the mounting stress of trying to get through life on low pay is finally taking its toll on the socially-inclusive world of FE.

There is a widely-held view that age should be no barrier to access to education but some lecturers, at least, seem to think this principle should not be extended to staff.

The "Have Your Say" section of, recently asked for your views on how the new lifelong learning sector skills council should go about improving professional standards in FE.

In the young corner was a lecturer of tender years who feels the old chuffers are in the way.

He (or she!) wrote: "Weed out unqualified staff and make more expensive and older full-time staff go part time. A postgraduate certificate of education must be made compulsory in higher education as well as FE and jobs opened up if any internal staff do not have it. I am fed up with coming across staff who got their jobs years ago and laugh at the system. I currently have a first and second degree plus a PGCE and still can only find temporary work."

The email ends: "Get rid of the burnt-out, past-it and freeloading staff that are sucking colleges financially and creatively dry and let my generation in!"

But a contender from the old corner came out fighting: "If you can't get a job, don't blame us. How would you feel after 33 years' service when you are still earning less than a train driver?"

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