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Reader survey rejects merger

Few lecturers and managers in the further education sector support a merger of the sector with higher education, the latest readership survey of The TES has revealed.

The results of the 270-respondent telephone survey carried out in November by Sample Surveys Ltd suggest a wish to see a strong independent FE sector.

The most pressing professional concerns for most staff in the FE and sixth-form colleges were the desire for smaller classes, a national curriculum for teacher training to include FE staff and improved college inspections.

Half of all lecturers and managers in FE sector colleges read The TES regularly. This is a rise of 25 per cent since the launch of FE Focus, making The TES the market leader in the field, and includes 83 per cent of all vice-principals and principals.

Two-thirds of staff in the survey read "all or most" of FE Focus. General news pages were the next most popular, with more than half the lecturers and managers reading all or most of the section.

Similar responses were found in Scotland, where the average weekly readership of The TES rose from 45 per cent to 67 per cent in the year after FE Focus launched.

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