Life on the edge

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Two years ago I was a lecturer at a college that received a poor inspection report. The principal resigned and the college eventually merged. I retained my job but worry that poor management will eventually cost me my livelihood. A number of colleagues have moved to 'surer' jobs. FE seems to be too risky.

A: Colleges are a under a great deal of pressure to raise standards. Sometimes other factors intervene. It is hard to raise standards quickly when the standard is below par. Initially impressive intake can be cancelled by drop out rates. But this is just one factor weighing on managers' mind. Building local partnerships to compensate for under-funding, ensuring staff trust and support when wages are below other sectors, maintaining out-dated structures, to name a few. Yes, education is a risky business at the heart of which lies the spurious premise that good management, means good teaching which leads to learning and economic improvement. This of course is nonsense but for now it is the sword under which you will have to work.

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