Red tape tops irritants table for FE teachers

30th October 2009 at 00:00
Time spent dealing with bureaucracy and poor student behaviour are among the top irritants for FE teachers

Time spent dealing with bureaucracy and poor student behaviour are among the top irritants for FE teachers, according the second annual survey of Institute for Learning (IfL) members.

The survey, of 8,256 of the IfL's 195,000 members, also identified the lack of funding, the pressure to keep up to date in their profession and the lack of respect given to FE teachers and trainers as problems.

The IfL has promised to act on a number of issues, including a survey on the time and resources colleges make available to support staff in their professional development.

Toni Fazaeli, IfL chief executive, said: "We want to keep the tax on people's time to a minimum. A couple of colleges I have visited were mindful that perhaps they had introduced quality assurance systems that were good at getting from `reasonable' to `good', but may need a different approach to get from `good' to `excellent' - for example by allowing practitioners greater freedom.

"So the IfL is very much trying to raise these sorts of issues and help people understand the experience on the front line as well as pointing out best practice in terms of reducing the administrative burden."

Ms Fazaeli said that student behaviour was proving a challenge in some instances, and that, in the recession, colleges were recruiting more students who were ambivalent about study and would rather be working.

Overall the survey showed a higher level of satisfaction with the institute than was identified in last year's inaugural survey. That found 47 per cent of the 6,500 respondents said they had joined the IfL because employers required it. A small group reported feeling bullied into joining.

This year's survey found that 92 per cent of respondents thought the benefits offered by the IfL were fair to excellent, with 61 per cent rating them good or excellent.

But 58 per cent of respondents said they wanted the institute to run workshops and courses on professional development, while 45 per cent wanted more lifestyle benefits.

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