@CollegesScot Employers’ Association Statement – @EISFela Dispute 

28 Apr 2021: Colleges Scotland Employers' Association and EIS-FELA have today confirmed they have ratified a joint agreement following recent strikes in the college sector.

A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:

“The Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association has unanimously ratified a resolution to the dispute as agreed with the EIS-FELA last week.  We welcome the EIS-FELA’s acceptance of the resolution, and their commitment to end strike action.

“This is great news for students and their lecturers.”

Commenting Matt Crilly, NUS Scotland President, said:

“I am delighted that both Colleges Scotland and EIS-FELA have come to a joint resolution, bringing to an end strike action.

“This agreement is a relief to thousands of students and staff alike, and safeguards the quality of our education in Scotland colleges.

“Focus now needs to turn to ensuring as many students as possible are able to qualify on time this year."

Strike Action Suspended in Scotland

23 Apr 2021: A spokesperson for Colleges Scotland, said:

“Following lengthy and productive discussions today [23 Apr], good progress was made and a consensus position reached which both sides are taking to their respective memberships.  

“As a result of the position reached, the strike action planned for Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th April 2021 has been suspended.

“The suspension is good news for students and staff.”

Colleges Scotland committed to reaching a resolution with the EIS-FELA 

20 Apr 2021: College representatives met with the EIS-FELA today (20 Apr) to seek a resolution to the ongoing dispute #CollegesNeedLecturers.

Commenting on the EIS-FELA Dispute a spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:

“Colleges value lecturers and there is no national plan to replace them.  We are committed to reaching a resolution with the EIS-FELA.  We met today and suggested a way forward.  This should provide reassurances that the quality of education delivered in colleges will continue to be of the highest standard. 

“Colleges are pulling out all the stops to ensure that students can achieve their qualifications and are taking steps to avoid disruption for individuals. 

“We have agreed to meet the EIS-FELA again on Friday to continue discussions.”

An EIS-FELA spokesperson said:

"EIS-FELA members have continually made their feelings clear over the last few weeks - all students deserve to be taught by a lecturer. Our ASOS ballot is now open. Members are urged to vote YES and defend the unique role of the lecturer in Scottish FE."

Turnout for today’s strike action was 39.9%.  Turnout on the three previous days of strike action this year was 42.1% (out of the total headcount of lecturers in Scotland). Of lecturers balloted, 53.4% have taken part in the strike action.  

The EIS-FELA opened a further ballot for its members to take industrial action, to the disappointment of colleges 

8th Apr 2021: The EIS-FELA opened a further ballot for its members to take industrial action, to the disappointment of colleges.  This additional ballot asks its members to take action short of strike action, such as working to rule and/or a resulting boycott.  This latest unnecessary move would be in addition to the three strike days which have already taken place, and the 11 days of strike action planned for April and May.

A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:

“Colleges will do everything they can to ensure that students are supported during this difficult time, and that any disruption is minimised.

“The EIS-FELA has refused repeated requests to suspend the strikes while meaningful discussions carry on – national industrial action is wholly unnecessary.” 

Turnout on the three days of strike action which have taken place to date in 2021 has been low – 42.1% of lecturers have taken part in strikes (out of the total headcount of lecturers in Scotland).  Of lecturers balloted, 53.4% have taken part in the strike action.

1st April 2021: The Educational Institute of Scotland Further Education Lecturers’ Association took further strike action on Wednesday, 31 March 2021 and Thursday, 1 April 2021, despite repeated requests to suspend action whilst talks continue.

The EIS-FELA continued with a planned programme of industrial action over their ballot which “centres on the replacement of lecturer posts with other posts at colleges across the country, to carry out work the EIS believes to be equivalent to the work of lecturers”. 

There is no national plan to replace lecturers with tutor/assessor/instructor roles, nor any other support staff roles.  The EIS-FELA agrees with this position.

Both sides are supportive of a national role profile for lecturers and is the basis of ongoing discussions.  The employers want to make sure the complex role of the lecturer is recognised and not diminished in any way.  The employers also need to ensure that in reaching a resolution for one bargaining group, we do not agree a solution which could impact adversely on staff not within scope of that bargaining group, i.e. college support staff.

A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association, said:

“Both sides agree that there is no national plan to replace lecturers with other roles, yet the EIS-FELA refuse to call off the strikes.  The EIS-FELA has breached national bargaining protocols by striking while talks continue.

“There is only one outstanding issue still to be agreed.  This is around the wording of a national role profile for lecturers, which both sides are supportive of.  The employers view is that this is a holistic role profile, however, the EIS-FELA view is that just some of the core responsibilities are necessary to deem someone a lecturer.

“We also need to ensure that any agreement reached with the EIS-FELA doesn’t negatively impact on tutor/assessor/instructors, who are support staff.

“Tutor/assessor/instructor roles are vitally important to the learning experience in colleges as many will come direct from industry with the knowledge and experience required to give students undertaking practical elements of courses industry-standard skills.”

25th March 2021: During recent industrial action, the majority (59%) of lecturers across Scotland did not go out on strike.

A spokesperson for the Colleges Scotland Employers’ Association said: 

“It is extremely disappointing that the EIS-FELA is taking unnecessary industrial action despite repeated requests to suspend any action while negotiations are ongoing. 

“It appears that the EIS-FELA has not considered the impact that strike action will have on students who are trying to complete their courses by the end of the academic year in the midst of lockdown restrictions.

“The EIS-FELA agrees that there is no national plan to replace lecturers’ with other roles yet are still continuing to strike.  There is also a consensus position on the content of a national role profile for lecturers.  

“We are still working through one detail of the national role profile with the EIS-FELA, and the employers want to make sure it recognises the complex and professional nature of the role that lecturers undertake.  We also need to be confident that, in reaching a resolution, we don’t agree a solution that could impact adversely on staff not within scope of EIS-FELA, i.e. support staff.  As employers, colleges have a duty of care to all staff.

“The employers’ representatives have agreed to another meeting with the EIS-FELA, and the date will be confirmed in due course.”

Tutor/assessor/instructor roles are not new to the college sector; they have been in place within colleges across Scotland for a considerable number of years to deliver a diverse curriculum and qualifications which best suits the needs of the learner and the subject matter being taught. 

The college sector is not the only sector which uses a variety of different roles to deliver services, for example, teachers and teaching assistants, solicitors and para-legals, dentists and hygienists, nurses and nursing assistants.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 25 minutes ago

Rethinking Employability – Preparing young...

An interactive and engaging seminar hosted by The Edge Foundation & Envision, chaired by broadcaster and journalist Steph McGovern

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 hours 26 minutes ago

Landmark skills training report calls for wide-ranging reboot of UK system: @BritishChambers and @Indeed's major ne… https://t.co/r4uG63voUM
View Original Tweet

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 4 hours 20 minutes ago

Education Development Trust welcomed as a SET Corporate Partner: The Society for Education and Training (@SocietyET… https://t.co/KjCohZuke8
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page