From education to employment

Who’s Who in the Scottish FE Sector

The governing, funding and representative bodies of the further education sector in Scotland are largely similar to their English counterparts. There are governmental and public bodies overseeing the efficiency of the FE sector.

The sector as a whole is funded by the Scottish Further Education Funding Council, acting on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. Present FE funding levels have increased by more than 50% (in cash terms) over the 1998 baseline. In addition to this, the 2002 Spending Review announced a further 20% cash increase over the three years to 2005-06, bringing the Executives investment in the FE sector to over half a billion pounds for the first time.

Starting From The Top

The Scottish Executive Enterprise And Lifelong Learning Department (SEELLD) is the branch of the Scottish Executive responsible for economic and industrial development, tourism, further and higher education, skills and lifelong learning in Scotland. The ELLD has a wide range of responsibilities which relate directly or indirectly to further education. ELLD promotes lifelong learning through policy development, supporting education and training for people at all stages of life beyond school age as well as funding for higher education in Scotland.

The SEELLD is the funding body that distributes the resources between the The Scottish Further Education Funding Council and The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, which are responsible for financing the higher and further education institutions and Scotlands Universities, respectively.

The Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) is a non-departmental public body responsible for securing adequate and efficient provision of further education in Scotland. The SFEFC ““ established in 1999 ““ distributes more than £400 million each year to Scotland’s 45 further education colleges. The Council also has a statutory function to provide Scottish Ministers with advice and information on matters relating to the further education sector.

Further, the SFEFC gives grant-in-aid to the Scottish Further Education Unit (SFEU), the primary agency whose purpose is to contribute to the development of learning provision within FE colleges through the support of staff and the curriculum. SFEU works in partnership with all colleges in Scotland, as well as other key national agencies.

Development And Awards

The ELLD is not only the handler of governmental capital but also supports the Learning and Teaching Scotland (LT Scotland), an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Scottish Executive Education Department. It is responsible for supporting the development of Scottish education from 3-18 and for promoting the creative and effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) in learning throughout life.

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is the national body in Scotland for the development, accreditation, assessment, and certification of qualifications other than degrees. It is responsible to the government and is required to be self-financing. Working in partnership with people in education, industry, commerce and government, SQA develops qualifications relevant to the needs of individuals, society and the economy. The SQA is funded by means of the entry charges it recovers from centres offering its qualifications.

The Interests of the Institutions

The Association of Scottish Colleges (ASC) is the policy and representative voice for Scotlands colleges. It fulfils this role by informing and advising government, the Scottish Parliament and key audiences about the work of further education, developing sector policy and strategy, and providing information and advice to colleges on a range of issues. The ASC helps develop a sense of collective purpose for colleges by bringing them together to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Scotland can be proud of having the oldest teaching union in the world. The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) was founded in 1847, making it the oldest teaching union in the world. In addition to its professional role, the Institute has through the years developed its function of seeking to improve and protect the pay and conditions of services of teachers and lecturers in Scotland at both a national and local level. Particularly in recent years, the Institute has sought to protect the distinctive nature of education and the quality of the education service provided in Scotland, representing about 80% of teachers in Scotland, working in nursery, primary, secondary and special education, and further and higher education.

Further Education and the Union

Within the EIS there are several organisations, overseeing the representation of different groups within education. In the FE sector, there are two associations: the College Lecturers Association (CLA) and the Scottish Further and Higher Education Association (SFHEA).

The College Lecturers Association (CLA) is a self-governing association within the EIS. The CLA has formed a partnership with the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) in England by which representatives of each union sit on the Executive Committee of the other. This provides the Association with close and constructive contact with events in England and Wales.

The Scottish Further and Higher Education Association (SFHEA) was formed in June 1966 to create a body that could speak independently for lecturers in further education. The Association’s objectives include the advancement of further and higher education, promoting the interchange of ideas on teaching methods in further and higher education, and promoting and safeguarding professional interests in tenure, salaries, pensions, training, qualifications of teachers and schemes of examination and inspection.

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