From education to employment

Annual workforce report highlights level of qualifications for Further Education teachers and trainers

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has today published its annual “Workforce Data Report 2015/16“, (previously known as the Staff Individualised Record data report) highlighting trends in staffing numbers, pay and demographics across all provider types in the English Further Education (FE) and Training sector. This report also forms part of ETF’s SIR Data Insights service which is a free decision-making tool offering data dashboards and benchmark comparisons.

The report provides valuable insights for practitioners, providers, and policy makers ensuring they have robust and high quality data to support decision-making in a sector that grows in importance by the day.

This year, information was gathered from 175 providers who provided returns on 66,061 staff contracts. Local authorities, independent training providers and third sectors were included for the first time, alongside information from FE, sixth form and specialist colleges.

For the first time since 2011, the annual workforce data report also captures information on teacher qualifications and continuous professional development (CPD) which is key to understanding, improving and championing the sector’s teaching and training profession. The key findings confirm a well-qualified workforce overall, with around three-quarters of teachers holding a qualification.

  • The most commonly held teaching qualifications are the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), covering 22% of teachers, Certificate of Education, covering 14% of teachers and Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, covering 11% of teachers.
  • A third of teachers hold their main subject area qualifications at QCF Level 6 with another quarter holding main subject area qualifications at QCF Level 7 or higher.
  • On average, teachers spend 15 hours on CPD although it is worth noting that most teachers (over 60%) are reported as spending no time at all on CPD.

Key findings on staffing numbers and pay include:

  • The sector is shrinking, although has stayed generally the same in terms of composition. The FE workforce has been declining at an average rate of around 3% per year. Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the number of full-time equivalent employees in FE Colleges fell by 12,300.
  • The FE workforce remains predominantly white (86%) and older than the school teaching workforce. Over half of the staff in the FE sector are over the age of 45, indicating that FE continues to be a second career for many. Women account for 64% of all staff, 58% of teaching staff and 53% of senior managerial roles.
  • Senior manager numbers have fallen faster than other parts of the sector (by approximately 13% over the last three years) and now account for around 1.4% of the workforce.  
  • Average pay has increased slightly: median pay for full-time staff across all occupational groups in FE colleges is £26,609, while the figure is £32,000 for college teachers. Median pay is highest for senior managers, with those earning between £70,000 – £80,000 experiencing the most significant increase in pay.

Charlynne Pullen, Head of Data and Evaluation at the Education and Training Foundation, said: “We are really pleased with the increased response from across the whole sector to the new SIR Data Insights system that we introduced a year ago. For the first time, with the support of organisations across the sector, we have comprehensive data on all kinds of learning and training providers in Further Education.

“Our new SIR Data Insights service collects more data on staff in the whole sector, including qualifications. It offers clear benefits to those who submit data, including access to individual dashboards and sector benchmarks.

“This workforce data report is a key part of ETF’s data and evaluation programme, ensuring that practitioners, providers and policy makers have robust and high quality data to support decision-making. Providing data on qualifications and CPD is a key part of that, with new data on these areas this year.”

About the Education and Training Foundation: The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) was established in October 2013 and is the Government-backed, sector-owned national support body for the Further Education and Training sector. The charity works with teachers, trainers, leaders and employers to help them deliver excellent further and vocational education and training. This includes through setting professional standards, workforce development, supporting sector change and providing data and research. The ETF’s membership body is the Society for Education and Training.

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