From education to employment

EIS-FELA ballot and Instructor Roles in Colleges

@CollegesScot : There is a clear difference between Instructor/tutor/assessor roles and that of a lecturer, and the remit of these roles may vary based on local and regional need.  For example, lecturers would be required to prepare learning materials and assessments, and invigilate examinations, whereas tutor/assessor/instructor are less likely to be required to do so.  Tutor/assessor/instructors will have fewer duties and responsibilities.

The EIS-FELA has exhausted all national dispute procedures/mechanisms on this matter with no resolution reached.  The trade unions were advised that any matters outstanding were at local college level and should be discussed further with the small number of colleges concerned. 

Professional registration is a separate issue and the EIS-FELA is trying to conflate the two. Registration with the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) now forms part of the agreed national terms and conditions of employment for all college lecturers and a pilot project is currently underway with three colleges – Dundee and Angus College, Forth Valley College, and Glasgow Kelvin College.  Tutors/assessors/instructors are not required to register with GTCS, although they will likely have range of other types of subject-specific qualifications which are more relevant to these roles.

A spokesperson for Colleges Scotland, said:

 “It is disappointing that the EIS-FELA is asking its members to consider industrial action in the midst of a global pandemic that has disrupted education, and severely impacted the economy and employment prospects for many people across Scotland.

 “Instructor/tutor/assessor positions are not new roles and have been in place within the sector for a considerable number of years. 

“Colleges use a variety of different learning and teaching methods designed to give the best student experience and to suit the needs of the subject. The use of instructors, assessors and tutors in the college sector is a well-established practice in delivering the diversity of curriculum activity which best addresses the needs of the learner and is appropriate for specific courses. 

“Both support staff and lecturing staff are equally valuable and necessary for the effective running of colleges, and the sector will play a key role in supporting Scotland’s economic recovery by supporting the tens of thousands of our people who are going to have to change career, reskill and upskill to find new jobs.”

The National Transition Training Fund was also announced today by the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP, today (Friday, 27 November 2020),

Shona Struthers 100x100Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:

“We welcome the announcement of a National Transition Training Fund which will help people over the age of 25 who are facing redundancy to retrain for a new career and support those looking to get jobs in growth areas.  Colleges will play a key role in supporting the projects and will work closely with the Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland to deliver these and help people get into jobs as quicky as possible.

“Colleges will support the tens of thousands of our people who are going to have to change career, reskill and upskill as a result of the pandemic and contribute to economic recovery.”

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