Skills council calls for better conditions for part-time teachers

Working
conditions and support for part-time teachers must improve if standards in
further and adult education are to be raised, according to research.

Most
feel underpaid, under-supported and under-resourced. New research from the
Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA), based on a survey of colleges
and adult education providers in London
and the South East, showed that part-time staff often experience relatively low
rates of pay, inadequate working space and facilities, and limited access to
staff development and training.

But
it also highlighted their enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to the
job, as well as the rewards gained through contact with learners.

The
research, conducted late last year, was based on findings from more than 700
questionnaires, plus interviews with part-time staff in colleges and adult and
community learning institutions.

Yvonne
Hillier, senior lecturer in continuing education at City
University,
and a member of the project team, said: “What is striking is discovering the
enormous range of talent and dedication that flourishes, despite the lack of
facilities and low pay.

"Part-time
staff make up about
two-thirds of all teaching staff – but they are being marginalised and
neglected. Making improvements need not depend on elaborate strategies; simply
providing a desk, a phone and a coat hook would make a huge amount of
difference"

Mike
Cooper, LSDA regional director, said: “Without better support for part-time
staff it may be difficult to meet national improvement targets. But ‘better
support’ doesn’t just mean higher rates of pay; it also means ensuring
part-timers have effective access to staff development opportunities and
appropriate facilities.

"If
we are to improve the quality of teaching and learning these issues need
addressing urgently. We cannot rely on goodwill alone,” he said.

www.lsda.org.uk

By Mike Berry

 

 

 

Comments are closed.