ETF publishes 2014-2015 workforce data

The Education and Training Foundation today published its annual series of reports on the FE and training sector workforce in England, across all provider types.  These latest reports describe the workforce during 2014-15.  This work provides robust data and helps organisations and policy makers make informed decisions around workforce.

Headlines from the reports:

  • Workforce in FE colleges declined 3% in 2014-2015.
  • Median pay for full-time staff across all occupational groups in colleges was £26,000-£26,999, which is £1,000 higher than in 2013-14. It remains lower than in the schools sector.
  • 61% of private training providers reported static or declining staff numbers. The corresponding figures for Third Sector providers is 73% and Local Authorities is 80%. This implies contraction across the entire FE and training sector.
  • The private training provider workforce is significantly different from that in colleges, statutory, and third sector providers. Private training providers’ staff are younger and more likely to be full time.
  • In colleges, the survey found evidence of a gender and ethnicity related pay gap for non-teaching staff.
  • However, the chance of progressing into management in colleges is not clearly related to gender or ethnicity.
  • Lower pay for women in teaching roles in colleges appeared to be subject related: more women teachers work in those fields which are less well paid.

The Education and Training Foundation CEO David Russell commented:

‘These data give fascinating insights into the reality of the FE and training profession.  The findings on gender and ethnicity are particularly thought-provoking.  One only need compare Principals and CEOs with their learners to see that the senior leadership of our sector overall does not yet reflect the people we serve.  As a sector we need to consider these data with other research, and take stronger action to protect and promote equality and diversity in recruitment, promotion and retention.’

The analysis of the FE college workforce contained in these reports relies on the Staff Individual Record (SIR) submissions, which includes anonymised staff contract data.  For 2014-15 the response rate from colleges increased to 115 institutions (a third of all colleges) which was 79,049 staff contracts.  This is a significant improvement on the previous year, when only a quarter of colleges participated.

The data describing the workforce in private, statutory and third sector providers has been generated by surveys distributed through their respective networks and with the help of the relevant membership bodies.   We received responses from 63 private training providers, 47 local authority providers and 37 third sector providers.

The Education and Training Foundation is currently relaunching the Staff Individual Record system as the SIR Data Insights service.  This will provide a free strategic decision making tool for all types of provider, as well as giving policy makers broader-based evidence.  Submission to the new system begins in July 2016.

Head of Research Sheila Kearney said, ‘We are committed to a long term development of the SIR system for the benefit of all providers.  In order to benefit, organisations will need to submit their own data. The more the sector uses it and submits good quality information, the more robust and timely the data will be on which their planning and benchmarking can be based.’

The window for data submission is open from 1 July to 31 August.  Providers can can login or register now at:

Download the 2014/15 reports:

For more information, contact: 

Stephen Cox, Head of Strategic Communications | 020 3740 8280


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