New data reveals characteristics about the further education workforce

Today, the Education and Training Foundation publishes a comprehensive set of data revealing the average salary, age and working patterns of thousands of people working in the education and training sector.

This is the first time such a comprehensive set of data has been available in one place. The four reports together provide a unique insight into the make-up of the entire workforce, allowing organisations and employees to see how they compare to others in terms of gender balance, pay, percentage of qualified staff and areas which are hardest to recruit.

Understanding trends and patterns within the sector workforce is vital. Common themes, such as where the most hard to fill vacancies are, the most common pattern of work, average salary, and percentage of qualified staff, will inform decision making, strategic activity and future planning.

An average FE college employs 642 people, of whom 307 are teachers. In FE Colleges the median salary band for a full-time teacher is £29,000 – 29,999 per annum. The highest paying region is Greater London and the South East and North East pay the lowest.

Local Authority Community Learning and Skills workforce appear to be more predominantly female, older, and more ethnically diverse than other parts of the FE sector. 79% of those teaching in Community Learning hold teaching qualifications.

A third of people working in work based learning, for example, are classified as assessors. The data reveal how crucial this role is to teaching quality; 92% of assessors hold a specific qualification; they are industry experts who train learners in their specialist skill, and often move back into management roles in their industry afterwards.

A common theme across all provider type is the challenges faced in the recruitment of English and maths teachers. This highlights the need for the range of support programmes from the Education and Training

Foundation to both upskill staff and expand the recruitment in these subject areas, especially given the recent changes which make funding dependent on GCSE.

What the sector says:

Mike Hopkins, Member of the Education and Training Foundation Expert Panel said ‘Our most important asset in FE is our staff. It is not buildings and computers that deliver the skills agenda, engage with NEETs or plan and deliver a liberal education – it is people, our staff. The data allows us to identify an average college, as a point of comparison, but also helps us to explain the sector to others. While many colleges are far from average, this helps us to understand and explain how we are both similar and different’.

John Hyde, Executive Chairman, HIT Training Group said ‘Workforce data is critical to understanding the changing nature of the workforce in private training providers. This data helps government with workforce planning, but it also helps providers to benchmark their own challenges, for example with recruitment of qualified staff, against those of the sector more broadly. It can confirm their own experience as similar to those of other providers, or show how different they are, for example on age or ethnicity of staff. I hope this report will be as useful to others as it will be to my business’.

Lynsi Hayward Smith, Chair of LEAFEA said ‘As a leader of Adult Education services in a Local Authority, the degree of professionalism shown by staff is a key area to draw out from this survey, and is something I see in my staff on a daily basis. Almost four out of every five teachers (79%) in our part of the sector already hold or are currently studying for a teaching qualification. In a sector where teaching qualifications are not compulsory, this shows a clear commitment by staff and Local Authorities to gain these important qualifications’.

Notes To Editors:


How the data were collected

The workforce data are collected in different ways to capture data from all types of employer within the sector. The data were collected on an individualised basis from FE Colleges through the Staff Individualised Record (SIR). Private training providers and adult and community learning providers respond to surveys from the Foundation in conjunction with AELP and HOLEX respectively. Data on qualifications, hard to fill vacancies, and other queries about the workforce beyond demographic information, are currently collected through a range of surveys.


About the Education and Training Foundation

Set up to improve standards in the further education and training sector, the Education and Training Foundation sets professional standards and provides support to ensure learners and employers benefit from excellent, relevant education and training.

Follow us on Twitter @E_T_Foundation


For more information, contact our Communications Team: – 020 3740 8279 – 020 3740 8278





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