Lecturers slam college merger reforms

Written by Tom Freeman on 27 November 2015 in News

EIS survey reveals vast majority of FE lecturers have seen no benefits to college mergers 

The move to merge further education colleges into regional public bodies failed to deliver any improvements, according to a new poll of lecturers.

A survey of teaching union EIS members has revealed the overwhelming majority of college teachers think the programme has been a failure.

The Scottish Government insists the sector has seen progress.


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Asked about the impact of the reforms, 89 per cent said they didn’t believe learning and teaching had improved, 91 per cent said management of their college hadn’t improved, 94 per cent said they didn’t believe morale had improved, and 81 per cent reported increased workload.

The union’s general secretary Larry Flanagan said the results showed the promised benefits of the mergers – a leaner, more efficient and better quality sector – had yet to be realised.

“While former members of senior management have enjoyed huge pay-offs and millions of pounds have been squirrelled away into secretive Arms’ Length Foundations, education provision has continued to be cut and staff continue to suffer a divisive postcode lottery on their terms and conditions,” he said.

Shona Struthers, chief executive of umbrella body Colleges Scotland said colleges had “maintained high quality teaching” and were in a better position to meet the needs of students and local employers.

“While we recognise that some challenges remain, the sector is working in a far more coherent way and is better able to engage with stakeholders and learners,” she said. 

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