Report from FE workforce seminar published

4 December 2015 Hannah Stanwix

New report summarises how data can be used to support a highly qualified further education teaching workforce, and makes a number of recommendations about additional data that could further enhance the understanding of the workforce.

Report from FE workforce seminar published

The further education sector has a vital role to play in the training and development of the future UK workforce. Teachers are crucial to provision of high-quality education and training, but limited data are available on the further education workforce as a whole.  A joint seminar hosted by Gatsby and The Education and Training Foundation in October 2015 explored how to support a highly qualified further education workforce in the future, through better use and understanding of current workforce data, and discussion of what additional data may be required. The findings from this seminar are highlighted in a report, published today.

The seminar featured presentations from two speakers: Charlynne Pullen (The Education and Training Foundation) who discussed data obtained through the Staff Individualised Record and recent work exploring initial teacher training; and Dr Matt Homer (University of Leeds) who discussed the findings of recent research profiling the science, engineering, technology (SET) and maths workforces across the college sector in England.

The report highlights the areas discussed by seminar attendees, such as:

  • Are the current data sufficient and fit for purpose?
  • How can we encourage better returns from the staff individualised record (SIR)?
  • Do we have adequate data to inform local planning and the recently announced area reviews?

A number of recommendations were made during these discussions, including:

  • In order to ensure a highly qualified workforce in the future that can meet local and national needs, a representative and comprehensive dataset to understand the current workforce and future needs is required. The SIR is the vehicle for this, and measures should be taken to increase responses, with clear options around incentivising providers to complete the data return or making the return mandatory. 
  • Current data should be better linked with other datasets to allow tracking of individuals throughout their careers and improve understanding of flows in and out of the FE sector. 
  • Additional data should be collected on the ITE qualifications taken and the relevance of the Level 3 Award to teaching practice. 

The full report from the seminar is available here.

The background research papers are available at the following links:

Workforce data across the Further Education sector

Further Education Colleges’ workforce data for England

Initial teacher education provision in FE and Skills

Profile of the science, engineering and technology teaching workforce in the college sector in England

Profile of the mathematics teaching workforce in the college sector in England


Report from FE workforce seminar published