Survey shows appetite for flexible working

The Government is promoting the flexible working possibilities of teaching in further education.

woman writing on whiteboard


Over three quarters (77%) of working parents remain passionate about their industry, but nine in 10 (88%) would be interested in more part-time or flexible opportunities.

The research, commissioned by the Department for Education’s Teach in Further Education campaign, reveals the top three factors working parents consider when looking for a job. Work life balance came out on top (70%), while flexible working hours (43%) and a job where they can use their existing skills (26%) also ranked highly.

80% of those surveyed said they would be interested in a role that helps drive new talent into their industry. Two thirds (68%) said teaching in further education would appeal to them and 95% of the respondents already had the industry experience FE colleges are looking for.

The findings are part of the Teach in Further Education campaign. The Government says part-time or flexible contracts are available, with 40% of FE college teachers on part-time contracts.

The sector is widely acknowledged to be suffering from a recruitment crisis.  A report earlier this year from the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed a steep real terms fall in college teacher pay and major staffing issues in England, with around half of college teachers leaving the profession within three years of starting teaching.

Jenna Saberton teaches Engineering at The Cornwall College Group, having previously worked her way up in the engineering sector working in senior engineering and manufacturing roles across the country. She says: “I always wanted to be an engineer, but after having my children I needed a role with more flexibility that would allow me to stay closely connected to the sector I was passionate about. I went into FE teaching because I wanted to give back to the sector and help prepare people who were interested in becoming engineers to succeed in their careers. I completed my teaching training part time alongside my teaching and looking after my children. I have since transitioned into full-time teaching, but many professionals continue to teach alongside their current job. It’s a really rewarding way to use your existing skills to inspire the future of your industry.”

*For more information on a career in further education teaching, click here.

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