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Funding cuts impacting teaching hours

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by laura564, May 13, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    Just wondered if anyone could help me out here...currently in my college each class has 4.5 hours of taught sessions, but "due to budget cuts" etc we are facing a reduction to 4 hours. This loss of 30 mins per group inevitably leads to job losses as teachers will need to see more groups to make up their yearly amount of taught hours.
    We are therefore trying to dispute this, but our management keep arguing that many colleges and schools either have this system in place already or will be forced with following suit in the near future.
    We would like to get a bit of information to prove that this may not be a good thing and that it won't necessarily help in the long run so could anyone please give us a bit of feedback about how it works in your colleges?
    1. Do you teach groups for 4 hours per week, are you able to cover curriculum content in this time?
    2. Have you tried this out before and if it was unsuccessful have you gone back to more hours per week?

    Any other information would be great, we need to try to save as many jobs as possible!!
  2. Not currently,but I have had to in the past. In fact, one year I was allocated 3 hours per AS and 3 per A2.
    Yes. It was hard work but was actually successful (sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear). Lots of rigorous planning, use of VLE and upping the amount of independent study, albeit with lots of clear guidence. We went back to 4.5 hours because our groups grew, largely due to successes in previous years, to the point where viability was achieved and exceeded.

    I completely 'get' what you say about saving jobs though. I'm not sure what to suggest though. Unfortunately, our sector is struggling to survive and job losses are a very sad consequence of it[​IMG]

  3. welshskyline

    welshskyline New commenter

    What "groups" do you teach? Without knowing this, how do we know if 4 or 4.5 hours is appropriate?
  4. We're a sixth form college, we just teach A-Levels.
  5. KYP

    KYP New commenter

    Our SFC cut teaching time from 4hrs 30 mins to 4hrs 20 mins two years ago, to fit an extra block in to the timetable. This was to increase student numbers to maintain funding and thus to avoid redundancies. Class sizes have also increased and some courses have been cut, if they are uneconomic. We still kept the same workload in terms of groups taught. When we said we were unhappy at the cut in teaching time it was suggested we should be pleased we had less contact time! It has been a struggle for some subjects to complete the syllabus/specification. And next year, numbers are being increased even more, and we will have to teach an extra 65 mins. There is a strategic plan with 8 points, of which voluntary redundancy and compulsory redundancy are at 7 and 8.'Natural wastage' means some teachers are not being replaced when they leave.
    Hard times - I am a union rep and we now have a national network for SFC union reps. We (SFCs in general) are not as badly off as FE colleges, but cannot bury our heads in the sand.

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