1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Teaching in a 6th Form College or in an FE College

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by SteveBham, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. SteveBham

    SteveBham New commenter

    Hi all,

    I currently work at a 6th form college but have accepted a new role in an FE College. I've since found out that the holiday entitlement is less (my fault, I should have checked that it is 35 days and not the school-style 13 weeks) and that I'll be working 9-5:30 (rather than 9-4) and working evenings with a day off in the week.

    I've never taught at FE before, am I making a mistake in leaving behind a sixth form with less directed working hours and better holidays or are there other benefits in FE I don't know about because I've never worked in that sector?

    Thanks for all and any help,

    hellothisismyusername likes this.
  2. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    You can expect worse behaviour, you will be sworn at, poor attendance, lack of motivation and, oh dear, you come from Birmingham. I hate to think which FE college you have joined.
    Why on earth did you leave 6th form for FE?? What is your subject? If you are A level perhaps it won't be too bad. I sincerely hope that you have not given up A level in order to teach Btec.
    Give me the better holidays any day.
    Good points: the food in the refectory isn't too bad; some of the staff are o.k. good fun in fact; the reward of seeing students do well - but you get that everywhere. Oh yes, you can chose to work part time; term time; whatever. Be aware that you will not be paid for not working.
    Nope I cannot really see any reason why you should leave 6th form to join FE.
    welder likes this.
  3. blueskiesmev

    blueskiesmev New commenter

    Hi Steve,

    I can't see any benefits for joining FE over a 6th form college. You have to remember that a lot of the students in FE were those that were unable to do A-levels at their school.

    Some are going because they have a genuine vocation and some because they would prefer to do A-Levels in a different environment but not most.

    I think that it would come down to what you are teaching but you have lost the holidays and have to work an evening.

    Maybe there is still time to change your mind.

    Good luck.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    @SteveBham - you have posted this five or six times . . .


  5. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I taught in Colleges of Further Education for more than 30 years. Never once did I hear any bad language in my classrooms and neither did I hear or was I on the receiving end of swearing. I taught in many Colleges of Further Education in the West Midlands, but I also taught in Jersey, in Canada, Edinburgh and in Swindon. Never one bad word and the students who came to me came because they wanted to and they clearly wished to pass their examinations and get work. They didn't have to choose to come and they knew that if they weren't prepared to work, there were many others who would like to take their place- - but I only have 30 plus years of happiness to look on and I wouldn't have chosen any other career for all the money or holidays on earth! I guess I was lucky.
    questionsandanswers likes this.
  6. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Oh, I should add this: They were not students who couldn't do A levels at school. Many had degrees but couldn't get work with their degrees and needed to add other skills to what they had. There is a tendency, unfortunately, for academics in schools to look down on FE teachers - and why, I don't know!
    questionsandanswers likes this.
  7. blueskiesmev

    blueskiesmev New commenter

    Hi Josie,

    FE is not now as it once was. If your students had degrees they are not the main cohort of 16-19 year olds we have now.

    Young people have to stay in education until they get a job or are 19 and if they don't have a C have to study maths and English on top of their main qualification. I teach about 170 students about 3 of my part time students have a degree and about 5 of my level 3 students have done AS levels.

    And don't forget, here we are comparing FE to a 6th Form college. In FE Steve may well have to teach level 1 in his subject to students that got maybe 2 Cs in their GCSEs rather than A-Levels to students who got all As and Bs.

    Working in FE is still a rewarding and important job but there are advantages to being in a 6th Form college including holidays and pay.
    questionsandanswers likes this.
  8. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I agree with blueskiesmev who has summed it up well. I enjoyed my time in FE after teaching secondary for many years, but I saw it change under my feet.(that was probably the same for the rest of education under the Gove years though)

    I got 10 to 20% less pay for the same responsibilities but the one major advantage for me was that I could organise when I had my holidays. Having to put on courses throughout the summer meant that I could take winter holidays, and the skiers amongst us will know how much less crowded the ski slopes are outside Feb half term!! Skiing is pretty much what defines me.
  9. Rozario123

    Rozario123 New commenter

    I teach A levels in a FE college. Due to cuts the classes are large, and they have cut the teaching hours. But most of the students are nice and want to learn, only drawback is that at 16 they haven't matured into adults and since FE treats them like adults, some don't know how to behave - they don't come to class or do set work or much in class. The freedom is too much for some.

    Hope you don't have to teach the Btec especially level 2!!

Share This Page