1,500 college staff in Scotland have no teaching qualifications

More than 1,500 teaching staff working in Scotland's colleges have no teaching qualifications - including 436 who are without any formal qualifications.

More than 1,500 teaching staff working in Scotland's colleges have no teaching qualifications.
More than 1,500 teaching staff working in Scotland's colleges have no teaching qualifications.

A new report looking at staffing in colleges in 2016-17 showed that when full-time, part-time, temporary and permanent workers were all included a total of 1,524 staff had no teaching qualification.

In this group were 321 full-time permanent staff members, 340 part-time workers with permanent posts, 35 people who were full-time, temporary employees and 392 who were employed on a part-time, temporary basis.

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Meanwhile there were 80 full-time permanent members of teaching staff and 84 part-time permanent employees with no formal qualifications, along with eight full-time temporary workers and 264 part-time, temporary staff.

Overall colleges employed the equivalent of 10,891 full-time staff members in 2016-17, up by 0.4% on the previous year.

Of these just under half (49.1%) were teaching staff but there was a slight drop in numbers, with the full-time equivalent (FTE) of 5,343 posts 29 less than in 2014-15, while the number of non-teaching staff increased by 122 FTE over the same period.

The report by the Scottish Funding Council showed an increasing number of college lecturers have undergone teacher training - rising from 87.8% of full- time, permanent employees in 2014-15 to 88.9% in 2016-17.

Two thirds (67%) of staff with a formal qualification but who were not teacher trained worked part-time in 2016-17, the figures showed.

The report also revealed that proportion of teaching staff with no formal qualification rose from 3.2% in 2014-15 to 6% in 2016-17.

It stated: “Teaching staff with no formal qualification are most likely to be employed part-time and be on a temporary contract.

“In all likelihood these staff will be delivering specialised subjects or be relatively new to the college teaching profession and will either have a relevant technical qualification and/or industry experience. “

Shona Struthers, chief executive of Colleges Scotland, said the second annual report on staffing in the sector included “many positives”.

She said: “The report confirms that there has been an increase in both overall staff and in full-time equivalent staff within the sector. There has also been an increase in the number of lecturers with a recognised teaching qualification, which is good news for students who are benefiting from their expertise.

“The data also shows that there are more women employed in colleges as well as more staff with a disclosed disability and from black and ethnic minorities.

“This tells us that colleges are taking their role as equal opportunity employers seriously by providing employment opportunities for people with different protected characteristics who wish to work in the college sector.

“The hard-working staff in colleges are the reason that the sector continues to produce skilled learners, meets the needs of employers, and helps deliver inclusive economic growth in Scotland.”