Friday, November 27th, 2015
The Scottish Green Party (SGP) has urged the Scottish Government to take immediate action to address the problems Scotland’s college mergers have left behind in the further education sector.
According to a new survey of college staff by the Education Institute of Scotland (EIS), the majority of staff members do not believe mergers have delivered on improvements promised (1). Commenting on the findings, Isla O’Reilly, SGP spokesperson on Education, said the figures raise concerns over learning and teaching quality and staff working conditions, and called on the SNP to ensure funds saved in mergers were invested back into colleges.
Isla O’Reilly, Scottish Green MSP candidate for Highlands & Islands and party spokesperson on Education, Children and Young people, said:
“These figures show that we are dangerously close to slipping back into an unfair two-tier education system, where universities are well-resourced and highly-valued, while college staff are struggling to provide the quality education their students deserve.
“Colleges play an absolutely vital role in educating our young people and providing new skills for mature learners, but teaching staff won’t be able to deliver if they have to constantly fear for their jobs and fight for basic resources. Scotland takes pride in its education system, and we cannot afford to continue letting our college students and staff down.
“It’s time for the Scottish Government to clean up the mess the poorly managed mergers have left behind. The funds saved through mergers must be reinvested immediately to ensure college staff are able to do their jobs and that students have the support they need to see their courses through.”
(1) Some of the most significant findings in the EIS survey report include:
– 89% of respondents do not believe their merger has improved learning and teaching quality
– 91% of respondents do not believe their merger has improved management of their college
– 94% of respondents do not believe their merger has improved staff morale in the college
– 86% of respondents do not believe their merged college better meets the needs of the community
– 81% of respondents indicate that their workload has increased following their college’s merger.