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FE sector conference motions

20 October 2020

Motions for debate at the online interim FE sector conference 2020.

Please note: these motions were taken during a special online sector conference held 12 December 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

FE1 - No return to face-to-face teaching
FE2 - Safety
FE3 - Funding
FE4 - Lifetime skills guarantee
FE5 - Black Lives Matter in our colleges, prisons and communities
FE6 - LGBT+ visibility in FE
FE7 - FE race casework data
FE8 - Student attendance monitoring
FE9 - Workloads and the erosion of contact time
FE10 - Women, workload and care leave
FE11 - Measuring and monitoring stress in the workplace
FE12 - Student behaviour
FE13 - Menopause - adapting local policies in FE
FE14 - FE England pay
FE15 - 2020/21 pay campaign
FE16 - Continue the fight for FE pay
FE17 - Supporting branches to pursue national priorities through local collective agreements
FE18 - Motion on pay 2021-22 claim
L1 -  No to the pay freeze
FE19 - Adult education in crisis
FE20 - Adult education funding
FE21 - Prison education and disabled members
FE22 - Stopping the race to the bottom for prison educators
FE23 - Agency Workers Regulations (AWR)
FE24 - Secure employment for adult community education workers
FE25 - Rise of the non-lecturer roles in FE
FE26 - Campaign against increased employer contributions to TPS
FE27 - Accountability and industry experience for FE leadership teams
FE28 - Government withdrawal of funding for BTEC Courses
FE29 - New post-16 maths curriculum
FE30 - Confronting surveillance cultures in further education
D29 - Monitoring the implementation of anti-casualisation deals
D30 - Adult education for all
D31 - A coordinated approach to the adult and community education sector
D32 - Guided learning hours
D33 - Health, wellness and mindfulness
D34 - Possession of weapons on FE campuses
D35 - All prison workers have the right to be safe at work
D36 - Learning support
D37 - LGBT+ migration in FE


Covid-19 crisis

FE1  No return to face-to-face teaching - Further education committee


  1. UCU's five tests
  2. official figures state that over 41,000 people have died from the Coronavirus. Excess deaths are at least 60,000
  3. recent government calls for people to work from home if possible, but not extended to education workers
  4. independent SAGE and WHO, believe social distancing, test, track and isolate and the use of PPE, in controlling pandemics, are central.

Believes that UCU's five tests have not been met.


  1. to continue to campaign for online teaching as the default position within the colleges
  2. to encourage members to move towards the escalation strategy as outlined by UCU if the branch feels that their college is not safe
  3. to call upon UCU to organise an additional national FE reps' meeting around the theme of no return to unsafe workplaces.


FE2  Safety - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Conference welcome the general secretary's stance on Covid-19 health and safety. However, not enough emphasis has been placed on the impact of Covid on FE.

While much has been made about the situation in schools, the students FE educates are older, ranging from 14 - 90! Many come from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds where Covid is having a disproportionate effect. We know that FE senior management has an appalling record regarding the well-being of FE staff.

Conference resolves:

  1. to commit to the health, safety and well-being of FE staff and students
  2. that UCU and the General Secretary will campaign for the safety of FE staff and students
  3. that the GS will raise at the highest levels the potentially hugely dangerous situation in regard to Covid-19 in FE
  4. to call for comprehensive, regular testing of staff and students along the lines of the PHE directives.


FE3  Funding - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

With youth NEET numbers expected to be in the millions as a result of Covid-19 it is vital that government both secures and increases real funding for further education colleges.

Colleges are incurring additional expenses in order to provide equipment and training that will allow staff and students are able to access online learning.

FE has suffered 25% cuts in funding as a result of Tory government policies. This has had disastrous results on education in FE.

In light of these cuts and the increase in NEET numbers UCU resolves:

  1. to campaign to secure a real funding increase from government
  2. to lobby government to provide emergency funding for colleges so that this money is not taken from already stretched budgets.


FE4  Lifetime skills guarantee - Croydon College

This conference notes the government announcement on 29 September of the Lifetime skills guarantee, offering funding for college courses to people over 18 without a level 3 qualification. This conference further notes that it will only be offered for training for 'skills valued by employers'. This conference agrees this measure falls woefully short of what is required to provide free and meaningful education to adult learners, and the restriction will invite college leaders to chase funding streams for meaningless instrumental courses rather than a fully rounded approach to learning and development. This conference re-affirms its commitment to campaign for meaningful education choices for adult learners, and demands the caveat that only skills valued by employers qualify be removed from the funding criteria for the lifetime skills guarantee.


Black Lives Matter

FE5  Black Lives Matter in our colleges, prisons and communities - Further education committee

FESC notes the UCU document 'Building anti-racist workplaces: a short guide for UCU branches'

FESC believes:

  1. the Black Lives Matter protests have created a movement with the power to achieve real change in the workplace
  2. every college must have a plan of action to tackle racism in pay, conditions, treatment and the curriculum
  3. the abolition of fees and loans; the restoration of EMA, real jobs and apprenticeships can be central to overcoming racial and class inequality in further education.

FESC resolves:

  1. to call on regions to host BLM briefings to restart the campaign in colleges
  2. encourage branches to hold a special meeting to initiate a BLM local organising plan with a set of demands to engage local employers to create anti-racist colleges and de-colonised curriculum
  3. call upon the National Joint Forum to add BLM to the agenda.


Equality issues

FE6  LGBT+ visibility in FE - LGBT+ members' standing committee

Conference notes:

  1. FE has been under-funded
  2. increased collaboration between secondary and further education
  3. not all FE institutions routinely monitor LGBT+
  4. continued hetero and cis normativities in curriculum materials and delivery.

Conference believes:

  1. FE should be properly funded
  2. schools and FE institutions should work together ensuring that LGBT+ inclusive education doesn't 'fall between the cracks'
  3. curricula should be reviewed ensuring inclusion of LGBT+ lives, history and issues
  4. without data it isn't possible to fully chart LGBT+ experiences in FE
  5. sexual orientation and gender identity should be routinely monitored, with stats made available on recruitment, promotion, pay and retention
  6. intersex voice and issues should be addressed and promoted.

Conference calls for:

  1. UCU report about LGBT+ data in FE
  2. research into experiences and visibility of LGBT+ people in FE workplace and curriculum including prisons
  3. resources for and promotion of LGBT+ celebrations particularly groups with less legal recognition e.g. non-binary, intersex people.


FE7  FE race casework data - Black members standing committee

Conference notes that UCU stores data on the number and type of legal cases it takes forward in further and adult education on behalf of its members including race discrimination cases. Conference also notes that claims for racial discrimination are notoriously difficult to win at tribunal. Many cases settle before they reach the point of tribunal because employers are fearful of the negative publicity surrounding discrimination claims.

Conference believes it is important that casework data in further and adult education is published on a regular basis and made available to members to allow scrutiny, transparency and to ensure the effectiveness of support given to members.

Conference resolves to:

  1. collect casework data in further and adult education and publish it
  2. publish the types of cases/complaints raised by members in each region
  3. publish the number of cases involving race discrimination and the number of cases taken to employment tribunal by the union.


Workload and other issues

FE8  Student attendance monitoring - Croydon College

Workload pressures on all staff in further education has been further exacerbated by the drive to improve student attendance alongside cuts in admin support and student support provision. Student attendance data is being used to harass and bully staff and students alike. Conference:

  1. notes that further education students elect to study but often face personal social and financial barriers to learning
  2. resolves to mount a campaign of opposition to data chasing measures on attendance and for increased student welfare support.


FE9  Workloads and the erosion of contact time - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Conference notes:

  1. a trend of reducing face-to-face teaching time on study programmes
  2. 'blended Learning', 'directed study' or online courses can often still necessitate preparation and marking
  3. to meet their contracted hours, each lecturer has to teach more classes and deal with a greater number of students, which further reduces the number of lecturers
  4. this increases workload and is particularly detrimental to English and maths teachers
  5. the majority of students in FE struggle with independent learning. Time is being wasted and outcomes are affected.

Conference calls on FEC and the education committee to:

  1. campaign against any reduction in contact hours or replacement with self-directed study
  2. engage with awarding and funding bodies to ensure that the definition of guided learning hours is not being abused.


FE10  Women, workload and care leave - Women members standing committee

FESC notes:

  1. women continue to bear the brunt of reproductive labour and all that entails: work; child care; disabilities and elderly parents, etc
  2. women working in colleges are also role models to young people, and adult learners, who often experience the same difficulties managing care for people in their families
  3. it is vital that women are supported to lead a good work/life balance and for colleges lead the way in model employment practices
  4. some colleges do have dependent's leave entitlements, including emergency unpaid leave to resolve sudden gaps in support. However, we note that in other countries, leave in these circumstances, is paid and workers with dependents are allowed a certain amount of paid per month.

FESC resolves to:

  1. research care leave entitlements available in other countries
  2. campaign to encourage employers to negotiate better care leave policies
  3. develop a model care leave policy.


FE11  Measuring and monitoring stress in the workplace - UCU Wales (FE)

FESC notes an increasing number of members are experiencing stress and mental ill health at work which is often caused or exacerbated by excessive workloads and toxic workplace cultures. FESC notes the difficulty in accurately evidencing the level of mental ill health in the sector.

FESC believes that members should have confidence that UCU will support members experiencing such issues. We need to insist that health and safety legislation, which requires employers to tackle mental health risks at source, is effectively implemented.

FESC calls upon UCU to:

  1. roll out the Health and Safety Executive's management standards survey for stress at least once a year to all members. This would enable UCU to evidence, measure and monitor stress and mental ill health in workplaces across the FE sector
  2. support and provide training to health and safety representatives to undertake workplace investigations regarding stress, mental health and workload.


FE12  Student behaviour - Bradford College

This conference notes the behaviour of students continues to be a key reason for members' stress and anxiety at work. English and maths teachers in particular continue to bear the brunt of student behaviour as the compulsion to complete English and maths GCSE continues.

College managers are failing to put in measures in place to protect staff against the worst treatment and leave individual teachers to manage behaviour themselves without back-up.

This conference resolves to:

  1. call on UCU to commission research into good student behaviour policies and their effectiveness
  2. support branches to develop better and stronger student behaviour policies with management to ensure an effective approach to aggressive and bullying behaviour from students to staff.


FE13  Menopause - adapting local policies in FE - Women members standing committee

FESC notes that people affected by their perimenopause or menopause don't always:

  1. know when they have started
  2. know how long they will last, or if they have finished
  3. have people to talk to about it
  4. know what symptoms to look out for.

The nature of working in an FE setting means self-consciousness can be an added source of stress for members.

Some people experience menopause early, often due to medical treatment, surgical procedure or underlying conditions, sometimes naturally before the age of 40.

Performance and attendance can undoubtedly be affected in some cases, and workers must know that they will be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

FESC resolves that

  1. all members must enable colleagues to be treated equally, both at work and in the union
  2. all branches must ensure their institutions have a menopause policy, favourably comparable with a model policy recommended by UCU.



FE14  FE England pay - Further education committee

Conference approves the report on the FE England 2018/19 pay round and progress in the 2019/20 round as circulated in FE branch circular UCUBANFE21.


FE15  2020/21 pay campaign - London regional committee

Conference notes:

  1. the success of the 'FE Fights Back' campaign
  2. the success of UCU branches winning fractionalisation deals
  3. the £400,000m extra funding and the government promise of more
  4. EPI report findings that FE staff have high levels of anxiety and the lowest levels of wellbeing among educators.

Conference believes:

  1. whilst the 'FE fights back' campaign has achieved real gains not all members have experienced improvement to their pay and conditions
  2. the AoC has reneged on its promise to ring fence extra funding for pay
  3. UCU needs to launch a campaign that brings all members up to the level of those who have succeeded in making gains.

Conference resolves:

  1. UCU to organise a national industrial action ballot over pay
  2. to encourage branches to submit local claims on fractionalisation
  3. the pay and fractionalisation campaign to be framed around the decline of the wellbeing of staff.


FE16  Continue the fight for FE pay - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

FE sector conference notes many colleges had successes in the 18/19 pay campaign with many making gains from the #FEFightsback campaign. Some branches achieved between 2-5% pay rises, and improvements on part two elements. 19/20 has been quiet.

The AoC failed to stand up for staff working in its colleges and, as a result, poor pay continues in FE and the gap between FE and school sector pay continues to grow. There is an exodus of staff; English and maths back to school and vocational staff back to industry.

FE sector conference calls on FEC to:

  1. encourage all branches to put in the national pay claim and help them be active in the campaign
  2. organise pay mobilisation meetings in different regions to share successes and inspire others
  3. pressure the AoC to honour the pay bargaining mechanism
  4. coordinate industrial action in support of FE sector pay.


FE17  Supporting branches to pursue national priorities through local collective agreements - Further education committee

Conference notes that branches have secured collective agreements on the unions' national priorities of reducing casualisation, closing the equality pay gap and reducing workloads. These collective agreements deliver real improvements for our members.

Conference reiterates national priority status of these issues and calls on FEC to:

  1. accelerate work to support and empower our branches to pursue local claims in relation to casualisation, the gender pay gap and workloads
  2. ensure that bargaining guidance and campaign packs are worked into appropriate training resources
  3. ensure the delivery of branch briefings and training events tailored to these priority issues
  4. ensure that agreements and success stories are shared and publicised throughout the union.


FE18  Motion on pay 2021-22 claim - Further education committee

Notes 30% cut in pay since 2009.


  1. pay remains a central issue for all lecturers working in the sector
  2. to attract a new generation of practitioners to FE pay in the sector must be addressed
  3. FE staff have been, and still are, on the frontline of the battle against the pandemic and pay awards must reflect this sacrifice and commitment
  4. now is the time for government to fund FE to enable the sector to rise to the challenge of the crisis.


  1. to launch a campaign around the 20/21 pay claim which calls for a 'move towards the full restoration of college pay' In line with inflation since 2009
  2. UCU to support branches in negotiating a 'national plus' claim involving both pay and non-pay elements that are relevant to the specific branch's context
  3. to call an industrial action ballot over the 20/21 claim.


L1  No to the pay freeze -  Capital City College Group - CANDI Lifelong Learning


  1. government's public sector pay freeze
  2. FE pay has effectively been cut by 30% in the last decade
  3. Resolution Foundation figures reveal that the pay freeze will cut pay on average by £1,200
  4. government's previous promise to fund and revolutionise FE
  5. government increase in military spending by £16.5bn.


  1. those working in education or public services should not be made to pay for the public health crisis
  2. the government have wasted billions of public finances on private companies on track and tracing apps that have failed to deliver
  3. there is money for warfare and but not education
  4. all workers, private and public, deserve a pay rise.

Resolves to support UCU call to campaign for a pay rise now and to prepare for industrial action to pursue our aims.


Adult education

FE19  Adult education in crisis - London region FE sector

Conference notes that:

  1. since 2010, funding for adult and community education (ACE) has been cut by 45% by successive Conservative governments
  2. we need these cuts reversed, buildings reopened, courses revived, and staff employed on proper wages, terms and conditions.

Conference resolves to:

  1. launch a campaign to defend (ACE)
  2. organise a national conference for all working in ACE, to ACE students and other interested parties such as the Centenary Commission, 'Adult Education 100' campaign, the WEA and other bodies. The purpose of this conference will be to secure, defend and develop the funding for all organisations working in ACE
  3. work with Unison to ensure their members who work in ACE are involved in the campaign and conference.


FE20  Adult education funding - Further education committee

Conference notes that:

  1. courses funded by the adult education budget (AEB) take place in local authority adult and community education and in further education colleges
  2. in both settings the courses transform the lives of their students and the communities they live in
  3. the benefits of this type of learning address issues such as mental health, isolation and loneliness.
  4. the AEB has been devolved in some areas
  5. funding for these courses has been slashed by 40%.

Conference resolves to:

  1. campaign for an increase in the AEB
  2. work with the #LoveOurColleges stakeholders to raise the profile of Adult Education and jointly lobby for an increase
  3. campaign with those authorities that have devolved responsibility for Adult Education for an increase in the AEB.


Prison education

FE21  Prison education and disabled members - Disabled members standing committee

Conference notes

  1. that government spending on prisons has declined under austerity in real terms by 14%
  2. prison education is run by privatised firms who have been shedding jobs and cutting costs over recent years
  3. there have been a number of cases of disability discrimination—both in refusing reasonable adjustments and in open discrimination in comments and behaviours towards disabled members in prisons around the country.

Conference believes

  1. prisoners, many of whom are disabled themselves, need good quality education as a means of development and rehabilitation
  2. that staff deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Conference resolves to

  1. put an explicit demand for disabled members dignity and reasonable adjustments into prisons national contract negotiations
  2. ensure that prison reps and members get access to high quality legal advice and support by organising a disabled members briefing and network meeting across the prison branches.


FE22  Stopping the race to the bottom for prison educators - Novus prison education

Conference notes that over the course of the marketisation of prison education under the new PEF contract, members working in prison education have steadily seen the erosion of their terms and conditions to become some of the worst in the FE sector.

This worsening situation is unacceptable to our members who are leaving the profession.

Conference believes key priorities for the union to be:

  1. recognise prison education as a career
  2. develop a standard national contract of terms and conditions including access to TPS for all prison educators to ensure that contractors can only compete with each other on quality of provision
  3. campaign for the removal of the responsibility for prison education from the MOJ to the DofE.

Conference resolves to:

  1. develop an early careers and career development campaign for prison educators
  2. work with the JUPG to facilitate a political lobbying campaign of the justice minister, shadow justice team and employers.



FE23  Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) - Sheffield College

Conference notes that supply and casualised staff have been particularly affected by the deregulation, privatisation and underfunding of the further education system.

The only legal protection is the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). Conference believes that many agencies are not complying with AWR.

Conference instructs the FEC to:

  1. campaign to inform all UCU members affected, appraising them of their legal entitlements
  2. provide an online tool for members to claim and train UCU officers to support members with their AWR claim
  3. work with the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EASI) to prioritise the enforcement of the AWR for agencies operating in the Education sector, and to take decisive action against agencies who avoid the AWR
  4. work with EASI, REC and APSCO to enforce robust sanctions are in place and enforced for those agencies who use the Swedish Derogation contracts after April 2020.


FE24  Secure employment for adult community education workers - Anti-casualisation committee

FESC notes

  1. ACE providers in colleges, local authority and third sector providers, continue to keep staff on insecure contracts citing shorter courses and courses with unknown take up as the reason
  2. all teachers are teachers and ACE teachers and staff must be valued as such
  3. UCU needs to seek satisfactory contracts of employment for those teaching on shorter courses or those vulnerable to closure courses.

FESC resolves to:

  1. research good practice models for staffing shorter courses and develop guidance and policy models
  2. campaign for all education staff to be treated and valued equally.


Job roles

FE25  Rise of the non-lecturer roles in FE - The Manchester College

Sector conference notes:

  1. UCU members include staff who engage in teaching or related activity but who are not employed on a teaching or lecturing contract, many on precarious contracts
  2. widespread casualisation, unfair working practices, diminished professional status, heavy workloads and unpredictable hours are common for non-lecturer roles
  3. FE restructures have introduced new job titles that undermine the specialist teacher and SEND provision, resulting in a lower pay grading and service conditions
  4. the introduction of new T levels could lead to more non-lecturer roles being introduced through work-based learning and assessments.

Sector conference instructs UCU to:

  1. relaunch the 'Concerns of the rise of the non-lecturer roles in FE' - bargaining for academic recognition
  2. launch an anti-casualisation campaign specific to non-lecturing roles in FE
  3. update support materials to reflect current position
  4. create a visible, dedicated area on UCU for educational practitioners and consider a FE committee to support non-lecturer members.



FE26  Campaign against increased employer contributions to TPS - Southern regional FE committee

Sector conference notes:

  1. the financial damage caused in HE institutions by increased employer contributions to TPS and the use of this as a pretext for redundancies and other attacks on working conditions
  2. the threat of similar increased contributions and attacks in FE.


  1. condemns the government's refusal to implement measures to mitigate the impact of increased employer contributions
  2. regards this refusal as a direct attack on the long-term viability of FE institutions.

Conference instructs the FEC to:

  1. support action, up to and including strike action, in any FE institution threatening attacks on pensions, jobs or working conditions under the guise of making savings consequent upon employer pension contribution rises.
  2. organise a high profile national campaign to demand the government fund FE institutions to meet increased employer contributions, and
  3. establish a working party specifically to defend TPS.


Inspection and governance

FE27  Accountability and industry experience for FE leadership teams - Nottingham College

Conference recognises that FE institutions need competent and experienced CEO/principals, but asserts that (despite the need to be business-like) the key business of FE colleges remains the provision of opportunity and education for our local communities.

Conference believes that appointing senior managers with no direct experience of education devalues and dismisses the expertise of teaching and support staff, resulting in a failure to adequately address the needs and requirements of staff and students alike.

Conference resolves that our key demands in relevant negotiations with employers include:

  1. person specifications for leadership roles should always include a requirement to provide either evidence of recent teaching or demonstrate understanding of teaching and education
  2. existing college leaderships should demonstrate a meaningful and ongoing understanding of further education in order to foster and maintain effective and harmonious relations between senior management and staff involved in delivering or supporting teaching in the curriculum.


Qualifications and curriculum

FE28  Government withdrawal of funding for BTEC Courses - Hugh Baird College

The government has clearly stated its case in FE that it wants to focus on A Levels, Apprenticeships and T levels.

Currently in consultation as to whether it will provide public funding for BTEC Courses, the government is now drawing up a hit list based on a criteria of quality, purpose, necessity and progression.

Such an approach will likely remove some very good courses and deprive collages of the chance to provide a wide variety of valuable courses and skills to their local communities and employers.

This motion calls on UCU to question government decisions of quality, purpose, necessity and progression on courses selected for removal.

It requests UCU to question the basis of the decisions they make in relation to true value of the skills to individual employers and local communities.


FE29  New post-16 maths curriculum - Kirklees College

Conference notes that:

  1. MEI have developed 'a new curriculum in maths for post-16 GCSE students with a greater emphasis on applying maths in realistic contexts'
  2. government have not yet approved the new qualification as an alternative to GCSE maths for condition of funding
  3. there is a need for a qualification of this type for resit students in FE.

Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. campaign for the adoption of the new qualification for use in colleges
  2. support the development of a similar alternative to GCSE English.


Surveillance in FE

FE30  Confronting surveillance cultures in further education - Migrant members standing committee

Conference notes:

  1. that the Home Office places the requirement to monitor migrant workers and students on further education institutions
  2. that guidance from the Home Office is vague, results in huge variation, and in overreach by employers beyond formal requirements
  3. that migrant staff and others caught up in monitoring and surveillance around migration status report high levels of stress and anxiety
  4. that such surveillance may particularly disincentivise migrant workers to apply to the further education sector
  5. that private companies are being hired for immigration processing and rule enforcement.

Conference resolves:

  1. to oppose surveillance of the migration status of FE staff and students
  2. to map the variation in interpretations and implementation of Home Office rules across the FE sector, including any reliance on private companies
  3. to take legal advice on how FE branches can resist surveillance of migrant staff and students, and develop clear guidance for FE branches, ahead of Congress 2021.


D29  Monitoring the implementation of anti-casualisation deals - Anti-casualisation committee

FESC notes:

  1. some FE branches have made gains recently on anti-casualisation deals and this needs to be celebrated and replicated
  2. where deals have been done, those branches need support to ensure these deals are implemented
  3. those branches need to be vigilant that some other form of casualisation does not creep in, eg. an increased dependency on agency contracts
  4. increase of agency workers is a sign of not enough permanent staff and it can create a toxic climate between agency workers and 'established' staff.

This conference resolves:

  1. to keep pushing the anti-casualisation agenda
  2. ensure branches have support to ensure all deals are fully implemented
  3. call on relevant UCU bodies to gather data on agency/subsidiary worker use
  4. support branches to recruit these workers and for UCU to fight for recognition and bargaining rights for these members.


D30  Adult education for all - Hackney ACE

Conference believes:

  1. in and affirms its support for the adult learning sector and its critical role in providing high quality adult education for all.
  2. all learning is important for social equality, prosperity, better mental wellbeing and civic participation in society
  3. a free and accessible adult education centre in all our cities and towns is a public good
  4. a narrow employment and skills strategy will not provide a broad curriculum for all
  5. a marketised model will not have at its core the needs of adult learners and the communities they live in.

Conference resolves to:

  1. set up meetings with the Mayor of London to implement a London lifelong learning strategy
  2. promote campaign and protect adult community education in colleges and our communities
  3. campaign against the use of exploitative employment models in post 16 sector
  4. support a wider adult education campaign for all in FE and ACE.


D31  A coordinated approach to the adult and community education sector - Hackney ACE

Conference notes that:

  1. UCU needs to develop its work in the Adult and Community Education sector of UCU
  2. repeated ACE motions to Conference have been passed unanimously but not enough resources or time have been dedicated to acting upon their demands
  3. a more joined up approach to developing union participation in ACE is needed.

Conference demands that:

  1. the demands from previous year's motions are revisited and fulfilled. Including making proper use of the FOI data, holding the ACE national meeting earlier in the year and production of a targeted recruitment video
  2. that dialog is opened with sister unions that represent workers in ACE about how to develop a more coordinated approach to union representation in ACE.


D32  Guided learning hours - Coleg Gwent

FESC notes the majority of qualifications come with a set of guided learning hours (GLH). These are a set as a standard to ensure sufficient teaching contact to deliver the course professionally.

FESC believes that the GLH have been subject to varying changes due to a college's organisational needs and not the need of the learner. This is often at the detriment of the learners and increases the workload of the lecturer. Given UCU's ongoing campaigns to tackle the issue of excessive contact hours, this may inadvertently give a college the opportunity to reduce the GLHs even further.

FESC calls for:

  1. an investigation into the possible widespread abuse of cutting down GLHs to lower than the actual standard and the increase of heavy workload by stealth
  2. any recommendations to be looked at and incorporated by ROCC to highlight this abuse.


D33  Health, wellness and mindfulness - Activate Learning City of Oxford

Research published by the Education Policy Institute that shows that lecturers in FE have the lowest levels of positive well-being and stand out as having high level of anxiety among educators.

Conference notes the sudden interest in 'health and wellbeing' for staff in FE by college management often evidenced on the splash pages of college websites with such details as:

  1. tips on managing stress
  2. making the most of our health and well-being facilities
  3. boosting nutrition
  4. contact details for Employees Assistance programmes

This narrow approach to 'well-being' turns a collective social and work problem into one that the individual is expected to solve themselves. The collective solutions that should be pursued to aid staff well-being are reduced workloads, more holidays and better pay and conditions.


D34  Possession of weapons on FE campuses - The Manchester College, Further education committee

Conference notes:

  1. knife crime is any crime that involves a sharp instrument: a kitchen knife, piece of glass, potato peeler, knitting needle etc
  2. there has been a sharp rise of incidents involving students carrying knives in our institutions and some aggressive behaviour
  3. whilst colleges and prison classrooms need to keep students and staff safe, they do not have the ability or the resources to counter the complex societal problems behind the rise
  4. these are major health and safety and safeguarding issues and some of our members are working in unsafe workplaces
  5. these crimes should not be used to target any particular demographic as the problem is universal.

Sector conference instructs UCU to:

  1. provide guidance for branches dealing with this problem through negotiation with employers and provide literature and posters
  2. encourage the invitation of guest speakers from organisations such as No More Knives
  3. Commission research into how widespread this problem is.


D35  All prison workers have the right to be safe at work - Novus prison education

Conference notes the Safe inside report by JUPA in July 2019 recorded assaults on prison Staff in England and Wales increased by 21% to 10,231 and sexual assaults rose 37% to 138. A JUPA survey s also found that 25% had been victims of violence in the last 12 months. Adding that 53% reported exposure to psychoactive drugs and that 63% reported feeling unsafe at work.

Conference believes:

  1. that all workers, regardless of workplaces have the right to feel safe and be free of physical and psychological injuries at work
  2. that we would not accept workers and students learning in squalid classrooms, daily incidents with learners under the influence of NPS and threats against staff in other educational establishments.

Conference resolves for UCU to continue its work with JUPA and the Safe Inside Charter, in order that campaigning for properly resourced and adequately serviced prisons takes place.


D36  Learning support - Croydon College

This conference notes the deplorable cuts in learning support provision at a time when student need is increasing due to mental health and cuts in welfare provision. This conference recognised that the pay and contracts of support staff are far below their responsibilities. This conference resolves to mount a campaign for the regrading and full recognition of support staff commensurate with their responsibilities.


D37  LGBT+ migration in FE - LGBT+ members standing committee

Conference notes that

  1. some LGBT+ people come to the UK because they believe it is supportive of their LGBT+ identity
  2. LGBT+ migrants and refugees face discrimination:
    • around being LGBT+
    • because of LGBT+ intersections with race and / or nationality
    • assumptions that coming from certain countries means not being supportive of or identifying as LGBT+

Conference also notes

  1. some ESOL learners come to the UK fleeing LGBT+ persecution, hoping to live openly
  2. the ESOL curriculum can be heteronormative, not usualising LGBT+
  3. fear about attitudes can silence talk about LGBT+ rights
  4. some organisations are reluctant to promote commitment to LGBT+ rights because they are driven by profit and wanting to work with LGBT+ hostile countries.

Conference resolves to:

  1. re-affirm the union's commitment to intersectionality including LGBT+ migrants and refugees
  2. promote and engage with international LGBT+ rights work
  3. demand LGBT+ inclusive curriculums and teaching systems that recognise, embrace, usualise and actualise LGBT+ rights.


Last updated: 22 April 2021