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Simplifying workforce data collection in further education

4 August 2017 | last updated: 11 August 2017

UCU is working with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and the Association of Colleges (AoC) to simplify the collection data on staff numbers, terms and conditions, and pay in further education.

The three organisations say that collecting a single set of reliable and robust workforce data will significantly reduce the administrative burden on colleges, and increase the integrity of the data available.

Previously all three had separately collected similar data from colleges through the ETF's Staff Individualised Record (SIR), UCU's Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and the AOC's annual workforce survey.

The data, which will be published annually, has been recorded from 1 August, and will be shared with the organisations that take part in November.  Colleges that participate in the SIR will no longer be asked for the information on staff numbers and pay through FOI requests or workforce surveys.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'UCU proposed a collaborative approach to data collection because credible and consistent data on staffing is essential if we are to respond to the current challenges the sector faces. UCU welcomes working together with the ETF and AoC on this initiative. We believe that having better data can only improve the sector's efforts to ensure appropriate funding from government, and improve the education we provide to learners.'

AoC chief executive David Hughes said: 'We need one single source of further education data from which government, stakeholders and representative bodies can draw reliable information - and we need to reduce the administrative burden on colleges to enable them to focus resources on teaching and learning.'

ETF chief executive David Russell said: 'We all have a shared vision in transforming technical education and an understanding that the sector's workforce is absolutely crucial to achieving this. The fact that we will now have a single source of high quality, credible and consistent information, managed by the ETF, shows the continual growth in collaborative working across the sector. This research approach can only be good for ensuring there is more informed support and understanding of the workforce, which in turn will lead to better outcomes for the country's learners.'