News & Views

Insights into Retention and Job Satisfaction in the FE Sector

Insights into Retention and Job Satisfaction in the FE Sector

24 Feb 2023

Morgan Hunt recently conducted a research project, where we reached out to our network of over 50,000 Further Education and Skills professionals, both hiring organisations and job seekers, to gain insight on staffing struggles and job satisfaction.

The survey covered a wide range of topics, including recruitment and retention, job satisfaction, and the challenges faced by professionals in the industry. The results of the survey provide valuable insights into the state of the job market in the Further Education sector.

Key findings from the survey include:

Over 60% of respondents said they were proud to work in the education sector Respondents said job security was the main reason they’re staying in their current job in 2023 25% of hiring managers said lack of applications was the reason for their recruitment challenges Nearly 40% of those who changed jobs in 2022 rated their onboarding process poorly

These findings highlight the need for FE Colleges to adopt a strategic approach to recruitment and retention. Employers need to understand the needs of their staff and provide an attractive package of salary, benefits, and career development opportunities.

To download the full results of the survey and learn more about how we can help you address your recruitment and retention needs, click here.

At Morgan Hunt, we understand the challenges and opportunities facing the Further Education sector, and are committed to providing effective solutions that meet the needs of our clients. To discuss how Morgan Hunt can help you with recruitment and retention email us at [email protected]

IR35 - Genuine Solution Ahead?

IR35 - Genuine Solution Ahead?

12 Oct 2022

Is the repeal of the 2017 and 2021 reforms to the off-payroll working rules as part of last month’s ’Mini Budget’ statement the good news our contractors, employers and agencies wanted? What do you think? Are you ready for a change and do we actually know what the new legislation will mean?

Dave Hedges is a tax partner at Azets and says there is “an absence of fine detail” around how HMRC will manage the transition over the coming months. “While the changes are welcome and have been lobbied for, we are advising clients throughout the engagement chain to tread carefully pending clarification,” he said.

Some questions remain following the chancellor’s announcement that the Off-Payroll Working (OPW) rules are to be repealed from April 6th 2023. There are three main reasons for this:

Is it really going to happen? Nothing has changed yet and we have a Budget coming up in November, preceded by a government already doing a U-turn on its 45p tax rate plan. The possibility of further U-turns therefore seems significant. Fingers crossed that this promised repeal of the OPW rules goes ahead. But it’s not certain.

End-clients (both public and private sectors), agencies, umbrella companies, accountants and IR35/OPW advisers are all taking stock and wondering how this could affect their business. And yes, that goes for me too!

Contractors are realising that unless they have always been outside IR35 and working for ‘small’ companies (not affected by the OPW rules), that their own circumstances are complicated.  Notably where the contractor is:

currently with an umbrella, or

holding an SDS where the client has stated ‘inside IR35’, or;

regularly jumping between their PSC and an umbrella company depending on the IR35/OPW assessment.

At this stage (Q4 2022), nobody knows how the repeal of the OPW rules will work. That’s the unpopular, hard truth.  Many commentators are reaching for their crystal balls, with some suggesting that there will be new rules for contractors added onto the IR35 rules of old (2000), such as requiring contractors to complete Status Determination Statements. There’s even the odd whisper that end-clients will continue to determine IR35 status; that blanket bans on using PSCs will continue indefinitely, and that HMRC will declare some sort of ‘amnesty’ on prior SDSs with ‘inside’ results. As interesting as they are, these really are only opinions at this stage and should be taken as nothing more.

So what can we do now? Every part of the contracting chain needs to use this time to analyse the effects on their own businesses and it is vital that all get up to speed with IR35 version one (2000). 

Keep watching the contractor press for developments (the contractor ‘press’ that doesn’t just stick a press release up!).

Decide what you want to do -- if you could.

Collect and keep all evidence including SDS outcomes, online IR35 status tool outputs, end-client correspondence, contract review results, and working practices changes/opinions.

Find out about your personal situation now, to see what the options and (above all else) the risks are, and if a change in your status is feasible.

Speak to your client and find out what their position may be come April 6th 2023, especially if you are contracting with an organisation that has banned PSCs.

Take advice from only those that, as impartial as possible, understand all the rules (from 2000 onwards), and ideally those with hands-on experience of successfully defending IR35 HMRC investigations.

This could be great news for professional interim and self employed workers, it could be great news for large private companies and the public sector to attract and retain key skills to help them deliver growth and it could be great news for those involved in the supply of these people. For now, keep up to date, get planning and be ready, April will soon be here…

Why Go Into Teaching?

Why Go Into Teaching?

15 Sep 2022
Back-to-school should need not be reserved for September, nor should it be reserved for children. The number of people considering a career in teaching is on the increase, with over a third of people (36%) considering getting into teaching.  In the UK, the teaching profession is not limited to a degree choice or a single entry route. And it's never too late to train to be a teacher. But how and where do you start?  Teaching can be a challenging profession, but there are numerous benefits to this exciting and rewarding career.  Variety

A Respected CareerTeaching is now considered one of the most respected careers in the UK. According to a Teach First poll, 42% of those surveyed voted this way – with around half (47%) agreeing that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on a child. As a teacher you have the opportunity to become an integral part of the community, getting to know parents and other staff. If moving to a new area, teaching is a good way to meet new people. 

Lots of ChoicesThere is a range of options too, from primary and secondary schools to independent, boarding schools and international schools to teaching roles within Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). There are full-time roles, part-time teaching jobs, as well as supply teaching options.  Every Day Is DifferentYou’ll work through a new syllabus and a changing curriculum, teach new topics, and work with new pupils each year. You’ll be able to make decisions about what’s best for your students and lay out your own lesson plans. Although you’ll need to follow certain standards in your curriculum, you have the opportunity to inject your own personality into your job. Job FulfilmentMaking a DifferenceThink about your career, dreams, interests, and ambitions.  You might be able to trace it back to a special teacher who inspired, challenged, or helped shape what you do today. Improving the lives of children and young people is the main motivator behind those who choose to become teachers.Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions and there are many reasons why teachers love their job. When our team speaks to teachers here at Morgan Hunt, teachers often say that seeing students finally understand something they’ve been struggling with is rewarding. Teachers get to feel the direct impact of their work on a daily basis. There are many different reasons why people teach. While some have a calling to impact the lives of students, others are drawn to the profession for its ability to make a difference in the education system.  The Little MomentsAt the end of the day, teaching offers more than just a salary, pension, and holidays.  Teaching is full of little joys you can’t quantify and don’t come along in other vocations. There are student birthdays, school events and trips, charity fundraisers, and comradery with other teachers. When teaching reception and primary, there are the funny things kids say without intending to be funny, their genius ideas and their sense of curiosity. These are what energise schooldays and make teachers excited about work. SalarySalaries for TeachersThere isn't a straightforward answer when it comes to teaching salaries. There are different teaching positions within schools. These include teaching assistants, early years teachers, supply teachers, special education needs (SEN) specialists, and teachers with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) backgrounds, to name a few. All these have varying salaries. The location also plays a part. Teachers in London earn up to £5,000 per year more than their peers across the rest of the UK. Recent Teacher Salary IncreasesTeachers across the country benefited from pay increases of between 5% and 8.9% this September. Pay for experienced teachers who have been in the profession for more than five years will rise by 5% in the next academic year – an increase on the Government’s initial proposal of 3%, in recognition of the broader economic context and the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB’s) recommendations. The rise is equivalent to an increase of almost £2,100 on the average salary of £42,400 this year. Government Backing The recent pay increase – alongside the free-to-access training courses available to teachers – is part of the government’s drive to make sure there is an excellent teacher in every classroom. Starting SalariesThe government is making good progress towards meeting its manifesto commitment for new teacher pay to rise to £30,000. The starting salary for teachers outside London rose by 8.9%, with salaries reaching £28,000 in the 2022/23 academic year. From September 2022, a new teacher will now receive over £2,000 more this year than last. The competitive new starting salary will help attract top-quality talent. Those in the early stages of their careers have also benefited from increases, ranging from 5% to 8% depending on experience. Additional Salary BenefitsOn top of their basic salary, teachers may receive additional payments. Qualified teachers of SEN pupils may get an additional (SEN) allowance of £2,270 to £4,479 per year. There are payments for those taking on more responsibilities within the role. These teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments range from £2,873 to £14,030 per annum. BenefitsBeyond the SalaryOther benefits of a teaching career include automatic entry into the Teacher's Pension Scheme and extensive holiday periods. Job SecurityWhile other jobs are being replaced by technology or robotics, there will always be a need for teachers. A career in teaching offers job security and is one of the most recession-proof jobs, according to CNBC News. Job growth is expected to see a steady increase. The DfE forecasts that secondary schools will need 15,000 more teachers before 2025 to meet a 15 per cent rise in student numbers. The DfE forecasts that primary schools will need to maintain teacher numbers over the next decade, by ensuring the numbers entering keep up with those leaving.  Holidays and Flexibility Despite teachers enjoying a 195-day working year, there is still work to be done during the holidays. However, the summer, winter, and Easter breaks alongside half-term holidays allow teachers time to recharge. And while there might be some work to be done, this paid time off outside of the academic year is a bonus for teachers.For parents, teaching provides convenient scheduling. If you have children, you will be on a similar schedule. Teachers may need to do marking and lesson planning after school, but this can often be done from home.The holidays are not only a break from the classroom, but they enable teachers to spend more time with their children or families. Personal ProgressionLife-Long LearningTeachers not only get to share their existing knowledge, but they research new topics and learn along the way. Teachers need to keep on top of new technologies and trends.  Transferable skills There’s a high degree of mobility within the education field. Former teachers can go on to a variety of careers both inside and outside of education.  A Global CareerIf you’re a qualified teacher, you’ll be able to work around the world. Whether it’s teaching English as a foreign language or a specialised subject, you can live and work abroad. International schools often look favourably upon teachers who have trained and qualified in England. Becoming a TeacherTeachers are the fabric of the school system, and it is their dedication and skill that ensure young people can leave school with the knowledge and opportunities they need to get on in life.Many teachers find great satisfaction in their work. Despite the everyday challenges teachers face, a number of surveys conducted among teachers indicate that the vast majority of them are satisfied with their role. If you are interested in embarking on a career in teaching there are different paths to qualification and training. You can also reach out to our Education Recruitment Team - they have over 100 years of combined experience. 
Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Hiring

Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Hiring

25 Aug 2022
As we approach the start of the academic year, FE Colleges recruit staff at pace, to cover permanent gaps, sickness and respond to student enrolment. To help the community we’re releasing a two part series on temporary work in FE and how to find the right jobs and talent, the second in our series explores finding talent.


Understandably the start of the academic year is a busy period when it comes to hiring staff within Colleges, who need to recruit quickly. Similar roles and candidates are often needed simultaneously and now with job seekers being in higher demand they have more choices than in previous years, so you need to act fast if you want to hire the right talent for your College.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can help improve your chances of recruiting the right talent for your College. Whether that’s by getting the most out of your recruitment consultant or by implementing some tips for you and your staff. 

Hiring Manager Hints 

Hire at paceFor those managers who are hiring temporary staff in FE, both new and old, the best advice we could give to you for hiring staff from recruitment agencies is to move at pace.

Not managing to hire or hiring poor quality staff can have an incredibly negative impact on the outcomes of learners and morale amongst existing staff; and it's no secret that the FE and education sectors in general are facing huge challenges in recruiting and retaining staff, particularly at Lecturing, Support Assistant and Management level. So your College's recruitment process and strategy needs to be as efficient as possible if it is to be successful.

Sell the opportunityIt’s important to assess the candidate’s suitability for your vacancy, however it's also crucial that as a hiring manager you ‘sell’ the vacancy to the candidate and highlight the amazing opportunity to work in your team and at your College. Promoting the College's vision and values and providing first hand feedback on what it's like to work there will enable candidates to picture what life is like at your College.

The interview experience is an incredibly important factor for job seekers when considering offers; those who have had a positive experience and can see the passion and enthusiasm their potential new manager has, are more likely to be excited about the prospect of working there.

Act fastWe all know that a strong candidate will always have multiple job offers on the table and that they will be evaluating each opportunity on its own merits, so if you like the candidate and want to make them an offer, then act fast. Being responsive and proactive can often be the difference in successfully appointing a member of staff and not.


Making the most out your recruitment consultant 

The more detail is betterMake time to talk to your recruitment consultant, they are there to act as an extension of your HR recruitment team; it's crucial that they are able to fully articulate the opportunity within your team and in order to do that, a brief phone or video call (usually 10-15 minutes) can be the difference to successfully fulfilling your requirements and not.

Given the demand for good candidates in the education sector currently, job seekers are looking to establish as much information about the job and employer they are applying to in order to aid their decision making process. If you haven’t come away from a briefing call with your recruiter feeling slightly interrogated, then they probably haven’t done their job properly.

Set aside time for adminTo make sure your consultant can support you to the best of their ability, it’s best if you set aside some time to discuss appropriate timescales on how soon they can provide candidates for you to review, a time to discuss feedback and pre-booked diary slots for interviews. This will make the recruiting process go smoother, faster and your consultant will be able to advise how quickly they can confidently supply options.


Find your future staff

By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right staff for your College in no time. If you are looking to recruit new staff why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at [email protected]

Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Looking

Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Looking

23 Aug 2022
As we approach the start of the academic year, FE Colleges recruit staff at pace, to cover permanent gaps, sickness and respond to student enrolment. To help the community we’re releasing a two part series on temporary work in FE and how to find the right jobs and talent, the first in our series explores finding work.  

FE Colleges have a huge range of courses and learners available, so there are often plenty of part time and temporary positions available. Temporary work is a great opportunity for those looking for flexibility, who may have their own business, have child care responsibilities  or are semi-retired and want to continue to work part time in their industry area.

There are some do's and don'ts to finding temporary work in FE and some benefits you might not have realised. Read on to find more information on temporary work and some tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want and getting the most out of it. 

Finding the right temporary job for you 

Make the most out of agenciesRegistering with recruitment agencies may seem daunting at first and you may think it will require lots of work. However agencies will prioritise candidates they are working with on a more exclusive basis, and thus increasing your chances of finding the perfect role.

At first you may think registering at every agency you can find would increase your chances of finding a job, however it can be tricky keeping tabs on different contacts at multiple agencies, providing vetting information to multiple companies and having your referees contacted by multiple people. We recommend you choose one or two agencies; enabling you to build a good relationship with the agency and the agency’s staff, so that they can fully understand your requirements and match you with the College that’s right for you.

Be flexibleTry to be flexible in your requirements, your recruiter will try and find you the most suitable job based on what you are looking for, however the ‘perfect’ job doesn’t always exist. It may be you need to travel a bit further than you ideally wanted to, teach a broader range of levels, pick up an extra day's work or look at shorter term contracts.

You will likely miss out on opportunities if you aren’t receptive to needs, as temporary staff recruitment moves very quickly, as colleges do everything they can to accommodate their learners.

Be availableThis one may seem obvious, but being available is crucial when it comes to temporary work, as Colleges will recruit new staff quickly to cover sickness and student enrolment, you may miss out on job opportunities if you are not keeping on top of your correspondence. So make sure to keep your phone on you, keep on top of your personal emails and keep in touch with your chosen agencies.

Nail the basicsWith so many people competing for the same jobs it’s important to stand out from the crowd. So make sure you’ve got the basics covered, your CV needs to be kept up-to-date and it’s a good idea to brush up on your interview skills, so that when you’re applying for jobs, you’re confident and prepared. You can find extensive guides available here:


Now you’ve found temporary work  

Express your availabilityJust because you start a position on a part time basis, due to the size of some colleges provisions, you may find you are offered more hours after you start work, either in the same or different departments. So if you’re looking for more hours, make your manager aware you would be interested in picking up more work and they can try to accommodate you and introduce you to other managers who can utilise your skills.

Keep in contact with your agencyIf there’s no additional work available in the College you are initially placed in, make sure to ask your agency to keep you posted about work at other organisations that fit around your timetable. It's often hard for agencies to find someone who can work for 1-2 days per week, so knowing a candidate who is already working for them and looking for additional hours can work well for both parties.


Unsure about temporary work?

If you are newly qualified or have recently finished a permanent job and are ideally looking for a new permanent opportunity, make sure to keep an open mind about temporary work as this can often lead to longer term opportunities. 

Misconceptions in FE Temporary workTemporary teaching work in the FE sector is generally not the same as day to day supply teaching, most synonymous with schools. Generally, unless there is a very short gap to be covered, there is an expectation that temporary Lecturing staff in Colleges will complete and undertake lesson preparation and marking for their classes, which is usually included in the hourly or daily rate. A temporary lecture job in FE isn’t just about managing the class.

Benefits of FE Temporary workYou will be an integral part of the team when approaching a temporary contract in FE. You will be included in team meetings and often gain access to CPD opportunities, and will play an important role in the success of your department and the learners.

Possibility of permanentIf you’re ultimately looking for permanent work, make sure to find out from your agency about why there is a vacancy. If it is because someone has left a permanent role or they have been unsuccessful in recruiting for the permanent equivalent, then this creates a great opportunity for you to go in and demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the job to the College, putting yourself in a great position to be offered a permanent role.


Find your next job 

By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right job for you in no time.  If you are looking for a new role in FE why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at [email protected] or why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for.

How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

10 May 2022

The Great Resignation is a phrase usually associated with office workers, but recent stats indicate that the next Great Resignation could be among teaching staff.  A survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU)  found that a fifth of teachers (22%) said they would leave within two years. An estimated 44% of teachers in England are planning to quit by 2027. 

Why are teachers leaving the profession?

Statistics published by the DfE reveal that of teachers who qualified in 2014, just 67% were still in service after five years in 2019. 

Teacher Workload

The high drop-out rates suggest that attempts to tackle teacher workload - seen as a main obstacle to teacher retention - is failing.

Teachers’ mental health is being damaged by working excessive and long hours, causing stress and burnout. Research by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union revealed that, nine out of ten teachers (91%) reported that their workload has increased in the last year, according to the Union’s Big Question Survey 2022. 

Flexible Working

In the private sector, The Great Resignation has come about partly due to employees wanting the flexibility of remote working and flexible hours. In the private sector, companies are trialling four-day weeks with no reduction in pay and are offering flexible hybrid-working.

And, while the world around us has changed considerably, the fundamentals of education have not shifted in the same way. Professionals, including teachers, are looking at flexible working as a key priority in their career decisions and job search. Teaching is generally a sector where these new types of working cannot be offered.  

Career Progression and Salaries

School teachers are currently paid over £9,000 more than college teachers on average, despite many college lecturers being more specialist and having industry experience. FE salaries are also often lower than those in industries.

Jade Blackburn, Director of Human Resources at Waltham Forest College, reveals:

"We know that teachers have concerns about an ever increasing workload and that salaries in the FE sector are being outstripped by salaries on offer back in ‘industry’ – this is a particular challenge in the construction trades and IT & Digital."

Staff that leave the profession often report that their college or school had limited career development and training options. And when it is there for the taking, a lack of time and a heavy workload can prevent FE tutors from taking-up continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. 

The perception of teaching

Although teachers in the UK battled on as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, there is an issue with perception, which is common in countries including the UK and US.

Teaching and marking are what most people think of when they think of a career in education, but there are a whole host of other parts of the role that many outside the sector do not appreciate, which can often be surprising and very challenging to new teachers coming into the profession. This includes admin, lesson preparation, assessments, record keeping, exams, and pastoral care. They also often don’t consider the more personal skill element of teaching, such as managing the emotional charge of a room of 30 (often young) minds or the emotional intelligence of what it takes to drive and motivate each member of a class.

In the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, the countries that most respect their teachers are China, Taiwan and Malaysia. In these countries, the teaching profession is seen as on par with doctors. 

What is the sector doing about it?

When it comes to The Great Teacher Resignation, how we can attract and retain the next generation of FE staff is a key question. 

Improving salaries, benefits & career development

The Association of Colleges (AOC) is pushing for the government to work with the FE sector so that colleges can pay their staff better and support them with their development. Some colleges have introduced a salary overhaul in certain subject areas. 

Waltham Forest College, is one example of an FE institution looking at the issue of salary and career development. As Jade Blackburn explains:

“Our turnover of teaching staff is lower than the sector average, but we’re not complacent – we have introduced recruitment and retention payments for new joiners in hard to fill roles, we’re reviewing our overall benefits package and ensuring staff have access to good quality CPD so that our first and foremost succession planning tool is to grow and develop our own staff into future teachers, managers and leaders.”

Those working outside of the education sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most are entitled to around 38 days holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is significantly higher than the basic 20-to-25-day standard allowance. FE providers could be more transparent about this benefit, as well as other benefits such as pensions. College staff have access to the Teacher Pension Scheme, which compares favourably to almost all private sector schemes. 

Reviewing teacher workload

Waltham Forest College is looking into the issue of workload. As Jade Blackburn explains,“We’ve heard the concerns about workload and are continuing to work together to create workable, long term solutions to reduce workload - particularly administrative burdens on teachers.”

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers is also key to retaining staff and is an area that is being developed.  


The use of mentoring and coaching for teachers is widespread. Mentors and coaches may offer support to new teachers as part of an induction process or to existing teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. 

Promoting flexible opportunities

Although FE workloads are demanding, teachers and assessors can often choose between working full-time, part-time, compressed hours, evenings or even on a casual, hourly basis. This leaves significant scope for flexibility in working hours. Nowadays, there is an opportunity for FE colleges to promote flexible working and home working options where possible. 

Attracting new staff to the sector

There is an opportunity for FE institutions to adopt some of the tactics that the private sector uses in their candidate attraction and one such example is reviewing their employer brand.

FE colleges are diversifying where posts are advertised to reach a wider talent pool. They are also broadening their use of social media, working in partnership with industry to offer specialist delivery and engaging with specialist recruitment agencies to headhunt teachers and trainees. 

Other key areas for teacher attraction can include growing a pipeline by promoting vacancies to existing staff and students completing their studies and alumni, as well as promoting FE jobs to parents at student open evenings. 

Ongoing commitment

Finally, inconsistency in management styles between different schools and colleges is a real challenge. Good onboarding and ensuring a consistent and robust induction process for all staff can go some way to address this.

So, while there might be a Great Teacher Resignation about to happen, teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. As schools and colleges continue to take action to improve teacher workload and staff wellbeing, real progress can be made.

If colleges work proactively with the sector to understand the drivers behind current issues and improve their policies and interventions, attracting teachers and retaining them will no longer be the issue they are today.

Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

15 Feb 2022

Many people working within the Further Education sector speak about the decline in Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) college leaders. The number of black and ethnic minority principals leading FE colleges in England has dropped from 13% in 2017 to around 5% or 6% in 2020. On the flip side, the number of BAME students has increased to represent 30% of FE students.

With 239 FE colleges in England, it is estimated that between 12 and 14 are currently led by BAME principals, although the Association of Colleges has no official data. And, for those already working in FE, black staff in the sector are not only under-represented, but less likely to be promoted or get a permanent contract. 


The Black Further Education Leadership Group (BFELG) is demanding urgent action to address racism in FE which is undermining “the sector’s ability to engage with all its constituent communities”. They have introduced a ‘10 Point Plan’ laying out possible solutions to the current situation. 

Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices

The recent webinar ‘Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices’ was a panel discussion focused on anti-racist board and executive search recruitment practices. The session was a solid starting point to address these challenges. 

Collaborative Learning

Anti-racist and diverse recruitment practices in the FE sector rely on collaboration. It’s about FE Institutions coming together with commercial companies, such as specialist recruitment businesses, to provide solutions and promote best practices. 

So much starts with recruitment and selection. And, recruitment agencies are in a position of influence. If we don’t address it with our clients we are adding to the problem.

The webinar featured three of the FE sector’s leading recruitment companies: AoC Services, Peridot Partners and Morgan Hunt, who along with FE Associates and Protocol have come together in this way for the first time, demonstrates the importance we all place on anti-racism, and our commitment to change.

Hilary Clifford, Director, AoC Services and Drew Richardson-Walsh, Director, Education Practice, Peridot Partners, along with myself all agree that we want people who are working in, and applying for positions in the FE sector to have the confidence that they are being judged on their ability, competence and potential - not their ethnicity.

There is a real opportunity for FE recruitment companies to work with their clients to:

Ensure best practice is being followed Break down barriers Challenge each other Hold people accountable.

The Joint Commitment companies are an example of collaborative system leadership for change. This is a remarkable collaboration considering that under normal circumstances these companies operate as competitors in the FE market. 

Anti-racist recruitment in the FE sector

When it comes to recruitment for leadership roles, recruitment in the FE sector is a mixed bag, with institutions hiring directly and through recruitment agencies. Boards, HR departments and recruitment companies all have a part to play in increasing representation from black communities. They also have a major role in challenging and reversing the status quo. 

What can FE providers do to help?

When it comes to recruitment for institutions, FE colleges need to ensure that they can clearly articulate their value proposition, culture and beliefs. For the process to be successful, these establishments must ensure they are living and breathing these, and that what they promote is a reality when candidates join.

It takes more than just a diversity and inclusion policy. For it to be effective, each area needs to be addressed: anti racism, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability - and not address everything together as one. 

Recruitment matters

Morgan Hunt is the first private sector organisation to become an affiliate of the BFLEG and support their BFELG 10 Point process. We are pleased to support the objectives, and specifically item six of the plan: “College recruitment processes, including the deployment of recruitment companies, to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels.”

As recruitment professionals, we recognise the need for a shift in approaches to the development, attraction and recruitment of leaders and governors. Here at Morgan Hunt, we are seeking to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels, particularly through the development of anti-racist practices and approaches in recruitment.

For us it's about growing awareness, listening to colleagues and candidates talk about their own experiences and focussing on the key challenges and the work that needs to be done to improve the situation, and crucially taking action.

At Morgan Hunt, we have a big focus on diversity and inclusion.  Anti-racism has been a big part of that, as has our relationship with BFLEG and the training delivered by them. One of the positive actions agreed from it is to break down the standard recruitment process both internally and externally.

We’ve also:

Implemented an inclusive recruitment guide to support our clients Built a webinar series, with key speakers, for our clients around diversity with a focus on anti-racism Promoted the value of an anti-racist and inclusive recruitment approach at relevant networking events Promoted the value of inclusive recruitment within our digital marketing Worked with our FE client base to proactively support them develop anti-racist and inclusive recruitment practices in the appointment of senior leaders.  BFELG 10-point plan training programme 

We would encourage anyone who hasn't been through this training to do so. A number of our clients have gone through the same training and its been useful to share what stage of the journey we are at with them and collaborate. The course has been both challenging and eye opening. It’s not right to recommend appropriate solutions to our customers if we don’t go through this process ourselves. 

Still work to be done

We’ve still got a long way to go. It's not finished and it's not fixed and there is still a lot to do.  Despite having an ethnically diverse workforce our Senior Leadership team isn’t as diverse as we’d like it so we’re going through a process to improve that. 

Making progress #AntiRacismInAction

Anti-racism needs to be at the heart of selection and recruitment within FE. As a group of search and recruitment firms dedicated to supporting the leadership of the sector, we all agree that when recruitment is done well it should enable opportunities for a broad range of people.

Whatever your involvement within FE is, we all want to see a shift in data when it comes to the number of black leaders progressing through the management ranks and into senior leadership posts in the FE sector.

Without systematic monitoring, training or positive action to address the issue, it isn’t surprising that the FE sector has reversed in terms of BAME leadership. But, it all starts at the beginning. Recruitment.

By Luke O’Neill, Education Strategy Director at Morgan Hunt


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What do the government's plans for the Education sector's reopening really mean?

What do the government's plans for the Education sector's reopening really mean?

03 Jul 2020

Yesterday evening, Gavin Williamson, the UK’s Secretary of State for Education, announced the government’s plans and guidance for the Education sector to reopen in September. The news, although very positive for the sector as a whole, does still raise concerns about children’s and staff’s safety.

Nurseries, early years providers and childminders have been welcoming back children since the beginning of June. From the beginning of September, schools and Further Education College will be expected to do the same, with attendance being mandatory from the start of the new academic year.

As expected, guidelines are still in place to minimise contact where possible. For nurseries and other early years providers, the limit on bubble sizes has been lifted, but classes are still expected to be separated to minimise the risk of spreading cases, should they occur. Schools and Colleges are advised to do the same, especially between year groups, by separating classes and limiting the movement of classes through corridors at the same time.

Schools may also consider staggering their teaching hours and class times to minimise the number of students and teachers in the school at any one time. Teachers are also expected to distance themselves from each other and older students as much as possible.

Special guidance for SEN schools and other providers have also been outlined by the government. 

What does this mean for the sector?

The full reopening of schools is a positive move for the sector which has been hugely disrupted since the lockdown began in March. The closure of our schools and colleges meant that a huge proportion of staff were placed on furlough or had contracts ended and many will have also been made redundant. But now that preparations for September will be underway, we expect to see more jobs in the Education sector across the board.

The UK economy has been hit severely by the pandemic, which has raised concerns about recession, the effects of which are already being seen through high unemployment. Jobs in all sectors are less widely available than this time last year.

As a result, we expect that both young and adult learners will focus on their education, developing existing skills, upskilling to meet the demand for certain jobs and in some instances retraining for career moves. For Further Education colleges, this should have a positive effect on enrolment numbers which in turn increases the need for teachers to meet the demand.

An increase in College course attendees should also increase the need for support staff and cleaners in the school to ensure that the highest standard of safety is maintained for staff and pupils. 

How great is the risk?

The greatest concern is of course the risk to the wellbeing of staff and pupils. The pandemic is not yet over and schools, colleges, parents and pupils will be understandably concerned about the risk of contracting the virus caused by increased contact to others.

According to the government, the risk of contracting the virus in schools and colleges is low and they are confident the measures outlined in their plan will help minimise that risk as much as possible. For example, regular cleaning and handwashing should be practiced. Schools will also be provided with a limited number of home test kits for those who would normally not have access. This, they hope, will help identify new cases early on so that the spread can be controlled. However, this doesn’t take into consideration the potentially higher quantity of pupils and teachers that will be present in the next academic year, as well as the risk of a second wave.

The government outlined that in the case of contraction, the person affected and small groups of young people and staff will be asked to self-isolate for up to 14 days. A mobile testing unit may also be sent to test others who have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will focus on the immediate class, then the year group, followed by the whole school if necessary.

The true risk to the everyone’s health and wellbeing will be unclear until schools do open again in September. Education organisations now need to focus on planning their return, how distancing can be maintained and the measures that need to be taken to keep their staff and pupils safe whilst ensuring the highest level of education.

Luckily, the experiences of the last few months have shown that the Education sector is resilient and able to deal with challenges despite adversity. A blended-learning model has already been put into effect. Anecdotal evidence from many of our clients within the sector has labelled the model as a success, meaning this model could continue to be used from September to ensure everyone’s safety without interrupting the vital education of learners.

Waltham Forest College appoints Morgan Hunt as exclusive recruitment partner

Waltham Forest College appoints Morgan Hunt as exclusive recruitment partner

20 Aug 2019

The College awarded its exclusive recruitment contract for the provision of temporary and permanent staff to Morgan Hunt, a specialist recruiter to the public sector.The contract was awarded through a tendering process with the Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC). The CPC is a purchasing group designed to ensure organisations, including Further Education Colleges, can engage with suppliers who have already proven themselves to offer best value for money, provide efficiencies and demonstrate sector expertise. Morgan Hunt has a long track record in attracting and finding professionals for Further Education institutions. From operational roles to academic and senior positions. This heritage and deep understanding of hiring for staff across all grades and functions was important for its appointment on this occasion. The College has an enviable reputation as one of London’s most successful colleges and in its most recent Oftsed inspection, the College was judged to be ‘Good’ in all that they do. It was important therefore to continue to access the best staff to uphold their great status and continue its journey to ‘Outstanding’.

Luke O’Neill, Education Director at Morgan Hunt, said; “Our recruiting and sourcing teams are not only working to ensure we attract those with the required skills but we are also mindful that we meet the important requirement of ensuring the institution remains as an ‘inclusive college’. We work to attract candidates from neighbourhoods in the proximity of the College to reflect the diverse nature of the local community”. Lynne Griffin, HR Executive at Waltham Forest College adds “Employees are central to our organisation and having the right people in place, underpins our success. Our mission is to deliver outstanding technical and professional learning, which raises aspirations, develops skills and creates futures. Partnering with a specialist recruiter empowers us to efficiently and proactively attract talented people to our organisation”. Lynne further comments; “As a centre of learning and being amongst the top 3 biggest employers within the borough we have an active role to play by offering our students and employees access to opportunities that are both inspiring and beneficial. The College is a great place to work with benefits that appeal to people with different motivations and life circumstances. We work to enhance our employees’ personal development, health, wellbeing and finances. After all, we are located in the London Borough of Waltham Forest who has been awarded the first ever London Borough of Culture, from the Mayor of London”.