Survey of college lecturers highlights impact of COVID on Further Education

A survey of Scotland’s Further Education Lecturers, carried out by the EIS, has highlighted the damaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of education in the country’s colleges.

The EIS Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA) carried out the survey in June, with almost 2,000 lecturers across the country’s 26 FE colleges taking part.

Commenting on the survey findings, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “These survey findings illustrate the damaging impact of COVID-19 on our further education colleges. The mass move to online and remote learning brought significant challenges for lecturers and students alike, with implications for workload, mental and physical wellbeing and work/life balance.”

Mr Flanagan continued, “Lecturers have expressed significant concerns about the ongoing impact on students, particularly those from less affluent backgrounds who might not have access to the types of IT facilities that are required to support a prolonged period of remote home learning. There are also very serious concerns about students living in challenging home circumstances, and the potentially damaging impact of the loss of a safe space in college in which to study. Students with Additional Support Needs, or those facing mental health or emotional issues, were also identified as groups most likely to have suffered significant disadvantage during this period.”

He added, “This survey has highlighted many issues that remain to be addressed by colleges across Scotland.  With many colleges looking at a model based largely on remote and online learning for the rest of the year, action must be taken quickly to overcome these challenges to ensure that lecturers can offer all students proper support in their ongoing studies.”

Click here to access a copy of the full report of the EIS-FELA survey.