FAQs - Further Education Teaching Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs About Working In Further Education

TeachInFE provides all of the answers to frequently asked questions about teaching opportunities in the Further Education sector.


What does Further Education mean?

Further Education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom is a term used to refer to education above the level of Secondary School, that is distinct from 'Higher Education' offered in universities. It may be at any level above compulsory secondary education, from basic skills training to higher vocational qualifications such as PGCE, NVQ, City and Guilds, BTEC, HNC, HND or Foundation Degree.


How many FE colleges are there in the UK?

There are currently over 300 Further Education colleges in England.


What are the different types of Further Education college?

In England, the four types of College are: General FE, Sixth-form, Land-based, Specialist designated. Sixth-form colleges often provide academic education to 16 to 18-year-olds, enabling them to progress to higher education.  Land-based Colleges offer courses in areas such as Agriculture, where a normal college would not have the facilities to provide adequate training. Specialist colleges can be in a variety of areas, such as Drama or Dance. 


Is education in college just for young people?

Colleges currently educate and train 2.9 million people. Of this 2.9 million, only 900,000 are between the ages of 14-18, meaning that there are 2 million adults currently in Further Education.


Are Further Education colleges in the UK a good standard?

At their most recent Ofsted inspection, 82% of colleges were judged good or outstanding for their overall effectiveness, with 80% of students satisfied with the quality of education.


What subjects are on offer to learners?

A wide variety, depending on the college . If you can think of it, there is probably a course on it! This includes English, Maths, IT, Construction, Carpentry and Hairdressing.


Is there a uniform?

This varies depending on the college. Generally the only uniform is in the form of standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), if you deliver vocational training.


What are the working hours?

This will again depend on the college and type of Further Education Teaching Jobs that you are applying to. 


Are there opportunities for training and development?

Specific opportunities will vary from provider to provider however generally, training and development is promoted throughout the sector and continuous professional development opportunities are offered throughout.


What types of jobs are available in an FE college?

Colleges offer a range of job opportunities, both student facing and behind the scenes, some requiring significant experience and qualifications, and others requiring less academic backgrounds.  Please see ‘Lecturing Careers in FE’ and ‘Non-Lecturing Careers in FE’ in our 'Further Education Teaching Jobs' section.


What is the culture like in Further Education?

FE is a fast paced, exciting and flexible sector to work in, where you can use your skills and experience to truly add value and make a difference to enrich the knowledge of students, local communities and employers.  The gratification and personal reward in this environment is exceptional, you truly get out what you put in. 

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