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Wednesday, 19 July, 2000, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Performance pay for college lecturers
college lecturer in front of class
Staff recruitment and retention needs to be improved
College lecturers are to get their own performance-related pay scheme.

Plans to introduce the scheme - similar to that for school teachers - have been announced as part of the government's public spending review.

There is 50m to fund it in 2001/02, with the aim of boosting recruitment and retention in the sector.

The Education Secretary, David Blunkett, said he was making the money available on a "something-for-something basis, as we have outlined for the schools sector".

college students in canteen
The government wants to see more students in further education

He said the cash would "help colleges ensure high quality teaching and learning is properly rewarded, with early emphasis on recruitment and retention in sixth form colleges".

As well as the 50m for pay, the education department has announced that a further 8m will be channelled into the sector for students aged between 16 and 18.

A spokeswoman said it had not yet been decided how the 8m would be spent, and consultation would take place.

She said the money, added to 365m already announced for further education, meant a total increase in funding for the sector of "at least" 423m.

This represents an increase of 9.2% in real terms on what the sector currently receives.

Sector 'pleased'

News of the new pay scheme, and the extra funding in general, has gone down well with further education representatives.

David Gibson, chief executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said no details were yet known about how the FE performance-related pay scheme would work.

But he said: "We have asked for improvements in pay as a sector.

"Lecturers fall about 8% behind teachers in terms of pay. This will go a considerable way towards rectifying that."

He added the association was also pleased with the additional 150m announced by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, for the education maintenance allowance scheme.

During his Commons speech on Tuesday, Mr Brown said this money was to help "raise Britain's appallingly low staying-on rate".

He added: "Our new and challenging target is by 2004, 80,000 more young 16-18 year olds staying in education, and by age 21 nearly 60% of young people will have left school or college with A-levels or their equivalent."


Mr Gibson also applauded Mr Brown's promise more money would be spent on tackling adult illiteracy.

However, he said more money was still needed by the further education sector, which, like higher education, had only received a pledge of the extra funding it would receive during one year - 2001/02.

The AoC has warned that further education funding must rise by a quarter over the next three years if the government's lifelong learning and other post-16 reforms are to become reality.

The Education Department spokeswoman said that further education funding was usually decided on a year-by-year basis.

In addition, changes in further education funding would be introduced next year, when, subject to final Parliamentary approval, funding would be administered by the Learning and Skills Council.

See also:

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