John Ruskin College is a sixth-form college for students aged between 16-19 years old. It has been running since 1989. John Ruskin started as a commercial school in 1920, became a boys’ grammar school in 1947 and then became a comprehensive mixed 14-18 high school in 1971. On 1st April 1993, it ceased to be a maintained sixth form college and became an independent corporation within the Further Education Sector, funded by the Further Education Funding Council. The college has more than 1300 full time 16-19 year old students on role with around 700 adults taking part-time courses each year.
John Ruskin is one of the largest providers of A-Level courses in South London. The majority of its full time students come from Croydon’s secondary schools; with students also coming from Croydon’s surrounding schools as well as foundation and independent schools. The college currently employs approximately 140 teaching and support staff. The college has an impressive overall pass rate of 93%.
The college will be the first in South London to run its very own football academy in association with Protec, a company that specialises in football coaching.
The course is aimed at talented young footballers who have the potential and determination.
Professional development and training involves updating the knowledge and skills need for staff to do their work on a continuous basis. This could be through retraining for the job at hand. Due to the dynamic nature of the modern global business environment, human resources planning must be continuous. The key reasons for change in human resource development in John Ruskin College are:
New technology – technological change in the world is happening all the time.
Most, if not all workforces have been introduced to new technology in the form of updated systems. Updated systems will result in achieving goals quicker. Examples of technological change in John Ruskin College include changing over from blackboard to whiteboard to the recent Smartboard. Another technological change is from typewriter to computer, making writing essays, presentations and reports much easier and quicker to complete and edit. Also, calculators have been a major technological change to 30 – 40 years ago when either mental arithmetic or an abacus was implored to solve problems. The implications for the HR department in John Ruskin College are that they would need to bring in consultants to train staff on how to use the new technology being used. They could also send their staff on courses to learn how to use the technology as well. They would also have to invest in technology continuously, as all businesses need to keep up or else they will die.
Workforce demands – workforce demands should prompt HR to make sure that John Ruskin College has the right amount of staff with the skills to match. Even though there have been many changes at work that has improved the workforce, there are also employee expectations that will need to be improved. Employees will demand better working conditions and job satisfaction as well as flexibility where possible. They could also demand suitable training development and rewards to satisfy employees and to make sure that highly skilled and experienced teachers already within John Ruskin College are retained. Also, there are qualifications that are needed to teach nowadays, whereas 30 – 40 years ago there were no skills or qualifications needed at all. Teachers will also want improved pay as they are acquiring new skills ; qualifications and will therefore demand better terms or else they will leave the college if they get otherwise. The implications for the HR department in John Ruskin College are that they would have to offer incentives such as job security in order to keep staff happy and feel comfortable in their job. They could also offer extra training to boost staff skills levels.
Development of the curriculum – the variety of the courses 30 – 40 years ago was very slim. There were limited courses available. Nowadays, there are many new courses and trendy subjects to choose from. 30 – 40 years ago, the only subjects available were Maths, English, History, Geography etc. Nowadays, there is a wide range of vocational courses including Economics, Media, Film Studies, Law, Psychology and many more. Also, there has been a change in the name of courses, as we are moving with modern times. Work experience/placements has also been incorporated into the curriculum in order to give student a taste of how the workforce operates, whereas, in contrast, this was not available 30 – 40 years ago. The implications for the HR department in John Ruskin College are that they would need to recruit more staff to teach certain subjects, as most staff are not general teachers. They would also need to recruit staff to run activities such as enrichment within the College. Another implication could be that they may have to gain investment from the Government for recruitment to fulfil the College’s needs
Expansions and mergers – mergers occur when companies combine into one company, therefore, making existing skills redundant due to there being too many of the same skills available. Expansion could involve introducing new departments or courses into the curriculum or opening other branches of John Ruskin as well as having the backing of the Government through investment. John Ruskin College has expanded by opening a new gym/fitness suite, science block and nursery. The implications for the HR department in John Ruskin College are that they would need to recruit skilled staff to run the department where qualified. However, there could also be redundancies in the case of a merger, as some of the skills of staff may not be needed anymore. Another implication could be that they may have to gain investment for recruitment to fulfil the College’s needs
When change is needed, the implications of these changes for human resource development must be assessed. These changes in education in John Ruskin College could also have effects on its employees. The effects are:
Team working – as a result of any changes made, the employees at John Ruskin College may have to move into a different department or team within the workforce. This could lead to possible job sharing or even more workload for the employees as a result.
Changes to working methods – as a result of any changes made, the employees at John Ruskin College may have to work in a different manner compared to the way they used to. This could lead to disagreements with management.
New skills – as a result of changes made, the employees at John Ruskin College will need extra training or retraining to improve their skills. For example, teachers will need to be trained on how to use Smartboard, as there is a big transition from the whiteboard.
Redundancies – as a result of changes made, the employees at John Ruskin College could be made redundant, as they may not be needed to carry out specific jobs at hand. Teachers are replaced with technology because it may be so advanced.
Also, these changes in education in John Ruskin College could also have effects on its management. There are approaches management could take to ensure that the changes made are smooth. This could be by:
Planning – this involves looking and finding the areas that need to be changed within John Ruskin College. Once the problem has been found, a programme of change needs to be organised in order to find a solution.
Implementation – this involves carrying out the necessary changes that were deliberated on earlier. Once the programme is carried out, managers can help individuals to overcome any resistance, if any, to change by involving them at every stage of the decision making process and keeping them informed of what is happening at each stage of the process, including making them aware of the options open to them. They could also hold regular meetings to keep them up to date on proceedings.
Control – this involves making sure that the change implemented is carried out properly. It also involves talking about the current situation and where you want to be or what you want to achieve at the end of the phase.
Review – this is carried out when the programme of change is completed. This involves analysing the new situation at present and finding out what should the next phase of development be.
Raising skills levels as a result of changes can reap many benefits to John Ruskin College and its staff. The benefits to John Ruskin College are:
Meeting aims ; objectives – raising skills levels could result in them achieving their targets for the year. When staff are given the opportunity to train, the College is helping itself to finish tasks quicker, therefore, achieving success.
Improved reputation/image – raising skills levels can have a positive outlook and the College will be seen as a respected institution. If facilities and training within the College are improved and students are achieving, the College will gain a good reputation through its results and will display a good image to the public. Once reputation is improved, it will have to recruit more staff, thus, enabling growth. An example of this within John Ruskin College is the number of courses that have grown over the years. Business ; IT and Health ; Social Care are the largest departments in the College and they accommodate over 200 students. As the departments grow, they will need to recruit more staff to run them efficiently.
Higher standards – when skills levels are raised, the standards of education will improve. If teachers are trained all the time, they will be better equipped to teach and students will be able to pass more easily. This would also benefit John Ruskin College because their league ranking among other institutions will improve.
Attract new staff – good results and excellent facilities will definitely bring in highly skilled and experienced staff to the College when skills levels are raised. When potential staff looks at the performance of the College, they will want to be a part of the success also. Therefore, having a highly skilled workforce will boost the profile of the College even further. An example of this within John Ruskin College is the number of courses that have grown over the years. Business ; IT and Health ; Social Care are the largest departments in the College and they accommodate over 200 students. As the departments grow, they will need to recruit more staff to run them efficiently.
Improves recruitment – when the College is performing well, there will be a high demand of people wanting to come to the college. More students will want to come to the college because of the reputation and results and potential staff would be keen to come to the college for the same reasons.
The benefits of raising skills levels as a result of changes to staff are:
Increased motivation – staff will be motivated to work at a higher level once they have the acquired more skills. They will also be motivated to better the results they achieved the previous year.
Career progression – staff will want to move up within the College when they have achieved results. They want to be given the opportunity to go to the next level and gain promotion by gaining the right skills to do so. John Ruskin College have in place a career structure that people can work towards. For example, there is an opportunity to climb the promotion ladder, from teacher to assistant team manager to team manager.
Gaining experience – staff will be able to gain work experience from the training they will receive to carry out their jobs effectively, whether it be on-the-job or off-the-job. By gaining experience, they will be better equipped. The College makes an effort to have a programme of training 3 or 4 times a year, in the form of Inset Day. It involves all staff within the College and is compulsory. This is done on-the-job.
When there is a need for change, there is a process that identifies this. Identifying training needs to meet John Ruskin College’s objectives involves imploring 4 key stages:
Skills audit – this involves assessing the skills of staff already in John Ruskin College. This is very important, as it helps the College to have an idea of the training, qualifications and experience that staff have acquired. A skills audit can be conducted through consulting with other departments to see what staff have achieved and what kind of training they have received. It can also be conducted through job shadowing, where you can observe how the staff carry out their duties. The College could also look at HR records where there are details of the job description and qualifications of staff. Through job descriptions, you can find out and identify the skills the person may possess, even though those skills may be inactive while working for the College. By unearthing the skills that some staff may possess, it could help make the change easier, as it could save time and money. Through job shadowing, you can find out what work staff are actually doing in the job and judge whether they are doing more or less than the job description entails.
Analysing the workforce – this involves looking at what type of staff the College has. The majority of the staff at John Ruskin College is full-time permanent, whilst the minority are part-time or temporary. Analysing the workforce also includes looking at particular staffing groups within the College e.g. those looking to retire, those looking to be retrained, those on temporary/part-time/full-time contracts etc. For this, plans must be put in place to recruit new employees to take over from those that will retire, provided the job will still exist. The College look at staffing groups to see if they can save time and money, for example, if staff are looking to retire, they will not want to retrain them just before they do so because they will want to save costs. They also look at staffing groups to see how much they will have to spend on people that retire.
Identifying gaps – this involves finding out what skills will be needed in the future within the College. This is very important, as the College will need to invest in retraining their staff in order to progress. Also, staff within the College may have to move to a different job role at a result of skills levels that are required. Allocating staff in an efficient way ensures that the workforce is developed to meet the business’ aims in the future. Identifying gaps also looks at who needs to be multi-tasked within the College. This involves training to do more than one task at a time in order to improve flexibility when change comes into effect.
Developing a strategy – this involves planning a programme of training to meet those needs for the development of the College. This is very important, as the College will need to draw up a scheduled programme of what to do, when to implement it, who to train first, when to train, where to train (internal or external) and find out if the resources for this programme are available. The College will want to identify whom to train first, as it will enable them to separate those that will retire and those that will remain in the College, thus, saving time. The College will want to identify where to train so that they can make the necessary provisions to do so. If it is external, they will want to make sure they have made contact with consultants regarding the training if their staff. The College will also want to identify if there are resources available for them to carry out the training e.g. PCs and training rooms if the training programme is internal or the funds to hire consultants to run training sessions if the training programme is external.
Training is the provision of instructions or education to someone about how to carry out specific tasks. It is usually for work-related tasks and can be either on-the-job or off-the-job.
There are various training roles used within John Ruskin College and they hold various responsibilities. They are:
Quality manager – their role is to monitor and improve the quality of training ; staff development given to the staff in the College. Their responsibilities include meeting with line managers to discuss training needs, organise and arrange training for staff, either internal or external and finally, to get feedback from staff regarding development training.
Their training role in John Ruskin College includes on-the-job and off-the-job training, for example, off-the-job training will involve training sessions run by external consultants. This will involve team members being taught how to use application such as Moodle and EAMS. On-the-job training includes job shadowing, where they can work with and watch another colleague and learn about the job.
HR Manager – their role is to follow practices and policies that deal with recruitment and selection of employees. Their responsibilities include developing and updating training programmes, remuneration, organising planning and development, maintaining staff welfare, improving performance and productivity, pay and fringe benefits, ensuring that labour laws, wage agreements and conditions of service are followed. They also play a vital role in negotiating with trade unions and employees’ associations and creating good relationships between managers and employees. Their training role in John Ruskin College includes off-the-job training, for example, off-the-job training will involve external courses. This will involve receiving updates on curriculum development i.e. BTEC may refresh a particular course and teachers have to be able to know what to teach. Another example of off-the-job could be receiving training from external consultants, where staff could be taught teaching and learning skills as well as how to deal with disabled people.
Mentors – their role is to help their mentee achieve something and find the right direction. Their responsibilities include managing the development of the relationship with the mentee, encouraging and motivating its mentee to accept challenges and overcome difficulties, allow adequate time to interact with the mentee, be able to resolve conflict and give appropriate feedback and be able to give a mentee encouraging feedback. Mentors should also endeavour to maintain regular contact with the mentee. Their training role in John Ruskin College includes on-the-job training, for example, observation, where they can watch another colleague and learn about how things are done in the job.
Line managers – their role is to control the activities of employees directly below them. Their responsibilities include carrying out risk assessments or ensuring that the person delegated to carry out the risk assessment is competent, ensuring that employees or visitors under their control are given suitable and sufficient information, training, instruction and supervision, taking a positive approach to considering staff requests for flexible working conditions; and seeking advice from the HR Manager about options for accommodating needs that have merit but is not covered by existing policies. Their training role in John Ruskin College includes on-the-job and off-the-job training, for example, off-the-job training will involve in-house courses. This will involve team members being asked to each others on how to operate something. Another example of off-the-job could be computer-based training, where staff could be taught how to use application such as Moodle and EAMS. On-the-job training includes job shadowing, where they can work with and watch another colleague and learn about the job.