A Year on the Front Line: Despatches from new FE teachers

Peter Wolstencroft, Carol Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the experiences of new FE teachers during their first year of teaching in the post compulsory sector. The focus is on initial perceptions of the role, which are typically grounded in visions of 'making a difference to students' lives', compared with the reality of working in an environment driven by measurement, targets and the financial imperative. A number of participants in the study describe difficulties in obtaining resources and managing student behaviour, as well as a general lack of support and liken this to working on the Frontline without having the necessary armoury to combat the challenges they face. However, despite this somewhat negative portrayal of life in the sector, there is an overwhelmingly positive response to the rewards of working with such a diverse group of learners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pedagogical Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Further education
  • new teachers
  • students
  • experience


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