South Essex College
3.6 out of 5 stars.
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South Essex College Employee Reviews

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Great teams, positive place to work

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I have worked at the college for 15 years in different capacities. Management are helpful and understanding. Co-workers are friendly and supportive. It's not a bad place to work (hence the time I've spent here). Wish the pay/benefits were better, also not much chance for job advancement.

Pros

Pleasant work environment and great colleagues

Cons

having to travel to different campuses without any financial inducement
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Official response from South Essex College

19 October 2021
Thank you for time with us at a the college, 15 years a great testimony to the college. Thank you for your feedback and we wish you well for the future, thank you, HR Department.

overworked but nice colleagues

the college is management heavy with people in posts they shouldnt be in.have met some really lovely people here and some managers are really supportivesalaries are rubbish if your support staff compared to other schools and colleges. they rarely increase the banding over the 5 years ive been here which is a shame because everyone works ridiculous hours to get work done due to staff shortages and the wages should be living wage not minimum wage because of cost of living going upnice central location easy to get to by bus and holiday allowance is good

Pros

holiday, pension

Cons

salary, workload
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Official response from South Essex College

19 October 2021
Thank you for your feedback, there is a lot there to review and reflect on so thank you, kind regards, HR Department.

Unstable College

Not sure where to begin with this place. As an experienced Lecturer and having worked at numerous other colleges, both in the area and across the country, I can honestly say that this is, by far, one of the most unorganised and poorly managed Colleges I've worked at - and I've been teaching for over 20 years! The management team here are just brain-dead clueless, I've been to circuses that have been ran better than this place. Restructures are hosted annually here, so you have to enjoy the feeling of being made redundant frequently, not that it matters of course for some people, who are just gifted promotions without the role being advertised internally to others.It's not all bad though because if you REALLY love working you can do overtime for FREE, you'll notice that when you get your contract from HR. There are countless of Agency Staff working here, they probably earn more than we do! The salaries here are rubbish and you do not move up the scales even if you have been here for over a year. There's no point in making mates here as everyone just leaves in less than a year, just look at the all the vacancies they're advertising and you'll see my point.Don't get me wrong the campuses are nice and well equipped for learners and the students themselves are a joy to teach, but that's as far as the positives go for me I'm afraid. Stay well clear of this College!

Pros

Students are good to teach and good equipment

Cons

Management, salary, restructures all year round
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Official response from South Essex College

15 June 2021
I am sorry you feel this way. It is has been a very hard year for everyone with the pandemic and everyone here has done their best at a very trying time. Please do get in contact with the HR department to discuss your comments further;DepartmentOfHumanResources@southessex.ac.ukKind regardsHR

Great managers that support you! Lovely company culture too!

Wonderful company culture in my department where they REALLY look after you and you feel part of a team! Great managers that support you, depending on where you work. There is staff benefits I have not really used them, it's mainly food. I suggest they should start having discounts for gyms or to be able to use college sports facilities etc. Lots to learn and take on board. One downfall is there is a lot of paperwork, however seeing their student success rate its a no brainer! I think if more staff are recruited then it will definitely reduce the load of paper work. Overall I'm very happy to be part of this team. I would suggest for all colleges or South Essex College in particular to have some kind of quiet room to relax in or to take some time out. I would also like to suggest a kitchen area with a sink to either eat/heat/prepare foods etc.Overall I am lucky to be surrounded with good mentors that have ensure that we all are working towards a common team goal. They have a good team spirit! Lastly the pay for sure can be a little more- As they say every little helps!!! :)

Pros

Good managers

Cons

Paper work
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Official response from South Essex College

28 June 2021
Thank you for your comments, we do take everything on board. Please ensure you use the forums available to you at the college to provide feedback and ideas too, so we can ensure that we continue to reflect and take action, kind regards, HR Department.

Do not work here if you want recognition

The college is all about bums on seats not quality , the staff turnover is ridiculous and that is because they do not care or look after their staff.If you are in the right circle and speak loudly you will be recognised for very little input , those who dedicate hours (a lot outside of their contracted hours) and experience are overlooked and sidelined in order not to fish out the deadwood in the company. There are many restructures year on year and they still haven’t got it right due to not listening to staff doing the job and not knowing how a day runs in departments , instead it’s management heavy with lots of managers in wrong positions and little support staff and tutors to get the roles done. We all want to succeed but you can only do that if your led properly and have the support. Personally I would not take a role on here if your a tutor as your be passed a lot of historic mess and expected to sort it in an untimely expectation and if you can’t your frowned upon.Shame really as it once was a lovely place to work, now it’s dog eat dog !!

Pros

Annual leave

Cons

See above
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Awful salaries, high staff turnover, lots of restructures

I've worked at the College for a few years. Colleagues are nice to work with and all the campuses are well equiped for learners with modern facilities. Management are approachable (most). I enjoyed teaching and seeing students succeed. However, there is a high staff turnover which puts a lot of pressure on teaching staff, so you have to get used to that here. Do you love restructures? That's good because there's plenty of them here! The salaries are so bad, like really bad! They won't even increase your salary after you've been there for a year (this is stated in the contract too). I'd imagine this is probably the main reason why everyone leaves. To add even more insult, they don't even pay staff overtime (again contractually stated), so you'd often find yourself working overtime for free. But then again, you can leave and come back as an agency worker, which is something I've seen often during my time at this College. There are very few staff benefits to make up for the negatives. Actually, I can't think of any. They don't even give you free parking even though the College owns the carparks. That pretty much sums up this place, it's all about the money! HR seems to push buttons and choke you with mental health awareness on the internal social platforms. Stop posting and actually sort out the place!Overall, if you're starting out in your teaching career, this is the place for you as there is a structure and training in place for you to progress. However, If you're an experienced Lecturer, don't bother as you won't reek any rewards and you’ll be expected to do a lot - 

Pros

Absolutely none

Cons

Overworked, understaffed, lots of restructures, rubbish salary
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Official response from South Essex College

10 June 2021
Thank you for taking the time to feedback on your time with the college, I am sorry to read your comments but we will ensure to review and reflect on what you have said. We wish you well for the future. Kind regards, HR.

Very Welcoming and helpful

I am really happy in my new role. The staff are really helpful and there is nothing I cannot ask. I feel very much welcome and part of a lovely support network. I am learning all the time.The hardest part is the experience of what I can offer the students but that comes with time/ experienceI love being in control of my own diary/ planning my day and having my own resposibilities.

Pros

Being left to plan my own workload

Cons

Salary is low
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Official response from South Essex College

10 June 2021
Thank y9u for your lovely feedback and good luck with the new role, Kind regards, HR.

Learning as well as Teaching

My time with the college has been very happy. I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. I am learning new skills. My days are structured and and my lesson plans are coming together to make this position a way to work smarter

Pros

Holiday entitlement

Cons

Days and weeks go to fast
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Official response from South Essex College

18 May 2021
Thank you for this lovely feedback! We are glad you are enjoying your role and time with the college. Kind regards, HR

Productive and fun workplace

I went here for 5 years studying childcare from 2015-2020 studying between Level 1 to Level 3, passing my Level 3 qualification in June of last year.

Pros

Fun environment

Cons

Long assignments
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Official response from South Essex College

18 May 2021
Thank you for your feedback and well done on passing your qualification at the college, kind regards, HR

loving it!

HR were excellent and so helpful during the early stages of my employment especially Sarah!fitted straight into the team bunch of great people!so helpful and good fun!

Pros

lovely people

Cons

none
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Official response from South Essex College

15 March 2021
Thank you so much for this lovely feedback, good luck with your role at the college. Kind regards, HR.

Flawless induction process and management

I started this job online while college was closed due to the national lockdown. The online induction process was faultless, and the support I have received from everyone I have virtually met has been overwhelming. My management team are supportive and have been understanding of everyone's emotional state during covid and working from home. I have regular meetings and even though I have only been there a month I can honestly say this is the most supportive environment I have been a part of.

Pros

Parking permit
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Official response from South Essex College

11 February 2021
Thank you so much for you lovely words, that is really appreciated. Kind regardsHR

Challenging, friendly and progressive

Our day is centred around designing an team culture allied to the expectations of our stake holders. My relationship with the students and teachers is growing organically with guidance on expectation from above.I relish the challenge including the current fluid health situation we are all aware of. As a people person the ability to interact with the students and teachers is fantastic.

Pros

Stone computer system

Cons

No natural air and classroom chairs
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Official response from South Essex College

5 February 2021
Thank you for your comments, we hope you continue to relish the challenges! Kind regardsHR

Great Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed working here within the apprenticeships division. Staff and management where very approachable and made me welcome from day 1. Great team
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Official response from South Essex College

8 December 2020
Thank you so much for your lovely comments! Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Kind regardsHR

Brilliant organisation to work for

Great opportunity for graduates without a teaching qualification. Excellent CPD opportunities to gain PGCE qualifications. A very enabling environment with scope and opportunities to develop within and outside the organisation.

Pros

Close to home. Supportive line managers

Cons

Vulnerable public sector organisation
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Official response from South Essex College

8 December 2020
Thank you for your comments and feedback on your time with the college. Kind regardsHR

Enjoyable Experience

The training received here has been invaluable in later work life. Every person that should know what they were doing, did. They were not above helping out an Apprentice just because it was just the lecturers job.
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Official response from South Essex College

15 July 2020
Thank you for your lovely comments, really good to hear that you got a lot out of the training. Kind regardsHR

Relaxed place to work

Nice place to work and colleagues very supportive and friendly. No micro-managing and allowed to use your own initiative. High level of trust between managers and staff.

Pros

Free to use your own initiative and no micro-managing

Cons

Could be a more caring culture
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Official response from South Essex College

22 June 2020
Thank you for your comment, any suggestions on how we can show we care more, please do use all the channels available at the college such as the Wellbeing Forum, HR Wellbeing channel and or contact your line manager/HR Advisor, Kind regardsHR

Supportive, productive and friendly

Starting work during lock-down is a challenge but management and staff are very supportive. Moodle and some other systems are an issue but being made to feel relaxed about any of these issues as management acknowledge there may be issues in the current climate. Really looking forward to getting on site and being able to meet everyone and being part of the team.
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Official response from South Essex College

22 June 2020
Thank you very much for your lovely feedback - it has been a hard time for all, but we are very proud of how everyone has adapted and all worked togetherKind regardsHR

Big Blame Culture

Organisation suffers from the same problems every year with no consequences for poor performance lack of change and development. The organisation struggles to adopt change and new ways of working. Departments all vary on team culture and engagement, being good bad, positive or negative. If you fit in with a 'clique' then you may get promotion, if not then chances are nil. Your experience will greatly depend on your line manager and department some of which are fantastic but some are very poor.
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Official response from South Essex College

22 June 2020
I am sorry you feel this way, please get in contact with the HR department to discuss your comments further;DepartmentOfHumanResources@southessex.ac.ukKind regardsHR

Productive

Every day was a new challenge at SEC, in respect to whether you worked within an administration role, or supported students through their academic career goals. However different departments may vary, so please read the terms and conditions!!
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Official response from South Essex College

22 June 2020
Thank you for your review. Every role and department will vary and they are all paramount to the success of the college. Please get in contact with the HR department to discuss any feedback you may have. DepartmentOfHumanResources@southessex.ac.ukKind regardsHR

Great Place to Work

In my few months here I have felt very welcomed into the College. My manager has been very supportive, giving me a manageable workload, only increasing my work volumes when I am ready and comfortable to take on new tasks. My team are also very supportive and can be relied upon to assist with work and queries when required. The workplace culture is kind and generous. It is clear the College is constantly trying to adapt and improve to cater to the needs of the students and staff.
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Official response from South Essex College

22 June 2020
Thank you for your lovely comments and wishing you all the best in your role with SEC. Kind regardsHR

Disappointing

Sadly, to get on well here your face has to fit. Managers employ their friends and these are then promoted not existing staff. It is a very clicky place. There is a very high turn over of staff and morale is low as it can get.
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Official response from South Essex College

27 February 2020
I am sorry you feel this way, please get in contact with the HR department to discuss your comments further; DepartmentOfHumanResources@southessex.ac.uk Kind regardsHR

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Overall rating

3.6

Based on 79 reviews
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Ratings by category

3.4Work/Life Balance
3.0Salary/Benefits
3.2Job security/advancement
3.2Management
3.2Culture
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