South Essex College
Happiness score is 51 out of 100
3.4 out of 5 stars.
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South Essex College Employee Reviews

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United Kingdom103 reviews

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3.3Work-life balance

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Good learning opportunity

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Learning n experience opportunities. You can enjoy your time but stressful beca8se of the work demand. Good to get experience and learn from peers. Good support.
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Overall Review

My days are well planned in advance and I am aware of the timetable and where I need to be. I produce my collate my resources when I arrive at work so that I am ready to start teaching on time.I feel that I am managed and supported by my peers well.I feel that the hardest part of my job is keeping track of the different level's progression, as I teach 3 different groups within the GVL remit. This also encompasses different levels within the same learning group.The most enjoyable part of my role is the engagement with learners and the support that I receive from my peers.

Pros

Staff benefits, a supportive team.

Cons

Working in the campus's furthest from my home.
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Insights into South Essex College

Based on 21 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Fair pay for job
  • Trust in colleagues
  • Sense of belonging

Welcoming and Well Organised

I have had a friendly welcome from whomever I have spoken with. The initial training you receive is well organised and provides you with an introduction to all of the different teams at the college. They have a central home page where it is easy to navigate important websites or documents such as floor plans of each campus. You can have porridge or a croissant for breakfast for free, parking is also free but on a first come first serve basis. I received a laptop to work from home or for meetings when needed and also a desktop on site to use - really enjoying the role so far.

Pros

Friendly, welcoming, well organised
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Great staff/ facilitates have room for improvement

Since I started working at the college I feel part of a team and valued. I like my regular student review meetings with my manager as this gives me a chance to discuss and share anything that's on my mind or that I am concerned about. I enjoy talking to lots of different people. And as an added bonus because I work with hairdressing students, I get free haircuts.

Pros

Free breakfast, dedicated staff, strong security, strong first aid and paid holidays.

Cons

No staff room, no staff toilets and hourly rate could be better.
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Encouraging and Supportive

From the moment I stated I felt supported. In fact, I felt valued from the interview onwards. I had regular contact, via email, from management and HR to keep me appraised of the progress with DBS checks and referral letters. My days are spent supporting students who have additional learning needs.
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Glad to have left

Overall very poor experience of the college. Staff horrendously underpaid compared to other colleges/FE institutions. Upper management is chaotic and poorly organised. Upward progression is awful, was offered a full time teaching position to stay and not leave to teach elsewhere, this offer was then changed a week prior to my interview (thankfully I didn't rescind my previous employment offer or I'd have been stuck) to a part time position. This would mean I would have made less money for more work than my previous role. The one upside I had was the the manager above me was extremely supportive, and made work a joy, as well as my colleagues on the same level as I. The frustration and mismanagement was from people above my manager.

Pros

Friendly colleagues, and culture on people on the same level as myself.

Cons

Frustratingly mismanaged, and very little support.
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Poor Work Culture

The people that work at the college are supportive and hardworking and often do more than what is required of them, however there is a lack of support from higher management and workloads are unrealistic. Pay increases are below the cost of living and 1% is celebrated when it is given. the place is set up for people who want to go into management as being a good teacher is not rewarded. There is a lack of funding for teaching resources making it hard to meet the unit criteria. The role has allowed me to develop skills in areas outside of teaching but if you stay in the job too long you will stagnate and deskill.

Pros

Free Breakfast

Cons

Lack of progression
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good place to work

not enough pay, understaffed, poor management, long hours, poor pay, good on cv, workplace culture good, a typical day hectic , good team skills, stressful work.
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Good company, no progression

Very average pay, no pay scale, no progression routes that are regular in occurrence. Long hours, overworked, understaffed, lots of admin to do as a teacher.
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Low Morale

Too many manager's not enough workforce. When someone leaves they don't seem to replace them in lower grades. Current staff expected to double up for no extra pay.Always pleading they've no budget.
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Very chaotic

I enjoyed working with students but the senior management team were not supportive and you felt under threat a lot of the time. Resources were unreliable and often breaking.
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Poor

Bad management, disorganised, unsure and chaotic at all times.Do not work at this college if you want a decent work life balance.The management operates at a very low standard, the workload in unachievable.High pressure, underpaid and very underwhelming.Avoid at all costs.. much better places to work.
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Positive, fun and interesting place to work

Lots of online training giving lots of information about staff, departments and students. Online catch up before lessons, taking notes and modify work. Remembering everything I was taught in modifying notes and daily tasks. Meeting the students in their lessons and tutors. supporting student during lessons and be there if they need help.

Pros

Free breakfast and lots of help and advice.

Cons

n/a
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not the best place to work but you will get a lot on your cv

If you look at the adverts on the college website you will see that there are a lot of them, that should tell most people enough. Staff turnover is high, opportunities for advancement are limited, pay is stagnant, did not move for 10 years, not even cost of living increases made, although workloads continously went up regularly. When people leave and are not replaced work gets put on those that remain, who consequently end up going elsewhere.

Pros

Good support from colleagues because they are also under so much pressure, You will be able to put a lot on your CV from the amount of work that you will end up with

Cons

Long hours, little reward, few genuine development opportunities
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We are going through a period of growth with new roles being advertised. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Productive and hard working culture.

This is a fast paced environment which has high standards for its staff and students. There is plenty of opportunity for career development if you are prepared to work hard and retain a corporate focus.
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Fast paced organisation, enjoyable role!

During my time with the College, no two days were the same, and everyday was a learning day! I enjoyed my time thoroughly at SEC, and I felt valued and supported by my team in helping me progress my career forward. The organisation is incredibly fast faced, so you will definitely not get bored! On a broader note, staff here work incredibly hard to deliver a good service to students, from Lecturers to office staff. Working in Education is incredibly tough, especially under the current climate, but everyone got stuck in and ensured the College was meeting its objectives. There are plenty of College-wide events (fundraising etc), alongside mental health support from various teams. The College excelled at homeworking practices during the Pandemic, offering plenty of support via MS Team groups. The College is continuing to grow rapidly, but in doing so, it lacks the appropriate planning and systems etc to support this. At times, work felt very chaotic and archaic - more funding is needed to ensure that there is a modernisation/digitalisation of systems and processes to meet business demands. From an academic perspective, planning is often an afterthought when agreeing new programms / courses / winning a bid etc, which adds extra pressure to both acadmeic and support teams. The College needs to become more competitive as an employer to combat the high number of vacancies. Salaries and career progression is lacking at SEC, especially for support staff. However, if you are starting out your career, this is an excellent and eye opening organisation to start at, as managers - 

Pros

Great team, modern campuses, growing organization, generous annual leave entitlement and pension

Cons

Lacking in competitive pay and progression
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Fun workplace, great staff busy environment

Great support from colleagues, Good management team, learnt how to work the online portal for all information. Enjoying meeting and teaching the learners. The hardest part is working full time and the longer hours.
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Poor

Bad management, disorganised, unsure and chaotic at all times.Do not work at this college if you want a decent work life balance.The management operates at a very low standard, the workload in unachievable.High pressure, underpaid and very underwhelming.Avoid at all costs.. much better places to work.
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Avoid avoid avoid - lecturer review

Everyday was stressful due to constant staffing issues. Some staff come and go in the same month, which caused added pressure when trying to prepare students for their assessments. I always had to cover lessons and had very little admin time to catch up. The college is money ordinated and not people focused. They are only ever interested in student numbers and not the quality of service they offer. Systems and processes are outdated and not fit for purpose. Due to the amount of agency workers they had (at least when I was there), nothing was up to date which just caused constant headaches This college is management heavy, you name it, there is probably a manager for it. This causes constant delays and miscommunication due to all the levels of authorisation. There is a also a culture of “if your face fits” you’ll get promoted. I doubt much has changed since I left looking at all the vacancies they have on the website. From what I keep hearing, no one is happy and trying to get out!!The best thing I did for my own sanity was leaving this College. I haven’t even touched upon the salary and pay progression, which there isn’t any!! NO OVERTIME PAY EITHER, and if you are a Lecturer, you will definitely be working overtime, more or less everyday!!! Even the pay I was on was much less when compared to other Colleges Don’t put your life through through misery by working here, stick to where you are currently or look at other colleges.

Pros

Absolutely nothing

Cons

Poor pay, depressing culture, stressful, overworked, not appreciated, management heavy
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Official response from South Essex College

18 April 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Underpaid and overworked

Didnt enjoy my time here at all. A lot is expected of you for a pathetic salary. Very stressful at times with no support as my team was always short staff. You could literally earn more money in a call centre than this place. The pay is barely min wage for support people like meOnly good points was some people were nice to work with

Pros

The people and central location

Cons

Rubbish pay, overworked
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Official response from South Essex College

8 February 2022
Thank you for your feedback. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

Colleagues make it worthwhile, pay is not great

During my years at the college I met and worked alongside many great people, and generally speaking most people are committed to providing a good service to the students The only good perks is the holiday which you will definitely need after working here. However, I had to leave due to lack of a decent salary. In all the years I had been at the college I had never received a pay rise which isn't great when the cost of everything is going up. It felt depressing at times knowing I was working so hard for such little appreciation and most people within my team felt the same. Overall its okay if you are young and looking for your first job but definitely not great if you are an older person looking for a decent income and progression.

Pros

Holiday and pension

Cons

Overworked and underpaid and no progression
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Official response from South Essex College

8 February 2022
Thank you for your feedback, its great to read that you have worked with a great team. We do ensure all feedback is reviewed and reflected on, kind regards, HR Department.

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Overall rating

Based on 103 reviews

Ratings by category

3.3 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.8 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.1 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.1 out of 5 stars for Management
3.2 out of 5 stars for Culture

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