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157 rebuttals

For the 157 group to feature in your editorial and elsewhere in FE Focus (September 22) is significant. As chair of the group, I am bound to respond.

157 is more about quality than size. Our basic membership criterion is a grade 1 or 2 for leadership and management from Ofsted. Our size-guide is a minimum of pound;35 million turnover, but we embrace high-quality colleges that are smaller.

We are outward-looking and supportive of the sector in relation to reputation and quality improvement. Self-regulation and peer support are high on our agenda.

I feel the AoC needs to change in structure and embrace groups such as 157, which works closely with the Confederation of British Industry.

Impact-assessment work will be done with firms and the CBI to show how transformational the FE system can be in economic development.

157 is also working with a firm that assesses colleges' socio-economic impact. Such impact surveys could be a useful measure to support the Framework for Excellence. We are not a "brown nose" organisation, and I think ministers and others may have noticed that 157 commands pound;1 billion of college turnover, and that tends to bring us to the table, especially when you reflect on our "quality" core value.

Ioan Morgan

Principal, Warwickshire College

Leamington Spa

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