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Backlash over Shetland cash crisis

STAFF at Shetland College in Lerwick have expressed bitterness and anger at the way their college has been portrayed following a best value review by the islands council.

The council's development committee recently heard calls for an amalgamation between Shetland College and the North Atlantic Fisheries College in Scalloway to stave off a financial crisis. The best value report also levelled strong criticisms at the way the colleges are run. It recommended a joint college management unit.

A letter signed by almost all staff and sent to Morgan Goodlad, the islands council's chief executive, asked why it had been necessary to rush the report through before publication of an HMI report on Shetland College, due on March 8, and before the Scottish Further Education Funding Council had responded to its recovery plan.

Brian Nugent, local secretary of the College Lecturers' Association, said:

"The HMI report will reveal a different college from the one described in the best value review. We are happy to be judged on this independent report."

Lecturers are particularly scornful of the description of Shetland College as "insolvent" since it is part of the local authority.

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