Further education colleges finally secured full protection of their charitable status this week when an order came into force which would allow the proceeds of any sale of a college's assets to go to an educational charity nominated by ministers, rather than to ministers themselves. This complies with charity law that charity assets must always be used for a charitable purpose. The first hurdle for colleges in retaining their charitable status, worth Pounds 25 million, was passed last year when they were exempted from the requirement that charities must be free from ministerial control.
The further education sector has launched a campaign which would allow modern apprentices to switch to college courses if made redundant in the economic downturn. Sue Pinder, principal of James Watt College and convener of the Scottish FE principals group, and Craig Thomson, principal of Adam Smith College, made the plea in a fringe meeting at the Scottish Labour Party conference at the weekend. At present, apprentices lose their apprenticeship place if they lose their job. Some 700 apprentices have been paid off in the past year.
Hawick campus opens
First Minister Alex Salmond last week opened the new Pounds 4.2 million Hawick campus of Borders College, part of a Pounds 31.6 million redevelopment. The Galashiels-based college operates out of six towns, catering for 9,500 full and part-time students.