August 1996 The Association for Colleges and the Colleges Employers Forum merges to create the Association of Colleges September 1996 Roger Ward, of CEF, defeats Ruth Gee, of the AFC, for post of chief executive of AOC January 1997 Sixth-form colleges' representative body joins the AOC November 1997 TES exposes Roger Ward's secret consultancy payments November 1997 AOC launches inquiry. Mr Ward promises the Commons Education and Employment Select Committee a full register of interests. Senior staff say later the Commons was misled December 1997 Ward is hauled back before the Commons Select Committee January 1998 Ward departs, with three months' pay February 1998 AOC board says it will stay on, but following overwhelming pressure from members, agrees to resign September 1998 New board advertises for chief executive November 1998 David Gibson named as new chief executive
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