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College inquiry 'misleading';Letter

I AM writing on behalf of the FE21 Group of colleges. We are dismayed by a report which claimed that six of our members are "under investigation" by the Further Education Funding Council (TES, April 23).

The claim is entirely misleading for two reasons. First, there is no evidence that any of our members are under investigation.

We are assured by the FEFC that the only ongoing "investigations" are the routine checks that are an integral part of its standard audit procedures.

These checks are regularly applied to colleges when they opt to make any shift in their provision.

We are in direct contact with senior officers at the FEFC who have firmly rejected the assertions made by The TES.

They will be forwarding a written statement of their position to us.

We are extremely annoyed by the suggestion that our members are trying to circumvent the FEFC's rules.

Our collaborative scheme to manage national contracts by allocating students to FE21 member colleges on a local basis is entirely in line with government policy and has been approved by senior FEFC officers at every stage.

Jan Dominey

Secretary to the FE21 Group

2 Stubham Rise

Ilkley

West Yorkshire

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