Don't sweat it

Tony Fort

I read with interest in last week's FE Focus that, as a consequence of the new freedoms afforded by the Education Act 2011, Luton's Barnfield College is considering creating the first privatised college in the English further education sector ("Federation plans first privatised college", 6 April).

Its chief executive, Pete Birkett, commenting on maximising the resource utilisation of the college by being open for the whole year, instead of the traditional 38 weeks, is quoted as follows: "We need to sweat our assets." I couldn't help but read that with an imagined American accent. Ironically, despite college governors now being able to disestablish their corporations to become wholly private enterprises, it appears that the FE sector is truly entering a (brave) new corporate world. Way to go.

Tony Fort, FEHE lecturer, Burnley, Lancashire.

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Tony Fort

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