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FE colleges advised to slim down from 47 to 25

The ideal catchment area for an FE college is a population of around 200,000, according to the man sent in to devise a recovery plan for the massive Sheffield College. Giving the latest in the lecture series run by the Scottish Further Education Unit, Sir George Sweeney, now principal of Knowsley Community College on Merseyside, said there was no conclusive proof that college mergers wee "overwhelmingly advantageous". Sir George's optimum size figure would give Scotland 25 colleges instead of 47 and he himself thought Glasgow, where the FE sector is currently under review, should have five colleges not 10. Colleges should not be of a size where, as in Sheffield, senior management spent all its time in meetings and had little contact with staff or students.

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