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FE 'must trade in the Lada'

SCOTLAND'S further education colleges demonstrate good practice across a wide range of different management areas but considerable weaknesses are causing concern.

This is the conclusion of an investigation by consultants brought in by the Scottish Further Education Funding Council. The council has been charged by ministers with carrying out a review of how effective FE management is and plans to report to the Executive in May.

The unpublished findings were presented to college principals and chairs at a private seminar on Tuesday. They followed visits to 12 colleges and a searching inquiry which covered college governance, strategic nd operational planning, quality assurance and marketing, human resources and financial and facilities management.

The chief conclusion is that there is a huge diversity in the effectiveness of FE management, "from the Rolls-Royce service to the coughing, spluttering Lada", as one seminar participant put it.

A similar range emerges in the quality of human resources, which has been at the sharp end as colleges restructured and made staff redundant. There were examples of "poor industrial relations resulting in an inability to manage change."

Full report next week

Training in spotlight again,

FE Focus, page IV

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