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Further afield

Colleges angry over disparity in sports provision

Colleges have criticised the Government for giving school sport funding a reprieve but making no provision for FE and sixth-form colleges. The Association of Colleges said it would cost just pound;5 million to fund a further education sports co-ordinator (FESCo) at each college for one day a week, equivalent to the provision for schools which costs pound;65 million. Martin Doel, chief executive of the AoC, said: "Colleges have been an important part of the School Sport Partnerships for the past two years. The FESCo role has just started to make a real difference and we have seen significant increases in the number of 16 to 19-year-olds taking part in sport as a result. Young people in college deserve the same opportunities as those in schools. This announcement means that they will not receive those opportunities."

Cricket academy nets past master

Huddersfield New College has recruited former Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper Richard Blakey (pictured) for its cricket academy. The 43- year-old is holding advanced batting and wicket-keeping sessions for budding young cricketers at the academy, which is in its second year and offers the chance to combine sports training with gaining qualifications. Jamie Marsden, the college's head of sport development, said: "It is a massive coup for the college and the cricket academy. Richard has played at the highest level and we hope that players embrace his coaching and take the opportunity to speak with Richard about their personal development and what it takes to be a professional athlete."

Green pioneers receive sustainability award

Coleg Llandrillo Cymru was nominated for an award in recognition of its work to pioneer new ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. The college was runner-up in the best public sector organisation category of the Environment Agency's first Environmental Pioneer Awards. It has halved its gas bill over a decade and recycles 60 per cent of its waste, improvements that have come despite an increase in student numbers. College principal Huw Evans said: "This is a fantastic achievement and worthy recognition of the college's ongoing investment in sustainability and improving the environment."

Big Country bassist set to rock in college holidays

A college music lecturer is set to head out on the road again with his former band, Eighties stars Big Country. Tony Butler, 53, (pictured below, right) left the Scottish folk rock band in 2000 due to the decline of singer Stuart Adamson, who committed suicide two years later. Since then, he has worked at Petroc college, the new name for the merged East Devon and North Devon colleges. Mr Butler, who played bass in the original line- up, will join his former bandmates for a 21-date UK tour, scheduled to fit in with college holidays, with Mike Peters from The Alarm taking up vocal duties.

ALP director moves on to East Midlands chief role

Paul Eeles has left the Association of Learning Providers, where he was director of sector reform, to take up a new role as chief executive of East Midlands FE Colleges. A former lecturer at colleges in the Midlands, Mr Eeles has worked for more than 22 years in post-16 education, including running his own training company and working as an Ofsted inspector. He joined ALP five years ago, leading its policies on apprenticeships, quality improvement and qualification reform.

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