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Hit list at crisis college

Embattled Reid Kerr College in Paisley received an unprecedented rap on the knuckles from the Education Minister this week as the Government backed a consultants' report which calls for staff cuts of pound;1.5 million, the equivalent of 58 jobs.

Helen Liddell said she was "acutely concerned that the management have allowed a serious situation to develop". Her lack of confidence in the college's leadership was underlined by the appointment of Iain MacRobert, HMI with responsibility for quality management in FE, to "assist the board" with a recovery plan to be drawn up by the end of March.

The Scottish Office is demanding that the college bring its costs into line with the average for the FE sector. The college board says it will be preparing an action plan "as a matter of urgency". This will now put pressure on the leadership of the Educational Institute of Scotland which ran into flak from its FE members after accepting job losses at Clydebank College under similar circumstances.

The union says it will "work strategically" with the college to minimise redundancies.

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