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New model colleges needed

THE RESULTS of the survey of college principals' salaries and benefits (TES, January 7) is a reflection of the perverted priorities of the majority of FE college employers.

At the time when even a modest rise of 2.7 per cent is being resisted by most colleges, more and more principals are earning what can only be described as fat- cat salaries. It is also a measure of the gullibility of governing bodies who have been conned by principals to extract extraordinary increases in their pay.

If one adds up the salaries of all senior managers, a typical college will be dishing out up to pound;500,000 for a handful of functionaries.

Apologists make the absurd comparison between a college principal and a chief executive of a large corporation. When was the last time a principal was head- hunted by ICI?

Let'sget things in perspective. If the whole of the senior management team of a college were to go on leave for a whole month, not a single student's education would suffer. On the other hand, if a lecturer catches a cold, many students have their education disrupted.

If further education is to prosper in current funding arrangements, it needs a new-model college. A college in which no employee would earn more than twice the average salary of the staff in the college, teaching and learning would be the central focus of all activities with every member of the academic staff, including senior management teaching a minimum of four hours a week, something that would keep them in touch with the real world and improve relationship with students and staff.

Fawzi Ibrahim

Honorary treasurer

NATFHE

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