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No 'dearth of talent' at LSC

The article "Quango slated by own chief" (FE Focus, June 24) attributes to me what is described as a "frank admission" that the Learning and Skills Council was underperforming and that we have failed to win the respect of college principals. I am supposed to have said this to FE Focus.

But, I have said none of these things and indeed hold no such views. What I said was very clearly in the context of the whole sector, including the LSC, needing to perform better. This includes capitalising on the very significant investment that has been made in the sector, including meeting the skills challenges in FE. I said that, as part of this, the LSC is always striving to improve its performance and that we're recruiting staff to help with that. But to attribute to me an insinuation that this is necessary because of a "dearth of talent" at the LSC is entirely false and an insult to the hard work, commitment and expertise of my colleagues.

It is also worth pointing out that the LSC is currently holding its summer series of regional roadshows to drive forward the agenda for change reform programme for FE.

We have been joined at these events by scores of principals from all over the country and together we're thrashing out in partnership some of the major issues facing the sector. Yet, according to the article, I am supposed to have admitted that these are the very people whose respect the LSC has failed to win. I said no such thing, nor anything that could be remotely construed as conveying that meaning.

There are other inaccuracies too, but I will not labour the point. The LSC recognises the important role that FE Focus plays in airing the issues that are currently being debated in our sector. They are very important issues, and ones that ultimately contribute to the economic well-being of this nation. FE Focus has a valuable part to play, but it has to do it accurately and with a degree of balance.

Not to do this puts its value and contribution to the sector into question.

Rob Wye

Director of strategy and communications

Learning and Skills Council


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