Out of focus report

THE governors' meeting at South Thames College (TES, August 23) was not, as reported, a strategy meeting to discuss reducing staff numbers, but a meeting for governors to reflect on the future direction of the college, to be informed of the new funding methodology and to hear a general report on the human resource issues facing the college.

It was attended not only by governors but also by myself and a number of senior college managers. The notes of the meeting were not leaked. They were published in June, in accordance with standard college polices of openness. Indeed, the very same notes of the event record the governors'

commitment to the college being open and honest in its dealings with staff.

Nothing in the notes of this meeting or actions by the college supports the contention that the college was planning dramatically to alter its internal structure or significantly reduce staff numbers. The focus of the governors' discussion in April was not redundancies but the terms and conditions of the lecturers contract. The "Armageddon" option was neither proposed nor considered.

In common with all colleges, South Thames College has to regularly review its staffing in relation to changing demands for courses. In a quite separate development from the discussion that took place in April, five redundancies are in process at the present time but more than double this number of new appointments have been made.

Sue Rimmer Principal, South Thames College London SW18

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