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Principals warn on factionalism

I am writing to clarify the contents of the report on the forthcoming Association of British Colleges' board election (TES, May 24).

The position of the Association of Principals of Colleges is as follows. Our elected council met on May 16 and agreed to support six named principal candidates in the election.

Three candidates are members of the APC's council and a fourth is a past member. The APC is on record as supporting "an open competitive recruitment process" for the post of chief executive of the new association.

As the further education sector addresses the challenges facing colleges, it is vital that a strong unified organisation is established to represent us at national level. During the process of electing the board of that organisation all players in the FE sector have a responsibility to use the democratic process openly and with integrity.

We must not lose sight of the need to bring the sector together after the elections are over. Do we need reminding that factionalism and internecine warfare have served further education badly over the past three years?

Ben Bennett President Association of Principals of Colleges Aylesbury College Oxford Road Aylesbury Buckinghamshire

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