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So where is the register now?

Work to draw up a full register of interests for the senior staff and board of the Association of Colleges started only last month, AOC chairman Howard Phelps told MPs.

The full register will include interests of all the AOC's board members - who are principals and college chairmen in their own right.

Senior staff will also be included - including chief executive Roger Ward, and the trio whose letter blew the whistle on the issue: Sue Dutton, deputy chief executive, Marcia Roberts, director of professional services, and Peter Brophy, director of finance and administration and AOC company secretary.

Mr Phelps told the Commons education select committee the entries for the register had been collected, but a full register had not yet been circulated to the board. He had only seen his own entries by the date of the hearing on Tuesday, he said.

Mr Phelps, a former senior industrialist who is also chairman of the board of governors at Cirencester College, said he regretted not drawing up a register earlier. In a statement issued after the hearing he said the AOC's full register would be issued on Monday.

He said: "While regretting that the creation of a register of interests had not been addressed earlier in the process of disbanding the Colleges Employers Forum and creating the association, we draw attention to the fact that a register of interests for both senior staff and board members has now been compiled and will be made publicly available on Monday 22 December. We look forward to continuing to support the work of the select committee in its consideration of the great issues affecting the sector."

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