Superbody to advertise

The board of the new further education superbody agreed unanimously at its first meeting to advertise nationally for a chief executive of what is to be called the Association of Colleges.

The chief executives prior to the merger - Ruth Gee of the Association for Colleges and Roger Ward of the Colleges' Employers' Forum - will share the title of executive director from August 1. Their duties will reflect their existing roles until an appointment is made.

One of the first acts of the board was to drop the controversial word "British" from the proposed title of the Association of British Colleges. Inclusion of the word caused a stir in Scotland when colleges protested over what they saw as a very arrogant assumption behind the name of a body for largely English colleges.

Other issues to be sorted out urgently include the size of the subscriptions. It was agreed that an equitable subscription rate would be phased in. But the details are yet to be thrashed out.

The future of the existing staff will be considered once the chief executive is appointed, probably by the early autumn. The interim chair of the association is Graham Baskerville, principal of Chippenham College. Two committees for membership and finance and for appointments have also been set up.

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