AoC costs are under control

23rd July 2004 at 01:00
You claim that the Association of Colleges is cutting jobs to bring "spiralling costs" under control ("Jobs to be axed in AoC purge", July 16).

In fact, as prudent membership organisations should, we have made a positive decision to restructure, to ensure best use of our resources in our members' interests for the next three years.

Our board has agreed we will focus more strongly on representation, lobbying and the promotion of colleges and the sector generally, within a context of the devolution of power from central government to the regions.

Accordingly, the Board has reviewed the staffing of our headquarters and and approved a reshaping of the organisation aimed at ensuring that our resources are effectively deployed to support these aims.

The AoC will nevertheless continue to provide support across all the areas of importance to member colleges. Full details of the changes will be issued shortly.

As to costs, increases in administration costs in 2002-03 were almost entirely accounted for by our increased turnover and an increase of posts in the regions.

The AoC is financially strong, and the measures now being taken will maintain that position for the foreseeable future. Indeed, in setting subscription levels for 2004-05 the board has been mindful of the fact that the real terms improvements promised in the 2002 Spending Review are proving more elusive than expected for many colleges. We are therefore proposing an increase in overall subscription levels in line with inflation only.

Dr John Brennan Chief executive Association of Colleges

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