Auditors to call at second college

16th October 1998 at 01:00
THE Scottish Office has been forced to send in auditors to a further education college for the second time. The announcement on Wednesday that independent financial consultants are to draw up a "corporate recovery" plan for Reid Kerr College in Paisley is in line with the similar deal for Clydebank College put together by Deloitte and Touche, also likely to be sent into Reid Kerr.

Matt Aird, Reid Kerr's principal, welcomed the "offer" of independent financial expertise. "With the co-operation of all the parties involved, the long-term future of Reid Kerr College will be secured," Mr Aird said.

He has been battling to turn round the college's fortunes but has encountered vigorous union opposition to proposed redundancies and changes in working practices. Lecturers have not had a pay rise for two years although a package has been accepted by the non-academic staff.

The management originally signalled a need for a "potential maximum" of 46 redundancies among the 470 academic and support staff. This was to reduce the college's accumulated deficit of Pounds 878,000 which was made worse by a cut in this year's Scottish Office grant of Pounds 492,000.

The college has now scaled down its job cuts although it is still looking for volunteers by November 23 so just over seven full-time academic posts can be shed. Seven lecturing posts have been redeployed and another eight jobs have gone from the support staff through voluntary redundancies.

The Scottish Office said Reid Kerr was operating at "significantly above average cost and below the average efficiency level of the sector as a whole".

The Clydebank rescue package will be a gloomy precedent since it involved between 30 and 40 redundancies. This was endorsed by the leadership of the Educational Institute of Scotland which led to bitter recriminations.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today