Ill health has robbed Scottish further education of two of its leading figures in the past week.
Robert Beattie stepped down as chairman of the Scottish Further Education Funding Council last Thursday. Mr Beattie, the council's first chairman from 1999, has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for some time but says it has now become increasingly difficult for him to find the energy to do the job properly.
Another resignation announced last week is that of Hugh Walker, principal of Clydebank College for the past four years Although no official reason was given given, Mr Walker has been under almost unremitting pressure since moving from Anniesland College in Glasgow as he presided over a tough regime of job losses and restructuring. Matt Mochar, one of the college's directors, takes over as acting principal.
Clydebank is also without a board chairman. Stuart Niven, former principal of the Scottish School of Further Education, resigned in protest against the Government's grant increase of 0.8 per cent, one of the smallest in the country.