A training institute for chefs threatened to leave the Association of Colleges after its chief executive, Roger Ward, suggested local education authorities should have a place on governing bodies "as of right".
In a sharp exchange of letters, Eddie McIntyre, principal of Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Arts, told Mr Ward that the college chairman was "outraged" by the proposal.
Mr Ward has responded by saying that under the new Labour Government, changes to governing bodies were inevitable and that without the AOC proposal, colleges were faced with "a far less palatable outcome".
The disagreement highlights the tensions that still exist between colleges and LEAs in many parts of the country.
Mr McIntyre wrote in a letter to all principals: "As you can imagine, after our turbulent past, most colleges in Birmingham would want enhanced links with the local authority about as much as Red Riding Hood wants closer links with the Royal Society for the Protection of Wolves."
Full report, page29