English envy as Scots cry freedom

24th February 2006 at 00:00
Colleges in Scotland will be freed from direct Government control, the FE minister has confirmed.

As FE Focus reported last week, a change in the law meant colleges would lose charitable status if ministers kept their right to intervene directly in their affairs.

On Monday, Nicol Stephen, Scotland's minister for lifelong learning, announced that he would give up powers to direct colleges by the time the charities legislation comes into force in April.

Colleges south of the border have expressed a hope that the change in Scotland might herald an era of increased autonomy for them as well.

Mr Stephen said: "Charitable status is very important to colleges, providing a financial benefit of approximately pound;20 million per year.

"If powers of direction had been kept, this charitable status would have been lost.

"I am confident that there are sufficiently robust safeguards available to Parliament, the Scottish Funding Council and the new Charities Regulator to ensure our public investment in the college sector is adequately protected."

Ministers will still have powers to close a college or remove the board of governors in extreme cases, with Parliamentary approval. They also expect to use conditions attached to funding to influence colleges' policies.

Joseph Lee

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now