Fair and prudent

17th July 2009 at 01:00

We were surprised by your article on agency and consultancy costs ("Colleges spend millions on consultants", FE Focus, July 3). Had we been given an opportunity to present our views on this, we would have shared our approach very openly.

Lewisham College has always been a place of ambition and, just recently, we aspired to build the finest college building in the land for our community. The Pounds 900,000-worth of consultancy fees are part of the costs we are now attempting to recover from the Learning and Skills Council.

And our agency staff costs are a distinct strength. This year, a large proportion of our income comes from projects, helping us to maintain a stable staffing base. We have avoided major redundancies for the past few years through the flexibilities afforded by our dedicated agency colleagues, many of whom progress to permanent jobs with us.

Lewisham College is doing its utmost to make sense of a hard world and we aim to buy quality teaching and consultancy from businesses serving the sector. I believe we are fair, deliberate and prudent in this and welcome a chance to explain what we do.

Dame Ruth Silver, Principal, Lewisham College, south-east London.

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, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today