Forums 'must have place for colleges'

9th March 2001 at 00:00
Colleges should have a guaranteed place on the new local economic forums that are central to the Executive's learning and employment strategies. The Association of Scottish Colleges has told ministers that their proposals do not sufficiently recognise the place of FE.

There is so far only one forum, in Borders. But as the concept spreads nationally the balance between optimum size and adequate representation of key sectors will be a major talking point. The Executive's proposals suggest treating higher and further education institutions as one.

The ASC argues that "as a minimum" there should be a place for each of the two sectors. That has already been proposed for the forum that will represent Forth valley.

Since colleges are statutorily entrusted with providing learning programmes leading to vocational qualifications, they sy it would be inappropriate for them to be excluded.

When Henry McLeish, the then Lifelong Learning Minister, set out his economic action plan last July, he said that the forums should cut out duplication and waste by local agencies. They would be charged with securing employment for all, improving basic adult education and widening access to FE and HE.

That would free local enterprise companies for wider responsibilities such as reducing the gaps in skills, productivity, entrepreneurship and e-commerce.

When the Parliament's lifelong learning committee discussed the proposals last month, Alex Neil, its chairman, said it was important that if someone from FEwas representing the learning industry, they should be required to consult widely with colleges and universities "so that the dialogue would not be restricted".


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

Comments

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