'Fresh blood and new ideas' for colleges

28th March 2003 at 00:00
MINISTERS have announced their conversion to the need to streamline and modernise the boards of FE colleges - but stopped short of introducing the "democratic accountability" unions have been demanding.

In the Scottish Executive's response today (Friday) to a national consultation exercise, Iain Gray, Lifelong Learning Minister, said he had accepted that changes were required "to bring in more fresh blood and new ideas".

Two of the proposals make a direct acknowledgement of unease at the way some colleges have been run: new arrangements for allowing complaints to be considered by an independent arbiter and an additional power for the FE funding council to attend meetings of college boards.

The review was sparked by the scandal which surrounded Moray College in Elgin, where investigations were mounted by the Auditor-General for Scotland and the Scottish Parliament's audit committee into financial and management irregularities. Among other changes are the introduction of a national training programme for the 500-plus board members and an independent element in the process of appointing members.

The Executive also plans to restrict membership to a maximum of eight years rather than the current limit of 12 years.

Mr Gray said that, given the pound;500 million the Executive will have invested in colleges by 2006, "standards of financial management and propriety must be exemplary".

The sector will also have to ensure that appointment processes are consistent and follow good practice, make more use of powers to attract specialist skills and expertise, and encourage boards to have a better gender, ethnic and age mix.

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