Funding is becoming derailed

9th February 2001 at 00:00
THE article about the further education management review by David McKenzie (TESS, February 2) demonstrates clearly what an ineffectual body the Scottish Further Education Funding Council has become.

The response of the Funding Council to the deepening problems in Scottish FE is to send college managers another big form to fill in.

This exercise in impression management will not, and cannot, resolve the crisis in further education, which is every bit as bad as that in the NHS or on the railways.

The Funding Council should stop behaving like a big board of management and recommend to the Scottish Executive that additional funding is necessary for the FE sector to meet the challenges that are being set for it by the minister; a return to national pay bargaining is necessaryto promote good industrial relations, accompanied by a package that, financially, matches that offered to school teachers in Scotland; and college boards of management are democratised to make them representative of, and accountable to, the communities that they serve and, to rid them of the gerontocracy and the employer interests that are dominant.

If, as seems to be the case, Wendy Alexander is attempting to create a national system of further education in Scotland, then she should give the Funding Council some real intervention powers.

And it is time that the Funding Council started to act like a real grown-up regulatory body or else be wound up, as part of Henry McLeish's "bonfire of the quangos".

Nicholas Taylor Convener, EISCLA branch Moray College Elgin

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