Governor resigns over unpublished report

26th June 2009 at 01:00

A governor at Liverpool Community College has resigned in protest after seeing the contents of a confidential report into alleged bogus qualifications.

Malcolm Kennedy, who was not a member of the college board at the time of the investigation last year, protested in his resignation letter that governors were working under "Stalinist" rules, preventing them speaking to the press.

Although the college refutes allegations that students were awarded qualifications they had not completed, Mr Kennedy claimed the report was more ambiguous, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations becasue of the passage of time.

Mr Kennedy, a city councillor, said in his letter: "It therefore appears to me that the main reason for the report being kept from public view has less to do with legal privilege and more to do with the fact that the report raises more questions than it gives answers."

Stuart Smith, director of children's services for Liverpool, who also sits on the college board, told the city council's education committee last week that "the allegations had no basis".

Following a complaint last year by Tom Hanson, a former information technology lecturer, the college commissioned auditors to investigate whether students had been awarded qualifications, without their knowledge, for courses they had never taken, dating back to 2001.

The college says it found no evidence to support the claims, but the investigative report, which cost more than Pounds 100,000, was never published because it might identify individuals.

After Mr Hanson took his concerns to the Learning and Skills Council last month, the funding body announced it had launched a fresh investigation into the issue.

A spokesman for the college said: "As has been said previously, Liverpool Community College has managed allegations about matters dating back seven or eight years thoroughly and appropriately.

"As papers relating to these matters are with the Learning Skills and Council, the college is treating the matter as sub judice in order not to prejudice any inquiries the LSC wishes to make."

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