Illegality is unprovable;Letter

15th October 1999 at 01:00
BILSTON Community College was closed largely on the grounds that it had "alleged debts of pound;10m". But, as months have passed without further details of this allegation, people are asking what these debts are.

In the real sense, there is no debt. Educational programmes, good or not so good, have been carried out and paid for. End of story.

What the Further Education Funding Council has since been engaged in is creating debts that do not at present exist and allocating them to the finances of the Bilston Community College.

To do this, they must show that certain educational programmes undertaken by Bilston Community College were illegal. Not, note, programmes that the FEFC or anyone else considered undesirable, but projects that were illegal.

The FEFC has now spent 18 months unsuccessfully trying to prove such illegality. Nor will they ever prove such illegality, because whatever happened at Bilston occurred not because of criminal intent or people lining their own pockets but from differences regarding educational principles.

But the grave consequences of 18 months of circulating uncontradicted, unprovable or false allegations can readily be seen.

One is that those accused of such illegalities will feel that they have large claims for damage to their reputations.

Second, action taken under the influence of these false beliefs has led to actions which could not otherwise be justified, including the closing of the college.

Last, the general public will be outraged that they have been induced to frame their opinions of Bilston Community College on information that is unprovable or false.

George Barnsby


Friends of Bilston Community College

141 Henwood Road


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