Learning council must have teeth

3rd March 2000 at 00:00
I READ with great interest your article "'Ladies argue over Bill" in (FE Focus, February 18) which reported Tory peer Baroness Blatch's concerns over the new Learning and Skills Council's powers of intervention in colleges.

The National Union of Students is certain that the council must have the power to intervene in colleges where governance and management is weak.

Baroness Blatch might like to recall what actually happened in colleges that went wrong where secretive corporate cabals stifled any criticism by staff, student or community governors. If Baroness Blatch's colleagues in government had created less space for ruthless college prinipals to intimidate governors (who were themselves not always representative of the college, its customers or its community), then these problems would not have arisen.

I know that at Melton Mowbray College, where the Further Education Funding Council have imposed two governors, that the student-governor feels far more comfortable.

Previously, he and other governors had struggled to be informed or heard. I hope that the Bill gets passed with the council's powers of intervention intact.

Mark Atkinson

Vice president, further education

National Union of Students

Nelson Mandela House

461 Holloway Road, London

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