Long overdue investigation

6th June 2003 at 01:00
In the article "College refuses to back down" (TESS, May 23), the Educational Institute of Scotland is quoted as asking for an investigation into the management and governance of Motherwell College. A commendable request, and one that is sure to secure support from rank and file union members.

But why restrict this call to the management of Motherwell College? With a few notable exceptions, the management of Scottish FE is abysmal, and has been deteriorating markedly since 1993, if not before.

When the management of certain colleges are colluding with lay union reps to declare major redundancy programmes, and the posts declared redundant are then advertised as vacancies before the staff affected have worked out their period of notice, is that not an issue requiring investigation? When the lay union reps involved in these programmes are then promoted and given pound;5,000 salary increases, is that not an issue requiring investigation?

When programmes run by euphemistically named directorates of innovation and enterprise are shown unequivocally to be wasting vast amounts of taxpayers'

money through consistent and spectacular non-achievement, is that not an issue requiring investigation? When the directors in charge of these units have no business record beyond recurring bankruptcy, and close personal relationships with senior members of college boards, is that not an issue requiring investigation?

Like many others involved in Scottish FE, I am extremely heartened to see the EIS making such a demand.

Since I know for certain that MPs, MSPs, senior members of the Scottish Executive and senior civil servants in the sector have known in detail about these problems for at least the past seven years, and have chosen to ignore them, I am doubtful whether any positive outcome will come about as a result of this latest demand.

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