Neil Reed: Teaching is only half the story

14th August 2009 at 01:00

Original paper headline: Teaching is only half the story

I was fascinated by Frank Coffield's piece in FE Focus (Comment, July 24) on what was wrong with further education and the statement that it boiled down to a lack of focus on the teaching and learning.

Putting together a management team that is capable of delivering both management and learning is the real challenge facing a modern college principal, and it cannot be done by a focus on teaching alone.

In our experience from assisting colleges in difficulty, financial failure always goes hand in hand with academic failure and the reason is that the loss of control of the expenditure necessary to deliver quality teaching and learning leads to a diversion of resources to areas which are not key.

A college delivering and controlling its budget provides a better deal for its students, with better planned and focused resources, which will in itself contribute to the quality of its teaching.

A senior management team which allows its members to have a significant teaching load cannot possibly successfully manage all aspects of running a college, a fact frequently overlooked, particularly in failing organisations.

  • Neil Reed, Senior Associate Director, MCA Coopers.

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