New college governance disregards democratic decision-making

5th May 1995 at 01:00
Ken Ruddiman's article epitomises the attitude of senior managers in the further education sector to the new contract. It is one thing to embrace change when it is accompanied by a substantial increase in salary, which is the case with most senior managers, but for those of us who have declined to accept the doubtful privilege of a Colleges' Employers' Forum contract and a one-off payment, which, as a colleague pointed out "would not pay for a set of tyres for your car", change is less attractive.

Mr Ruddiman seems reluctant to recognise the fact that under the new arrangement for college governance there is a built-in majority of representation from industry. This is such a blatant disregard of democratic decision-making that it is hardly surprising that main grade lecturers feel disillusioned. Even where there are non-industrial representatives on the board they are often unwilling to rock the boat -an unfortunate parallel with many bodies in the public sector under the present Tory Government.

The lack of willingness by many college principals to move away from the CEF stance on contracts is frustrating to Silver Book staff, especially when some colleges are able to offer an acceptable compromise.

A good example in the north-west region is that of Stockport College, which has offered a very reasonable contract to teaching staff that manages to embrace change and the need for flexibility with a recognition that we are human beings rather than teaching (and administration) machines.

Yes, we do need to form a partnership to move forward, but only when college principals are prepared to start on a level playing field.


583 Crewe Road


Crewe, Cheshire

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