News of ill-health has been exaggerated

25th February 2000 at 00:00
THE REPORT on the weak financial health of a number of colleges in the East Midlands region (FE Focus, February 11) produced a good headline but was wide of the mark in painting a picture of a crisis that does not exist.

In the case of the East Midlands, nearly 80 per cent of colleges have sound finances. Only seven colleges have been assessed as needing some additional financial support over the next three years.

The reference to financial health is part of the ongoing assessment of individual colleges that the Further Education Funding Council undertakes in order to identify potential risks to adequacy and sufficiency. It was a summary of hese assessments which was presented as part of the report to the regional committee.

Where there is any potential risk to adequacy and sufficiency, the council takes a more pro-active role and works with those colleges that are identified as requiring support.

This may, for example, involve a college producing a financial recovery plan or examining options to work collaboratively with a neighbouring college.

There is no crisis in the East Midlands, just a concerted effort to deliver the best quality education for the region.

Kate Anderson

Director of education and institutions

Further Education Funding Council

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