Not so fast with the quango bonfire

23rd July 2010 at 01:00
Letters - LSN is not a quango!

In his column ("How about a drop of petrol on this bonfire of the quangos", July 9), Stephen Jones called for the addition of a "drop of petrol" to the "bonfire of the quangos", which the Conservatives promised while in opposition.

Much of the article, however, attempted to describe the history and pedigree of the Learning and Skills Network (LSN) and other organisations contributing to improvement work in learning and skills.

While we are delighted to accept there are FE Focus readers who would find this riveting, it contained at least one glaring inaccuracy. LSN is not a "quango".

It separated from government in 2006 and became an independent charity with a mission to improve policy and practice in learning and skills.

We receive no direct government funding and will continue to exist only as long as colleges, training providers and other agencies find what we do sufficiently useful to be prepared to pay for it.

At a time when, rightfully, there is scrutiny on the way every penny is spent, as a charity, the proceeds of our activity are reinvested in education and training.

Stephen wonders whether our activity will benefit students. We can prove that the work we do does exactly that: our shared services initiatives focus more resources on the "front line" while our work to improve the quality of management and leadership will be critical in the challenging times that lie ahead.

John Stone, Chief executive, Learning and Skills Network.

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