Opposing views of reality

8th April 2005 at 01:00
It was with surprise and disappointment that I read Lord Bhattacharyya's comment on the dismal state of engineering provision at Birmingham Colleges (TES, March 18).

A thorough internal review has yielded no sign of an approach by Warwick Manufacturing Group to assess our capability in this area, so we have had no opportunity to show Lord Bhattacharyya, or his colleagues, around our pound;2 million Integrated Manufacture centre of vocational excellence, or discuss our extensive engineering provision, much of it delivered on company premises.

No chance either, to explain why we were highly commended in last year's AoC Beacon Awards for employer engagement, or why we were cited in the recent Ofsted report on employer responsiveness. The only "disconnection" here is between Lord Bhattacharyya's view of Birmingham FE and the reality experienced by our engineering students and their employers.

Gerry McDonald

Vice Principal, Business Development Directorate

Sutton Coldfield College

West Midlands

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