Review may lead to more mergers

6th June 1997 at 01:00
Government plans for a wide-ranging review of how further education is organised could lead to a new push for mergers.

Colleges should cut wasteful competition and pool resources to save minority courses from extinction, Baroness Blackstone, the education and employment minister in the Lords, told the APC.

And she said there would be talks with colleges and funding chiefs soon on "whether we have got the right balance between a market and a planned approach to the number and distribution of colleges in the FE sector".

"Should we - in Barbara Castle's very helpful phrase - at least be applying more of a 'touch on the tiller' to encourage sensible organisational changes which promise more effective and efficient provision."

Her call to collaborate chimed with pleas from college leaders who recently argued that the rigid market model forced often unwelcome and wasteful competition, often undermining plans to merge or amalgamate. As a result expensive courses such as engineering and construction were in decline.

Lady Blackstone recognised that it would not solve the wider financial problems of colleges and promised the wider issues would be looked at in consultation with management and staff associations.

"Such collaboration is not a universal panacea, but it could certainly be useful in some circumstances," Lady Blackstone added. She also called for colleges to review their methods of disseminating good practices. "It could be helpful to the development of such collaboration, which would increase the cost-effectiveness of such collaboration."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now