23rd May 1997 at 01:00
The Association of Colleges' demand for a reduction in the number of awarding bodies, rather misses the point (TES, May 9).

The large number of awarding bodies is a problem for colleges, but a major cause of this situation is the large number of qualifications approved in the Schedule 2(a) list. The Department for Education and Employment's decision to approve qualifications from sports governing bodies, health providers and small commercial exam boards, provides a direct incentive to colleges to offer qualifications from these awarding bodies.

The failure of one part of the DFEE to make visible progress in its review of Schedule 2(a), will make it difficult for another part of the DFEE to prevent the proliferation of awarding bodies.

JULIAN GRAVATT Registrar Lewisham College London SE4

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