Three cheers for clear legislation

17th November 1995 at 00:00
May I endorse John Graystone's clarion call for the law relating to college governors' liability to be clarified (TES, November 3)? This important issue was raised in The TES over 12 months ago, on September 2, 1994. However, Heaven preserve us from yet more pious "guidelines" from the Department for Education and Employment or the Welsh Office or the Further Education Funding Council or whoever next decides to take a deep breath, pick up a pen and demonstrate, under an official crest or within a glossy cover, the infinite capacity of the English language (I pass no comment on the Welsh) to obscure and dissemble.

Such "guidelines", bearing the stamp of a hollow officialdom, have no legal force and yet can insidiously lull an unwary British public into a false sense of security and their author into a sense of his or her self- importance.

What we need is not more bureaucratic claptrap, but a piece of clearly drafted legislation (a species almost extinct in Westminster's version of Jurassic Park) which defines the extent of governor liability and provides some reasonable protections for those who volunteer their services in the cause of further education. Three cheers, then, for John Graystone, but can we have some clear law? The Further and Higher Education Act is, alas, no model of clarity.

JOHN HALL Head of education law Eversheds 85 Queen Victoria Street London EC4

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