Time to drop the 'macho' style

20th February 2004 at 00:00
I write in response to Mr Sanderson's letter (FE Focus, February 13), regarding the Donaldson report on Nottinghamshire Learning and Skills Council.

My complaint was that Notts LSC acted in an ultra vires capacity and the report upheld three of my four complaints, including one against its chairman. Ultra vires - action deemed to be outside its authority or power - is unjustifiable action.

As LSC chairman, I am sure Mr Sanderson is aware of the extensive long-term financial support the LSC has provided to colleges, both nationally and in Nottingham. The report clearly indicated that South Nottingham college was seeking only short-term support to phase the clawback over six months as well as preparing longer-term plans to align its resources to the new emerging curriculum.

Notts LSC's response was precipitous action outside its legal remit and in contravention of clear principles and procedures.

The two recent critical reports of Notts LSC clearly point to dysfunctional leadership. The new senior management arrangements provide an opportunity for it to concentrate on delivering the Government's learning and skills agenda instead of further indulgences in "macho management" and ultra vires actions.

Ahmed Choonara former principal South Nottingham college

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