I was surprised and disappointed at the view expressed last week by the Educational Institute of Scotland that governance in colleges is "inadequate".
The Scottish Executive Review of Scotland's Colleges, launched in June 2005 and due to report soon, includes a thorough review of governance and accountability. Trade unions, including the EIS, have been involved at every stage of this review. Those tasked with examining governance decided to appoint independent consultants DTZ to benchmark standards of governance against the Good Governance Standard for Public Services, published in January 2005.
This report finds that, in general, standards of governance and accountability are good, with practice ranging from "average" to "very good" and indeed "exemplary'" in some cases. We await the results from examinations of other parts of the public sector to see how they measure up against the high standards in colleges.
The Association of Scotland's Colleges regularly meets with the Scottish Trades Union Congress. These meetings would be a more appropriate venue for the EIS to raise its views on college governance than debate in the pages of national newspapers.
Ian A Macpherson chairman, Association of Scotland's Colleges