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Tough on teachers not colleges;FE Focus;Letter

SO the minister for lifelong learning is getting tough on failing FE colleges?

Despite governance being assessed as inadequate in the 1996 Further Education Funding Council inspection, the Wirral Metropolitan College's board and principal remained until early 1999.

The principal was granted an astonishingly generous early retirement package - not tough on principals. The corporate board was allowed to resign - not tough on corporate boards. Teachers at this college have not had a pay rise for four years - tough on teachers.

They are now told that their college is failing, with a strong suggestion that they are failing. The recent FEFC inspection results, however, indicate that most lessons observed were competent and a significant proportion were very good - 41 per cent were judged as good or outstanding and 15 per cent less than satisfactory.

The "recovery" board has announced that the college will make 170 teachers, their managers and support staff redundant - really tough on teachers.

It is time the lifelong learning minister got tough on the FEFC.

WJ Jenkins 20 Frankby Road, West Kirby, Wirral

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