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Training councils press case

Leaders of the training and enterprise councils are pressing Gillian Shephard for fairer league tables to compare TEC, school and college performance and a commitment to equal funding for all 16-year-olds in education and training, writes Ian Nash.

But they accept that big political issues such as learning credits - vouchers for all 16 to 19-year-olds to spend on education or training - are well down her list.

They were expecting to put their demands to the Education and Employment Secretary yesterday. Mrs Shephard was due to give her first public address since the merger at the TECs' annual conference in Birmingham.

Chris Humphries, policy director of the TEC national council, said: "Learning credits are a very difficult policy area. Pilots proposed in the recent Coopers and Lybrand report are as far as we can go without primary legislation and I don't see that as a major priority in the near future."

Other plans proposed in the 1994 Competitiveness White Paper - including a levelling out of funding between different education and training agents - are expected to go ahead rapidly.

More common criteria for league tables are also needed, he said. "We can't compare a TEC with a school or college."

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