Headlines: February 14th, 2000

The Scottish Parliament’s Audit Committee is to use performance as one of the tools to reverse the financial decline of Scotland’s further education colleges.In the committee’s report Scottish Further Education: Managing Costs, twin past pressures of increasing student numbers and a long-term financial squeeze are blamed for a forecast deficit for last year of more than 22 million pounds.

But also pointed up are variations in management practice and capability across the sector.

The newly formed Scottish Further Education Funding Council (SFEFC) has been charged with acting quickly and decisively to improve management systems and apply best practice to all further education colleges.

It is recommended that the SFEFC pays particular attention to the scope for rationalisation and reduction of duplication between institutions.

Further education is also charged with modernising south of the border, with the announcement that it should be compulsory for all further education lecturers to have a teaching qualification.

The DfEE has launched consultation on introducing raised standards in order to improve pass rates and increase student motivation.