Select Committee on Education and Skills Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 38 - 39)




  38. Welcome David Gibson, John Brennan and John Taylor, again three personalities who are very familiar to most members of the Committee. It is a pleasure to see you all again and thank you for coming in. Having seen you sitting behind the last group of witnesses, you know the rules of the game—if possible, short answers, short questions, so we get as much as we can packed into this. I will start with the same sort of question because I was watching David Gibson's face when I said the history has been Select Committee Inquiry, recommendations, Government responds reasonably positively, and steady-as-you-go, an implied, "Things are going all right, aren't they?" and you winced. I wonder if I could start with you and say, what is wrong with the scenario I painted?
  (Mr Gibson) I did not realise you had cameras in here, Chairman!

Mr Shaw

  39. Non-verbal evidence!
  (Mr Gibson) You will be photographing us next! Thank you very much. I was not wincing to say those things had not happened, I was wincing because I think that we have still got some major difficulties with the new strategy, with the Learning and Skills Council. You have asked questions about the relationship between the national one and the local ones, and that I believe to be very varied. I think the second important point I would want to make, and I believe you will have met this when you talked to colleges in your area, and it is a consistent thing, is core funding. I believe that is stopping managers managing, they cannot prioritise to the needs of the college, how they perceive the needs of the community, the needs of students, and very importantly how they see the needs in pay and staff development of all the staff in the colleges. I think that is one of the most difficult problems that we are facing at the moment.

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