Second Memorandum from the Department
for Education and Skills
REGULATIONS 2001 (S.I. 2001/2799)
1. The Committee requested the submission of a further
memorandum to that of 29 October 2001 on the following points:
"(1) Does the Department
agree that if Parliament had intended that the articles of government
may permit the Principal to delegate his functions, it would have
made express provision to that effect as it did in relation to
delegation of the corporation's functions (Schedule 4, paragraph
5, as amended by paragraph 44 of Schedule 9 to the Learning and
Skills Act 2000)?"
2. The Department can readily understand Parliament's
desire to make specific provision about the content of the instrument
and articles of government in connection with the delegation of
functions as between the corporation conducting the institution
and the Principal and in connection with how those functions are
divided between them, it considers that the situation is different
3. Once the Principal becomes responsible for a range
of functions, his carrying out of those functions becomes a matter
of internal organisation of the college and the Department believes
that one would not expect Parliament to make any specific provisions
about how a Principal should carry out the functions which he
has, either ones which have been delegated to him by the corporation
under provisions made under the powers in paragraph 5 of Schedule
4, or functions which have been assigned to him by virtue of provisions
in the articles made under paragraph 9.
4. In this context the Department considers that
the inclusion of Section 20(2)(b) in the Further and Higher Education
Act 1992 demonstrates that Parliament was aware that the provisions
which must be included in the instruments and articles of government,
and those which may be included, as set out in Schedule 4 to that
Act (as amended) were not designed to cover all possible future
requirements or situations.
5. Accordingly the Department does not agree with
the proposition above.
"(2) In relation to article
3(2) of the Articles of Government (as set out in Schedule 2),explain
why the department considers that it is both necessary and desirable
that the Principal of a further education institution should have
power to delegate."
6. Article 3(2) provides for the Principal to be
the Chief Executive of the further education institution, subject
to the responsibilities of the Corporation, and sets out the Principal's
7. The Department does not consider that a Chief
Executive of a further education institution, providing education
to 4,500 full-time, and more than 26,000 part-time, students,
(as in the case of the Sussex Downs College, where this is the
number of students expected to enrol in the first year of this
new college's life and which is operating from two geographically
different sites), can properly and effectively discharge those
responsibilities to the best advantage of his students and in
a way which offers the best quality education to those students,
without being in a position to delegate his functions. The Chief
Executive's job is to manage and coordinate the overall operation.
He would not necessarily have functional expertise in every area,
such as marketing or human resources.
8. By way of example, the Department refers the Committee
to Article 3(2)(b) which concerns the organisation, direction
and management of the institution and leadership of the staff.
9. The Department is of the view that the effective
management of an educational institution of this size and type
necessitates the involvement of more than one individual in a
managerial position. There must be a proper management structure,
which limits the number of staff who report to one individual.
For such a structure to be put into place and to be effective,
it is, in the Department's view, necessary for the Chief Executive
and Principal to be able to delegate his functions.
10. Article 3(2)(a) gives the Principal responsibility
for making proposals to the Corporation about the educational
character and mission of the institution, and for implementing
the decisions of the Corporation. The Department considers that
it is necessary that the Principal should be able to delegate
his functions in connection with the implementation of the Corporation's
decisions and desirable that the Principal should be able to draw
on the ideas and practical experience of his staff in connection
with the educational mission of the institution by delegating
some of his functions to them.
11. The Department hopes that these examples relating
to Article 3(2) help to demonstrate its views that it is necessary
in some instances and desirable in others, that a Principal should
be able to delegate his functions.
12 November 2001