No hurdle for LSC

July 19, 2002

The article "Post-16 reform hits new hurdle" ( THES , July 12) was so wide of the mark as to require correction.

It claimed that "weak local management" in our 47 local learning and skills councils across England was "threatening government plans to reform the post-16 sector, according to a survey of college heads". Nowhere will you find such an assertion in the Association of Colleges study.

I was therefore extremely surprised to read in the last paragraph of the article that I "welcomed" these findings.

I did welcome the real findings of the AoC report as providing a useful insight into the views of respondents, and I promised that we would address the issues raised.

I also welcomed the many positive comments made by principals about the performance of the Learning and Skills Council. It was particularly heartening that the efforts of our staff in an extremely difficult year of transition were recognised and that there was "overwhelming support" for a single funding body for the post-16 sector.

You and your readers may rest assured that the LSC is committed to fulfiling its challenging remit to raise participation, achievement and skills levels while also implementing the education secretary's programme of reform.

In short, there is neither a threat nor a hurdle.

John Harwood
Chief executive
Learning and Skills Council

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