College clash over Shattock report

February 3, 1995

Twenty-two senior managers from Wilmorton College, Derby, have signed a letter to Gillian Shephard, Secretary of State for Education, calling for the urgent implementation of a devastating report on the college's management.

They say they have no confidence in acting principal Tim Parkes and claim the delay is causing the atmosphere at the college to deteriorate.

They are concerned about what they call moves to undermine the report by some of those implicated, including a threat of libel action from some ex-governors.

Warwick University registrar Michael Shattock's report covered irregularities of management and governance at Wilmorton and called for all the governors to be sacked. It led to the resignation of principal Andrew Stromberg.

"Those close to events at Wilmorton know the accuracy with which Mr Shattock described these events," said one manager. The letter represents around three-quarters of senior managers. It was "a public outrage if anyone found it possible to cause the Government not to implement its recommendations," he said.

A spokesman for the DFE said its decision on the report, and another highly critical of St Philip's VI Form College in Birmingham, were due "shortly".

One of the five remaining governors, acting chairwoman Barbara Summers, said she found the managers' lack of confidence in Mr Parkes offensive. "He has worked day and night for the college," she said. "If I was in a position as chair and not merely inquorate chair, I would act very strongly about this."

* Mr Shattock has said he will not cancel talks he agreed to give at Robinson College, Cambridge, about his report despite the lack of Government response. He will speak on the same day as Roger Ward and Further Education Funding Council chief executive Sir William Stubbs.

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