College heads call for sacking of AoC board

February 6, 1998

MORE than 150 colleges have rallied behind a call to sack the board of the Association of Colleges over its handling of the Roger Ward debacle. And AoC chairman Jim Scrimshaw said that if the board cannot command the broad support of its member colleges, then it should stand down.

Last month the AoC allowed its chief executive, Roger Ward, to resign with three months' pay, despite his admission that he gave incorrect answers to the House of Commons education select committee and the spectre of unresolved allegations of "impropriety".

Principals were outraged when the board called off an independent investigation into allegations about Mr Ward's links with staff recruitment agency Education Lecturing Services and financial advisers Burke Ford Reed and for allowing Mr Ward a severance payment against its usual policy.

Colin Flint, principal of Solihull College, has written to Mr Scrimshaw calling for an emergency general meeting. He has collected more than 150 signatures - more than enough to force an extraordinary meeting. But he hopes the chair will take action.

"Very few people want rid of the entire board," said Mr Flint. "There is a lot of support for Mr Scrimshaw, but we feel that those who have been involved with Roger Ward from the beginning ought to go."

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