FEFC staff in good heart

May 21, 1999

Rather than facing the "inevitable abolition" of the Further Education Funding Council in a somewhat down-spirited fashion, our staff are in good heart ("FEFC staff face up to an uncertain future", THES, May 7) We welcome the review of arrangements for the delivery of learning and skills. From the Education and Employment Committee's Sixth Report, to the council's own quinquennial review, published at a point when government is investing huge amounts in FE, we are feeling very positive.

We welcome the move to a more coherent system of funding post-16 provision and are delighted so many key players in that arena support this.

We recognise the need to simplify funding and create a regime that embraces all funding streams outside of universities. This does not imply the "abolition" of the FEFC - it does imply changes to our role, and these are welcome.

Likewise, there are no plans to relocate any new body in Sheffield. The current location of our central support team in Coventry can meet the needs of any expanded role and we see no practical or political reason to relocate.

David Melville Chief executive, Further Education Funding Council, Coventry

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