First among equals

May 29, 1998

The Further Education Funding Council, the Local Government Association and the training and enterprise councils have signed an historic pact to cooperate with each other. Traditional competition for market share would be replaced by partnership and joint planning, and perhaps even joint funding arrangements, we were told. But the new spirit of friendship has it seems got off to a shaky start.

The THES had already been invited, weeks in advance of the signing of the deal, for a briefing by the TEC National Council, no doubt keen to push its own agenda to the fore as a late entrant into the negotiations. And last week, the LGA distributed a press release, which was hastily withdrawn. The FEFC was furious that comments from chief executive David Melville appeared lower down on the document than the comments from Graham Lane, the LGA's education chair.

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