Scots seek funding timescale changes

April 30, 1999

Scotland's further education colleges are hopeful that their new funding council will introduce a financial timetable based on the academic year.

At present, colleges are funded on work they have done up to two years previously. But the Scottish Office letter of guidance to the new Scottish Further Education Funding Council says that while it gets government funds on the basis of the financial year, from April 1, it will have the power to allocate these to colleges on the basis of the academic year, from August 1. This would mirror the allocations to higher education institutions.

The letter warns that the sector needs rationalising, which could involve advice on mergers. It also underlines widening access, as well as reviewing both college managements and student bursaries. SFEFC is also expected to set up a teaching quality assessment system.

Tom Kelly, chief officer of the Association of Scottish Colleges, said he was encouraged that the funding council wanted it to operate on a partnership basis.

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