The Scottish Office Education and Industry Department this week published the first HM Inspectors' report on standards and quality in Scotland's 43 further education colleges for 1995/96, which says the overall picture is encouraging, but there are still "important weaknesses". Colleges need to boost their quality assurance work, particularly in terms of student achievement and teaching and learning, the report said.
They also need to improve guidance for part-time students and pre-exit guidance. Colleges will now have to produce action plans for quality improvement, addressing any weaknesses with the help of HMI. These approaches will lead eventually to the accreditation or recognition of colleges of high quality.