Ward hails forum sweep

July 5, 1996

The Colleges Employers Forum has won a clean sweep in the election of the board of the new unified employers' association, it was revealed this week.

CEF members or activists secured all 12 of the board places against candidates aligned with the Association for Colleges. The national ballot involved some 0 institutions, each with 12 votes.

Roger Ward, CEF chief executive, hailed the result as a major victory for the forum which he said experienced a tense relationship with the AFC.

Mr Ward said: "It is an excellent result for the CEF and now we can all move forward together for the benefit of the sector."

Ironically, given the election result, the plan that both CEF and AFC boards should stand down and re-elect a single board came from the AFC when it started its single voice campaign.

The CEF enjoyed a stronger position prior to the elections - claiming the sole allegiance of 135 of the 300-plus college total compared with 20 who were aligned solely with the AFC - and assumed that market forces would lead to unification under the forum banner.

Despite the election defeat the AFC put a brave face on matters, though it denied it had put forward an official slate of candidates.

Chief executive Ruth Gee said: "Hopefully everyone will now put the past behind them and help to create a new body."

The two organisations were formed following the incorporation of FE colleges in 1992.

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