§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what power he has to shorten the period of office of governors of former local authority colleges of further education; what financial consequences he expects from failure by colleges to agree the new contract between the College Employers Forum and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Boswell
My right hon. Friend does not have the power to reduce the period of office of college governors except in exceptional circumstances. Under section 57 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the affairs of any institution within the further education sector have been or are being mismanaged he may, on the recommendation of the Futher Education Funding Council, remove all or any of the members of the governing body and appoint new members in their places. Some £50 million of the Further Education Funding Council's grant will be held back in 1994–95. It will be released when college governing bodies certify that all contracts for new staff from 1 April 1994 provide adequate flexibility for the college's needs. It is for colleges to decide whether adoption of the contract recently agreed by CEF and ATL will allow them to do this.