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Taking action in higher education

Staff governors can help colleges guarantee quality, says UCU

27 November 2006 | last updated: 15 December 2015

UCU believes staff governors in further education colleges can play a positive role in helping to maintain high quality courses.

This message will be heard today by Phil Hope, parliamentary under secretary of state for adult skills, when he appears at a conference on the role of staff governors, organised by UCU, Unison, the Association of Colleges and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership.

The conference will look at some recent changes in further education affecting governors. Governors have new responsibilities connected with the focus of the college, quality assurance and ensuring that learners' views are heard.

UCU national FE official Dan Taubman said: 'Staff governors can play a vital role in helping to maintain high standards in colleges. UCU is keen for staff to take up every opportunity for professional development, but too many colleges fail to provide cover or release staff so they can keep their skills up to date. Governors must press for this to be standard practice.

'Motivating and recruiting the right staff and maintaining the college's reputation are also important. But 106 colleges have still not implemented the national agreement to shorten pay scales - and move staff towards pay parity with school teachers. Governors must get this moving.

'Governors should also publicly condemn false claims by some employers and their organisations that standards are low in FE. Staff expect staff governors to fight their corner and bring attention to the many achievements in colleges.'