I joined with my college Jayne Baxter in asking for clarity from the Scottish Government on the future of colleges within the Kingdom as we called for a delay on the SNP’s Post-16 education bill.
The bill, which seeks to address issues of college and university governance, widening access, data sharing and a tuition fees cap, has come under criticism from witnesses during committee evidence sessions. Labour, along with other opposition parties, are asking the Cabinet Secretary for Education to withdraw the bill and address the concerns raised.
There is growing criticism that the bill is not fit for purpose. Particular concerns have been raised over the college regionalisation aspect of the bill which is seeing Carnegie College and Adam Smith College merge.
The merger of Adam Smith and Carnegie Colleges has been driven by cuts to the sector from the SNP Government rather than by what is best for staff and students in the Kingdom. Throughout this whole process we have had very little reassurances over future course availability and student numbers.
Today Jayne Baxter MSP and I have written to Tony Jakimciw, the regional lead for Fife college mergers, to ask for a meeting to raise our concerns over the future of Fife colleges.
The criticism of the education bill comes on the back of motion of no confidence passed on Education Secretary Mike Russell by EIS earlier this month.