Examination of Witnesses (Questions 38
WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER 2001
38. Welcome David Gibson, John Brennan and John
Taylor, again three personalities who are very familiar to most
members of the Committee. It is a pleasure to see you all again
and thank you for coming in. Having seen you sitting behind the
last group of witnesses, you know the rules of the gameif
possible, short answers, short questions, so we get as much as
we can packed into this. I will start with the same sort of question
because I was watching David Gibson's face when I said the history
has been Select Committee Inquiry, recommendations, Government
responds reasonably positively, and steady-as-you-go, an implied,
"Things are going all right, aren't they?" and you winced.
I wonder if I could start with you and say, what is wrong with
the scenario I painted?
(Mr Gibson) I did not realise you had cameras in here,
39. Non-verbal evidence!
(Mr Gibson) You will be photographing us next! Thank
you very much. I was not wincing to say those things had not happened,
I was wincing because I think that we have still got some major
difficulties with the new strategy, with the Learning and Skills
Council. You have asked questions about the relationship between
the national one and the local ones, and that I believe to be
very varied. I think the second important point I would want to
make, and I believe you will have met this when you talked to
colleges in your area, and it is a consistent thing, is core funding.
I believe that is stopping managers managing, they cannot prioritise
to the needs of the college, how they perceive the needs of the
community, the needs of students, and very importantly how they
see the needs in pay and staff development of all the staff in
the colleges. I think that is one of the most difficult problems
that we are facing at the moment.