Education committee will look at colleges

Written by Tom Freeman on 1 February 2017

Today's Education and Skills Committee meeting may have only been a little over eight minutes long but it was interesting nonetheless.

In it MSPs considered how they would take forward the work of last term's committee, who made a number of recommendations for ongoing scrutiny. These include the implementation of provisions for Gaelic language and children in care. 

The two MSPs who remain from the committee's previous incarnation, Conservative Liz Smith and the SNP's Colin Beattie, raised these two areas as specific interests.


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There was also talk of revisiting the regionalisation of colleges, which Beattie said needed further scrutiny.

"We focused on the individual colleges but the regional structure I think we need to have a wee look at, to see how its operating," he said.

Johann Lamont added: “The challenge is there was a sense where people were sceptical about why there was regionalisation in the first place. But if it is there, is it adding anything or is it just an extra layer?”

Daniel Johnston raised the complexities of outcome agreements, but pointed out "it may of course be overtaken by events, given what may or may not happen to Scottish funding council."

The impression is of a committee which will take its post-legislative scrutiny role seriously. Something which Liz Smith applauded. 

"If this parliament has had criticism it’s because sometimes the scrutiny hasn’t been adequate enough, so I think there’s some good things happening there," she said.

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