The paper has been issued in connection with the consultation requirements set out in the following provisions of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the 2005 Act”) as amended by the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013 (“the 2013 Act”), the relevant provisions of which will be commenced in due course.
The Government is reforming the college sector to better meet the needs of learners and employers in a region through a coherent and sustainable curriculum, with a sharper focus on outcomes; funding based on regional needs; and strong accountability for regional performance. This has involved, among other things, the creation of thirteen college regions.
College mergers which have either taken effect or which are anticipated will result in ten college regions with a single incorporated college. We are consulting now on designating each of these colleges as a regional college.
The Government does not want to force mergers, so, as it stands, there will be three regions with more than one college. We are consulting now on assigning colleges in these regions to a regional strategic body, so that there will be a single body in the region that will plan, receive and distribute funding in multi-college regions.
Given the likely relative size and number of colleges now envisaged in Lanarkshire, we are also consulting on the type of regional strategic body for the Lanarkshire region (and - if the regional strategic body is not to be the Regional Board for Lanarkshire Colleges and, instead, an other regional strategic body - an associated issue about the powers of that other regional strategic body).