Scottish Government actions in South Lanarkshire College 2021/2022: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  1. When was the Scottish Government made aware of the situation in SLC that led to the suspensions of the Principal, the Clerk to the Board and the stepping down of the Chair? 
  2. How was the SG made aware and from whom?
  3. What actions did the Scottish Government take to resolve the situation?
  4. The SLC Board recorded the following (Approved Board Minute, SLC Board Meeting 7th June 2021): “Acting Chair’s Verbal Update: Despite adverse Press reports, the Board were assured that both the Scottish Government and the Funding Body were supportive of the various actions being taken by the College.” Can the Scottish Government confirm that they were supportive of the actions taken by the SLC Board in Nov 2021 and throughout 2022?
  5. Given the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is accountable to Scottish Ministers for the use of public funds provided to it under the terms of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 2005, can the Scottish Government confirm they are ‘still’ supportive of a non-executive board of a college conducting an investigation described by the SFC as related to ‘HR matters and complaint handling processes” (Herald 21/06/21), approved and monitored by the SFC's CEO (SLC BOM Minutes Meeting 04/10/22), that is still in train 12 months after the instigation by the funding body, that has reputedly cost the Scottish public in the region of £1M and has resulted in the significant reputational and financial damage to the College and indeed the sector?


  1. The Scottish Government was made aware of the situation that led to the suspensions of the Principal, the Clerk to the Board and the stepping down of the Chair on 22 November 2021.
  2. The Scottish Government was made aware by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), in a briefing to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
  3. The Scottish Government has no locus to intervene in staffing matters at individual colleges.
  4. Yes, the Scottish Government remains assured by the course of action taken by the college board.
  5. Yes, it is important that due process is followed. The investigations must be allowed to conclude in a fair and transparent manner.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top