Rhoda Grant supports EIS members on Shetland over college merger fears

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant is supporting the EIS-FELA members, plus many in the community, who are calling on Shetland Islands Council to ensure that publicly funded education is kept in public hands, to provide long-term quality education and stability for students.
Shetland Isles Council meets tomorrow to decide on the basis for the merger of Shetland colleges.
The EIS is not against the merger in principle of Shetland College, Train Shetland and the North Atlantic Fisheries College Marine Centre.
However the recommendation from those behind the merger is that this new college is a private company limited by guarantee.
The  EIS has told the MSP this would be the first time in Scotland that a college has been transferred from public ownership and control into a private company.
“I believe that education should remain in public hands and support today’s 12noon virtual rally by members and the community,” said Mrs Grant.
“There is real concern and unease in the community that the new merged college will be privatised.
“The new merged college will be funded predominantly from public funds and therefore needs to be subject to democratic public accountability and the scrutiny of Audit Scotland, in line with public sector finance requirements.”