Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Shetland College (Proposed Privatisation)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rhoda Grant Rhoda Grant Labour

4. To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had regarding the proposed privatisation of the new merged college on Shetland. (S5O-04263)

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is in regular contact with the Scottish Funding Council on the issue, but we have not yet received any formal business case for a merger. We expect that it will be submitted in due course, at which point it will undergo full scrutiny.

Photo of Rhoda Grant Rhoda Grant Labour

Concerns have been expressed to me about the level of consultation with staff, students and the wider public. Concerns were also expressed around access to public funds for further and higher education and the impact of privatisation on staff’s terms and conditions. In order to allay those fears, can the minister advise me what protections would be available in the event of privatisation, and say whether privatisation will be blocked, should it carry such risks?

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

The proposal has been developed locally and we await a final business case to be signed off by the Scottish Funding Council, which the Scottish Government would consult on before any legislation was put in place to make the merger officially happen.

With regard to the funding, a financial memorandum would have to be put together and signed for the new merger, should it proceed. The memorandum would also be signed off by the Scottish Funding Council. Processes are in place to make sure that such matters are in order. If Rhoda Grant has specific concerns, she should write to me and I will have them looked at.