01 November 1997

FLAMBOYANT, CHAMPAGNE-QUAFFING chief executive of the publicly funded Association of Colleges, Roger Ward, told a Commons education sub-committee that neither he nor any member of his organisation had passed on names and addresses of principals, clerks, and chairs of governing boards to a healthcare insurer, Burke Ford Reed. He also denied receiving a ‘consultancy fee’ of £650 a month from the insurer, claiming that the monies were a rebate owed to him by a company taken-over by BFR. This and another similar allegation are currently under investigation by an independent firm of solicitors acting for the Association of Colleges board. However, grilled by the Liberal Democrat education spokesman, Don Foster, Ward admitted that AOC databases had been released outside the organisation or, as he put it, shared 'with a number of people who shared the interests of the further education sector'. Ward has attracted considerable publicity in recent times for his apparent attempts to impose ‘casualisation’ on college lecturers by favouring agency-supplied staff. He said he welcomed the enquiry which would receive his 'fullest co-operation'