Chair of further education regional board for the Highlands and Islands takes up post
20th August 2014
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands' new further education regional board.
The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands. This means that from 1 August 2014 the university is responsible for all education in the region after students leave school.
Dr Michael Foxley is a long-time campaigner for improved further and higher education in the West Highlands and is a former chair of Lochaber College and West Highland College UHI. A retired general practitioner, he is also a former leader of The Highland Council, a board member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Highland and a crofter.
"I am delighted to take up this important role as one of 13 regional chairs across Scotland," said Dr Foxley. “Since being appointed as further education regional lead for the Highlands and Islands, I have been working to ensure the colleges who are partners in the University of the Highlands and Islands start to think and plan regionally. I have been working closely with the university’s vice-principal (further education), Mike Devenney, as well as the college chairs and principals to look at our existing curriculum across the region and identify any gaps in provision.
“During the next year the board will also provide a capital plan for further education, from larger works to significant maintenance, which will bid for funding from the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council. I will be making a strong case for an increase in funding for further education in the Highlands and Islands.”
Dr Foxley will join the other 12 regional board chairs to form the new Colleges Scotland Board.
Garry Coutts, chair of the university court explained the importance of the appointment: “The role of the chair of the further education regional board will be vital to ensuring all the colleges which deliver further education in the region, and which form the university partnership, work together to meet the needs of their respective communities as well as those of the wider area.
“Dr Foxley is a fitting candidate for this new post. His wide breadth of experience in further and higher education through his work with West Highland College UHI and his appreciation of the needs of communities in our region will be invaluable to our role as the regional strategic for further and higher education.”
Calum MacPherson, group business development director of Robertson Group and Dr Lisa Massie, a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh Business School, join Dr Foxley as independent members of the board.
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting. In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018. The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.
A Partnership for Procurement event was held in Inverness today (Thursday 6 March) to raise awareness and the capability of the third sector to successfully bid, supply and deliver services for the public sector. Partnership for Procurement (P4P) is a new initiative funded through the Scottish Government's 10 Year Social Enterprise Strategy; supporting social enterprises and third sector organisations to better access public contracts and build partnerships.
Across the Northern Alliance local authorities an exciting project has been rolled out to raise attainment in literacy, language and communication. The programme is being delivered in around 50% of primary schools across the Northern Alliance and is aimed at supporting practitioners to take a developmental approach to supporting early literacy development.
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