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Bilborough 1957-2000
Portrait of a College

Appendix V


From: The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke, QC, MP


21st June, 1999

Dear Dr Robinson,

Thank you very much for your recent letters asking me for my help in your writing of the history of Bilborough College. I am afraid that my recollection of these events is getting rather hazy, eight years later, and I do not have the time to look up any papers or do any research on the subject.

I can remember that I had discussions with officials about whether or not to include sixth form colleges in the arrangements. My recollection is that I personally always wanted to include sixth form colleges, and I cannot recall whether there was any hesitation about it. Some officials were very fearful about the likely reaction of the local authorities and it may have been that either the officials or some colleagues in the Government wanted me to tone down the proposal and leave more inside local authority control. I must say that I cannot recall that I ever saw any point in that and there was a great deal to be said for dealing with what were then described as further education colleges and sixth form colleges on a similar footing, as they were essentially addressing the education and training needs of the same age group. I was Secretary of State and obviously it was me who took the decision to include sixth form colleges in the change.

I cannot imagine why the President of the Board of Trade made a statement, if your recollection is correct. It may be that you first saw it reported when he made a reference to it. The policy of setting up the Further Education Funding Council, based on the White Paper to which you refer, was the responsibility of me and my Department of Education and Science.

I hope this is helpful.

Yours sincerely,


Mike Robinson
18th September, 1999

URL: http://bilboroughgrammar.tripod.com/1957-2000/appendix/v.htm