Policy and Public Affairs

Policy and Public Affairs aims to support colleges in Scotland, advance their interests and represent the views of colleges.

Policy and Public Affairs is the representative voice for Scotland's colleges. It fulfills this role by informing and advising government, the Scottish Parliament and key audiences about the work of colleges, developing sector policy and strategy, and providing information and advice to colleges on a range of issues. Policy and Public Affairs helps develop a sense of collective purpose for colleges by bringing colleges together to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Policy and Public Affairs Strategy

The strategy is focused on three main areas of activity:

  • influence and representation
  • integration of Colleges Scotland; and
  • information and support for members.

These are supported by four key aims:

  • to influence decision makers in Scotland, the UK and Europe to the benefit of the College sector, its students and other customers;
  • to work with partners to improve sector resources
  • to bring colleges together to gather views and formulate policy; and
  • to support college decision makers.

Policy and Public Affairs Groups

The main policy and strategic direction of Policy and Public Affairs is decided by the Board and its membership, assisted by the following forums and groups:

  • the Principals' Convention
  • the Chairs' Congress
  • ad hoc working groups.

The Principals of Scotland's colleges meet on a regular basis to discuss a range of strategic issues. The Principals' Convention invites senior representatives from organisations both within and outwith the sector to discuss initiatives and developments of importance to colleges. The Convention meetings provide Principals with the opportunity to discuss and exchange views on a number of strategic topics. The Convenor of Principals' Convention is John Spencer.

On issues of particular significance, Short Life Working Groups are formed to consider the matter further.

Each of Scotland's colleges is governed by Boards of Management, who are responsible for the college's overall strategic direction, control and financial health. The senior member of the Board of Management is the Chairperson.

The Chairs' Congress meets three times a year to discuss a range of strategic and governance issues. The meetings provide Chairpersons with the opportunity to discuss and exchange views on a numberof topics, particularly those relating to governance and accountability of the college sector. The Chair of the Chairs' Congress is Graham Johnstone - who is also on the Colleges Scotland Board.

For any public relations or media queries, please contact:

Joanne Buchan
Tel: 01786 892012
Email Joanne Buchan