Review of the Regional Strategic Bodies within the Glasgow and Lanarkshire college regions

Closes 20 Sep 2024

Opened 17 Jun 2024


The original intentions of college regionalisation were to reduce duplication of provision, streamline quality learner pathways and ensure closer alignment to regional economies. This was to be fulfilled through establishing and placing duties on a small number of single college regions, each governed through a board of management led by a Ministerially appointed Chair.

In 2014, college regionalisation led to significant reform across the college landscape with the formation of 13 college regions; 10 regions with a single regional college and three multi-college regions. As a result of college regionalisation and subsequent college mergers the total number of colleges reduced from 41 in 2011 to 24 at the time of publication of this consultation.

Each of the 10 regional colleges were given the power and control to receive and be accountable for public funding from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC); to decide how to manage the resources it had at its disposal; as well as to plan and provide education and skills curriculum for the benefit of the learner, regional economy and community.

In the multi-college regions, it was recognised that fulfilling the aims of regionalisation would require individual colleges to work together. To support this, a new statutory body was introduced called a Regional Strategic Body (RSB). Each RSB is governed by a Board led by a Ministerially appointed and remunerated Chair and is responsible for securing coherent provision of fundable further and higher education in its region.

Measures to introduce RSBs, establish and place new duties on regional colleges in the single college regions, improve how colleges are managed, and increase their accountability and effectiveness, were put in place by the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act 2013.

While regional colleges have a direct funding and accountability relationship with the SFC bound by a financial memorandum, this is not the case for colleges in multi-college regions. In this case the RSBs have the funding and accountability relationship with the SFC and are bound by a financial memorandum which sets out the relationships, expectations and accountabilities between SFC and the institutions it funds. A regional outcome agreement sets out what the region will deliver in return for the SFC core funding, and the RSB is accountable for that delivery.

In the multi-college regions, colleges which are assigned to the RSB (known as assigned colleges) are funded by the RSB and in turn are bound by a financial memorandum between the RSB and themselves which sets conditions on the funding. The RSB decides how its funding should be allocated among its assigned colleges and monitors the assigned colleges’ financial performance and progress towards delivery of activity targets.

Assigned colleges are governed through their own board of management, the Chair of which is appointed by the RSB.

There are three multi-college regions: Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Highlands and Islands.

This consultation is focussed on the Glasgow and Lanarkshire college regions.

Read the consultation paper

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A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).


Why your views matter

We would like to hear your views on whether you agree with this decision or not, as well as your views on what arrangements should be put in place to ensure coherent provision of education and skills for the regions in the future. 

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