SUGGESTIONS that De La Salle College of Higher Education, Hopwood Hall, Manchester is closing shortly are entirely erroneous, according to a statement issued by the College's governors on /Tuesday.
The governors levelled strong criticism at Sir Keith Joseph, the Education Secretary, for his recent decision to withdraw teacher training places at the college and said that De La Salle would be in existence for the next four years at least.
The Governors, headed by Bishop Thomas Holland of Salford, said that Sir Keith had "undermined the longstanding principle that a guaranteed proportion of teacher training places should go to Catholic colleges". This historic share has now been reduced from the agreed 9.3 per cent to a new level of 8.5 per cent, without consultation with the Catholic hierarchy.
The whole Catholic hierarchy, according to the governors, Is shocked that Slr Keith's latest review did nothing to change his earlier decision, especially since they had been "persuaded that his promise of a review might have resulted in the restoration of some teacher training".
In the light of Sir Keith's statement that he supports the dual system, the governors are particularly disappointed that teacher training at De La Salle should now cease. Their disappointment would be shared by the quarter of a million people who signed the recent petition to save the college.
The governors are proud of the fact that Sir Keith has admitted the excellence of the work done in the college and the role it plays in the national context of Catholic teacher training. But in the light of Sir Keith's decision, they felt it needed to be pointed out that the College will continue to operate for at least another four years, that the recruitment to its courses is healthy and that it has lost none of its popularity with sixth formers.