Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Fe News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

FErret: Fe News

Article excerpt

Union rejoices as Dame steps down

Farewell, then, Dame Jackie Fisher, Newcastle College's Iron Lady, who is standing down next year after deciding that "the time was right".

Dame Jackie won admirers and enemies as she built up England's largest college through mergers and the acquisition of private training providers, eventually styling herself chief executive of NCG, or Newcastle College Group. At the same time, she maintained a reputation for quality as well as growth, at least until an inspection this year led to an extraordinary stand-off with Ofsted and the loss of the college's outstanding grade.

The University and College Union (UCU), which first clashed with Dame Jackie when she insisted staff accept a change of contract or face the sack, did not conceal its glee, issuing a press release that "welcomed" her departure.

Rumours that a song from The Wizard of Oz blared out from the UCU's headquarters in Carlow Street are unconfirmed, but the union should take care - if Dame Jackie sees how happy they are, she may change her mind. …

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