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New College Chairs

Published: 22 Jan 2016 17:00
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The Education Secretary today announced the appointment of Chairs to the Glasgow Colleges' Regional Board and the Board of Management of West Lothian College.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance confirmed that Margaret Cook would take up the Glasgow post and Alex Linkston would lead the team at West Lothian College.

Ms Constance said

"I am delighted to announce the appointment today of both Margaret Cook and Alex Linkston. Both candidates bring with them a wealth of expertise which I am confident will prove invaluable in their new roles. They are both excellent candidates, who bring relevant experience of the college sector and strong leadership and interpersonal skills. Colleges are key to our ambitions to create a skilled productive workforce to drive our economy with exciting developments across the sector. I look forward to the positive impact Alex and Margaret will have locally in Glasgow and West Lothian and nationally across the wider college network."

West Lothian College is based in Livingston. Serving around 8000 learners and employing more than 300 staff, the college is one of the area's largest employers. Its successful collaborations with employers and other partners support the delivery of academic and vocational qualifications across a wide range of sectors.

Glasgow Colleges' Regional Board is the strategic body in the city responsible funding and planning college provision and for making appointments to the city's three college boards.

Margaret Cook is a Human Resource specialist with extensive experience in the higher education sector, having spent the last 20 years as HR Director at Bell College, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University. She now runs her own Human Resource and Organisation Development Consultancy, successfully catering for both public and private sector clients.

Margaret served on the Board of Cumbernauld College for 8 years, as Chair of the Resources and General Purposes Committee and Vice Chair of the Board. She then served on the Merger Steering Committee which oversaw the merger of three colleges to create New College Lanarkshire and is currently a member of the Lanarkshire Board where she is Chair of Resources and General Purposes Committee. She is a member of the Board for the First Scottish Universities Credit Union.

Alex is currently the interim Chair at Glasgow Clyde College and a board member of West Lothian College. He was previously the Chief Executive of West Lothian Council where he worked for over 20 years. He holds a number of other appointments including Chair of Youth Link.

Both of these appointments will be for up to 4 years.

Margaret's appointment will run from 1 February 2016 to 31 January 2020. This is a part-time role and attracts a remuneration of £330 per day (up to a maximum of £34,320 per annum) for a time commitment of up to 2 days per week.

Alex's appointment will run from 27 June 2016 to 26 June 2020. This later start date will allow Alex to continue to focus his attention on Glasgow Clyde College, where he is currently interim Chair of the Board. The West Lothian post is a part-time role and attracts a remuneration of £200 per day (up to a maximum of £20,800 per annum) for a time commitment of up to 2 days per week.

Margaret does not hold any other public appointment.

Alex is currently the Chair of Forth Valley Health Board and receives a remuneration of £29,640 for a time commitment of 3 days per week.

These appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. Neither Margaret, nor Alex have undertaken any political activity in the last five years.