College chief's apology to MPs

Roger Ward, head of the college employers' organisation, was forced to offer a fulsome apology to MPs yesterday after admitting that he misled a Commons committee.

Mr Ward's future as chief executive of the Association of Colleges was already in doubt. The association recently ordered an independent inquiry into allegations in the Times Education Supplement that he handed over a mailing list of colleges to a private health firm from which he received payments.

Last night he told the Commons education sub-committee that he had been wrong when he told its members that there was a register of interests for senior AOC staff and that they would be able to see it.

In fact, although the AOC's predecessor organisation, the Colleges Employers' Forum, had a code of conduct for its board members the AOC did not move to set up its own code until last month.

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