Former first minister Henry McLeish has stood down as the chair of a key education body in Scotland’s largest city.
Mr McLeish has said it was a “good time for him to move on” after three years at the helm of Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board (GCRB).
He served as regional lead and then chair of the organisation, which was set up as part of a shake-up of Scotland’s college sector.
The GCRB was established to help deliver high-quality further and higher education in the city’s colleges.
He said: “I have prioritised my energy on Glasgow over recent years and am proud of what has been achieved.
“This is a good time for me to move on and focus on the other pressures.
“My life embraces a great deal of interests including politics, football, writing, lecturing and, of course, chairing the National Mining Museum of Scotland.
“This is an appropriate point to spend more time on these important interests and move on from a position which, although very rewarding, has also been very demanding in terms of time, commitment and travel.”
Education Secretary Angela Constance thanked the former Labour politician for his work, saying: “The Scottish Government is grateful to Mr McLeish for his contribution to Glasgow colleges since taking up his leadership role in 2012.
“He has supported the development of the board and taken it to a position where it is now ready to move to the next stage in delivering for our college reform programme in the city.”
Ms Constance announced that Ali Jarvis, a board member of the Scottish Funding Council and former director of Stonewall in Scotland and the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland, has been appointed as interim chair of the GCRB until a permanent replacement can be made.
“This is a key moment for a new chair to inject a fresh approach, bringing together students, staff and management to progress this shared endeavour,” the Education Secretary said.
“The interests of students remain our absolute focus. Given the board’s important role in delivering for the students of Glasgow and in supporting the Scottish Government’s college reform agenda, we are today appointing Ali Jarvis as interim chair.
“Her wealth of experience, and deep commitment to students, leaves her well-placed for this role.”
Ms Jarvis said: “This is a key point for Glasgow’s colleges in the Government’s reform programme.
“The needs of learners are my top priority and having followed the colleges’ journeys to date through my role on SFC, I know they share that priority and do a great job on delivering it.
“Though it’s a challenging agenda, we mustn’t lose sight of the rewards.
“I look forward to working with colleagues on the GCRB, in the colleges and elsewhere to deliver the best possible outcomes for those studying, working and engaging in other ways in Glasgow’s colleges.”