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Further afield

Weymouth students protest over scrapping of A-levels

Students at Weymouth College have organised protests over the decision to scrap A-level provision from 2012. Despite celebrating a 97 per cent pass rate in AS modules taken in January, the college has decided that this year of students will be the last to take A-levels after a decline in the number of applications. The students' union is opposing the move, arguing that mature students in particular will have no alternative provision, and has planned a protest march next Wednesday (27 April). The college has suggested students could use Budmouth College in future but, despite its name, it is a grant-maintained school that cannot accept over-18s. The college said that competition in the county for A-level places meant class sizes would be too small to be able to offer quality provision.

New NUS vice-president promises louder voice for FE

The next vice-president for FE at the National Union of Students is Toni Pearce, president of Cornwall College Students' Union, after she won nearly 60 per cent of the vote in the first round. Ms Pearce, who had the backing of outgoing FE vice-president Shane Chowen, celebrated the victory the day she turned 21. She served two years as the students' union president in Cornwall and was elected to represent FE on the NUS national executive committee. She promised in her hustings speech to give FE a greater voice within the NUS. She said: "I've seen the HE-centric attitude in action and have been challenging it."

West Notts unveils trimmed development plans

West Nottinghamshire College has unveiled details of its pound;24 million redevelopment plans to replace its proposed pound;96 million "super-college" halted by the capital crisis. The plans for its campus in Mansfield will involve a new 4,000sq m teaching building, a health and beauty salon, spa and restaurant for training, a sports hall, refurbishing existing buildings for more classroom space and recladding a tower block to create a more modern appearance. More ambitious plans, which included a new eight-storey tower featuring a fine dining restaurant with panoramic views of the surrounding area, have had to be put on hold following the withdrawal of public funding.

Niace warns migrants will suffer from Esol cuts

Adult education body Niace called for the Government to rethink plans to reduce English language courses (pictured) after David Cameron said more needed to be done to integrate immigrants to the UK. Chris Taylor, Niace programme manager for English for speakers of other languages (Esol), said up to half of the 183,000 adults learning English faced losing their places under the current proposals, making integration harder. He said: "The reduction in Esol places means fewer chances for a reviving British economy to use the skills of migrants. It means that the children of families with poor English have an extra hurdle to overcome in doing well at school and it will take longer for people to share experiences with others in the ways the prime minister describes."

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