Anger at cuts in Tower Hamlets

10th July 2009 at 01:00

I am writing to express my anger and concern at the decision of senior management at Tower Hamlets College to make staff redundant and cut teaching hours to students.

The size and scale of the cuts are shocking. There will be around 40 redundancies affecting all departments, at least two from English and humanities, four from maths and science and a shocking 14.1 full-time equivalent posts from English for speakers of other languages.

Local provision will also be affected: funding is being withdrawn from St Paul's Way, Splash, the Chrisp Street Idea Store, the Limehouse Project and the Wapping Women's Centre (among others). These cuts will have a major impact in the area, reducing the amount of available English teaching where it is desperately needed.

Administrators at this college are also affected: many are at risk. This will inevitably have an impact upon student services, advice, enrichment and welfare.

Students will suffer. Staff with vital skills and experience will be lost, and there will be reduced class time, so students will receive less support and guidance. Staff will be even more overworked than they already are, giving them less time to prepare new resources and effective lessons.

Even next year's university applications may be affected: fewer hours are earmarked for the Ucas administrator. I believe the process will now be handled in a less supportive fashion, which may have an impact on students' university applications.

The management and governors of Tower Hamlets College must not forget what this institution is here for. It is a source of education in one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. It gives people a chance to improve their lives and remove barriers that hold them back.

The consultation process for these cuts was only 30 days, ending last Monday. They are being pushed through as faits accomplis.

We ask you to use your position in the community to let the management and governors know that this is unacceptable. They must suspend these proposals immediately and allow the appropriate unions to consult fully and meaningfully about the way forward for the college.

Syed Suleman Ali, Student, Tower Hamlets College, east London.

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