Cuts threaten long-standing language courses

7th May 2010 at 01:00
Funding cuts may finally force a south London college to close GCSE and A-level language courses that it had kept afloat for a decade against the odds

Greenwich Community College is due to publish a paper on Monday about the future of its GCSE and A-level courses in modern foreign languages.

The college faces a pound;750,000 cut to its adult education budget. And, as a significant proportion of the GCSE and A-level language students are adults, the loss of funding leaves the courses unviable, the college has said.

Alec Brand, head of marketing at the college, said: "The frustration for us is that we have kept these courses running all these years while other colleges cut their GCSE and A-level language provision.

"But we are now in the stranglehold of funding cuts. We put out a consultation paper which had a deadline that closed last week. The college is looking at the responses and we will put out a final paper on Monday."

Mr Brand said that should the college press ahead with the closure of the language courses, students would be helped to find alternative provision. The college will continue to run language evening classes.

Student Connor Byrne, who is studying AS-level French and Spanish, presented a petition against the planned closure to Greenwich Community College principal Geoff Pine last week.

Mr Byrne said: "This college is my last chance. If it closes I will be unable to complete my A-levels."

The cuts were outlined in a document entitled "Securing our Future" which was circulated by Mr Pine on March 1.

The college is also proposing to remove 91 posts, 11 of which are currently vacant, from across curriculum and support departments.

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