First round of job losses sees up to 110 posts go

5th March 2010 at 00:00
One of the first colleges to announce redundancies following the adult education cuts has been forced to make what unions and management agree are its largest number of job losses ever.

Barnet College believes it will have to lose 50 of its 400 lecturers and up to 60 staff from either business support or senior management because of its 10 per cent cut. That is the minimum funding reduction, while more than 40 colleges face losing a quarter of their budget.

Barnet's 12 per cent cut in teaching jobs raises the possibility that the total number of lecturers lost may exceed the Association of Colleges' estimate of 7,000 redundancies nationally, which is just 5 per cent of teaching staff in FE. But the large amount of English for speakers of other languages taught at Barnet may make its figures disproportionate.

Unison said the cuts at Barnet were "unprecedented" and the worst the college had ever seen.

Principal Marilyn Hawkins agreed. "It's a severe loss," she said. "No FE college would want to be getting smaller during a recession."

She said she was obliged to balance the books but was lobbying against the cuts that made redundancies inevitable.

It has also emerged that some of the largest cuts have been suffered by early adopters of the Government's new bite-size qualifications.

Walsall College was offering awards as staging posts towards diplomas under the new Qualifications and Credit Framework. But the funding priorities mean only the full qualification is funded.

Amarjit Basi, principal of the college, which is in one of the areas hardest hit by unemployment, said his college had suffered a 25 per cent cut, or pound;1.4 million, which meant losing vocational courses for more than 1,500 students.

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