Principal quits in face of revolt

28th April 2006 at 01:00
A principal at a college in financial crisis has quit after a vote of no confidence by staff.

Liz McIntyre, principal of City of Bath college, has resigned for "personal reasons", according to a statement from the college.

Her decision came just four days after lecturers, who feared job cuts and changes to their working hours, passed a vote of no confidence in her leadership.

Changes to funding, with less money available for adult education, a clawback due to underperformance two years ago, and a budget overrun on a new building left the college needing to make savings.

It aimed to solve its financial problems by making job cuts and requiring the rest of the college's 250 teaching staff to work longer hours, according to lecturers' union Natfhe.

Union members then passed a vote of no confidence, but the college said this reflected the views of only a minority of staff.

Steven Tucker, director of students at Bath, said all staff were being given the chance to contribute to the review of the college's curriculum.

He denied claims that staff had been threatened with the sack if they did not agree to changes in working conditions after the 90-day consultation period.

John Morell, acting principal, said: "Staff and governors at the college regret Liz McIntyre has made this decision to leave."

Mrs McIntyre was credited with bringing the college back into surplus for the first time since 1993 before it, once again, incurred penalties after missing targets.

Nova Gresham, Natfhe's regional support official for the South-west, said events in Bath were mirrored in the rest of the region, where nearly half of colleges have had serious financial difficulties in recent years. She said she expected that the interim principal would not pursue the contract changes and threats of dismissal that prompted a staff revolt.

In a statement issued via the college, Mrs McIntyre said: "The corporation of the City of Bath college has given me every support during the past five years. We have worked together to bring about many positive changes and improvements to the college. I wish the corporation well."

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