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Union questions Plymouth principal appointment

Letter calls for restructuring plans to be shelved until it can be confirmed mistakes made at college won't be repeated

The UCU union has called into question the appointment of a college principal

Letter calls for restructuring plans to be shelved until it can be confirmed mistakes made at college won't be repeated

The University and College Union (UCU) has written to the chair of governors at City College Plymouth over the appointment of principal Garry Phillips.

The letter questions the approval process for the appointment of Mr Phillips, who took over this summer, as well as that of financial consultant Martin Smith. It asks fir details about the selection processes, and whether governors are still confident in the decision to appoint them.

This follows a scathing report from the FE commissioner, published last week, on Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, where Mr Phillips was principal prior to his move to Plymouth. The report concludes that “the executive leadership of the college in relation to delivering an appropriate property strategy and securing overall financial sustainability has been poor”. It adds: “Executive leadership has not provided a properly considered and coherent holistic strategic direction for the college”. The college has now been placed in administered status.

Call for halt to college restructuring

In its letter to the chair of governors at CCP, UCU now calls for a halt to a proposed restructure until the plans, including job losses, have been properly scrutinised by governors with experience in finance and property.

UCU regional official Philippa Davey said: “This extraordinary report rubbishes claims from Garry Phillips that he turned round his former college. The governors at City College must take us through the processes that saw him and Martin Smith appointed. The governors must also immediately halt the current restructure plans. We have serious concerns that we could see some of the same costly failures from the London college repeated here.”

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