Brighton protest as City College faces cuts

Campaigners fighting to save jobs and courses at a college that is making savings of £1.5m have staged a protest.

City College in Brighton has been told to bring in a recovery plan by its bank and the Skills Funding Agency.

Principal of the further education college Lynn Thackway said she understood people wanted to protest but said all colleges were facing cuts.

Unison representative Matt Webb said campaigners opposed the savings and how the situation had been managed.

He said staff and unions opposed cuts to support for vulnerable students, cuts to courses for adults with learning disabilities, cuts to teaching time for each course and job losses at a time when spending was being planned on modernising the college building.

He said 220 staff believed their roles to be at risk.

'Painful process'

Mr Webb also claimed there had been errors in the consultation process which led to confusion and upset among staff.

Ms Thackway, who is also chief executive of the college, said the college was going through a staff restructure which was "a painful process for everyone involved".

She said the college leadership team was going through a rigorous and detailed consultation process with staff and unions in order to minimise the overall number of job losses.

Building development plans had no connection with the need to reduce staffing costs, because they involved separate budgets, she said.

She added that the ageing college cost more each year to maintain and providing a modern environment was "imperative".

Ms Thackway also said supporting all learners, including the most vulnerable, remained at the heart of the college's work.

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