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Weymouth College announced today [6 May 2011] that it is facing funding cuts totalling £1M, 7% of their income budget. Staffing reductions of around 6% are being proposed.
'Every college and every school with a sixth form in the area will be facing funding cuts and will have to make difficult decisions about staffing,' said Principal Sue Moore.
'We are being forced to make tough choices and we know this is hard on staff, but we are doing all we can to minimise the impact on everyone, staff and students.'
'We have already made a very difficult decision regarding the ceasing of AS-levels at the college; vocational curriculum will be our focus in the future and I am pleased to say that we will be looking to expand the breadth of what we offer in the coming years to support the emerging local and regional skills demands whilst maintaining our existing breadth of curriculum.'
The college has begun a 30-day consultation process with staff and teaching unions. Around 6% of positions out of a total of 473 are likely to be lost. We have already made some savings this year that will help to minimise the impact of these further planned savings. We hope that by working with staff and unions we can explore ways to save jobs using job-shares, reducing hours and redeployment of roles.
Most of the losses will be in support roles, not direct teaching posts.
'What we offer to students will stay the same in terms of their courses. Students who need individual support will continue to receive it. We are very proud of the level of support we offer,' Sue Moore explained.
Final decisions about job losses will be made at the end of the consultation period in June.
The job loss announcement comes soon after the college said it would cease to provide A-Levels due to low numbers of student enrolments.
'The board agonised over that decision, but we believe that we could no longer provide the right quality of learning experience for the number of students enrolling and the funding we were able to claim for such a small cohort. Over the last five years the demand for vocational course has soared while applications for AS Levels have dropped,' added Mrs Moore.