College warns of potential redundancies as it fights funding cuts
Lower student numbers, caused by factors including the Government’s withdrawal of the Education Maintenance Allowance, have resulted in large funding cuts for Stoke on Trent College.
The college has begun talks with its workforce about possible redundancies as a result of an anticipated funding cut of £3 million from September.
The cutbacks come at a time when the college has been doing well.
Director of Finance, Colin Briley said: “There are plans in place to enhance facilities at the college in the near to medium term. This follows the successful conclusion of the College’s financial recovery plan implemented in 2010, the strength of which was confirmed in the financial results for the 2010/11 Academic year when the College reported a surplus for the year of £1.98m.
“However, Government funding allocations are made to the College based on enrolled student numbers, and in 2011/2012 impacted by the withdrawal of Education Maintenance Allowance ‘ EMA’ and other factors the College has seen a reduction in the overall number of 16-18 students enrolled. The funding rates for adult learners will also be reduced for some provision next year, resulting in the need to become more efficient in delivery costs.
“These lower student numbers will lead to a significant reduction in funding allocations and income (around £3million) to the College for 2012-13.
“In order to address this reduction in income, cost savings are necessary to balance the revised income expectations.
“As a result, on 7 March 2012, Stoke on Trent College entered into a 90 day consultation period with its workforce with regard to the need to reduce staff numbers by just over 100 full time equivalent posts in response to proposed funding income for the forthcoming Academic year.”
College Principal, Sarah Robinson said: “I know that staff will feel disappointed and frustrated by this position.
“All of our staff have worked incredibly hard over the last two years to address the significant challenges we have faced – and we have made good progress and achieved significant improvements.
“The priority for us remains, to deliver excellence and efficiency in teaching, learning and support services. The improvements we are continuing to make in facilities and learning are aimed at making the College the place of choice for learners and employers in training and skills for the workplace and generate higher student numbers in future years.”