UPDATE: Up to 21 jobs at risk at Weymouth College as 'restructuring' announced

EXCLUSIVE: 21 jobs at risk at Weymouth College

Weymouth College's Principal Liz Myles

First published in News
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WEYMOUTH College looks set to axe up to 21 full-time posts, the Echo can reveal.

The warning of further cuts comes as the college launches a period of consultation with staff over a proposal to 'restructure' some areas.

Potential redundancies will affect jobs at 'all levels' of the organisation, the college said.

The move is in response to cuts in government funding and the college said it had a duty to ensure that it 'acts responsibly, delivers an outstanding service and balances its budget.'

The announcement comes after a damning review by the Further Education Commissioner which said the college's financial health was 'inadequate'.

The report, which identified 'significant weaknesses' in the college's financial position, stated: “The board and senior leadership team lack the financial expertise necessary to run a college of this size and need additional support to return the college to a position of financial strength.”

This is the latest round of redundancies to hit the college.

Staff numbers at the Cranford Avenue site have been cut several times in recent years from 650 employed staff in 2010. It now employs more than 500 staff.

Cutbacks include changes made to the senior management team in 2011 and more recently, more than a dozen posts were lost in a cost-cutting move last November.

Principal, Liz Myles said: “Against the backdrop of funding cuts, the college has always tried to focus on providing students with the best possible experience. This has resulted in excellent partnerships with employers and outstanding results for students. However, the college must work within its funding constraints and it is regrettable that posts have to be lost.”

She added: “While this process is difficult and upsetting for the staff affected, the college anticipates that a significant number of staff who are currently at risk of redundancy will be redeployed to other student facing roles and that any compulsory redundancies will be kept to a minimum. As always, the college is committed to protecting student-facing jobs.”

The Dorset branch of Unison claims the 21 full time equivalent posts at risk translates to 30 individual jobs and it believes 66 posts are being reviewed as part of the consultation.

A spokesman for Unison said: “The college has already issued a notification to the union saying there would be some redundancies, but the scale of these redundancies seems to be a reaction to the FEC report.

“Unison is involved in the consultation and we are trying to mitigate the redundancies proposed. It's a shame the finances have gotten so bad, and we would like to know how this has happened.”

Weymouth College is currently seeking to appoint a £70,000-a-year Vice Principal of Finance and Business Planning responsible for 'the strategic leadership, management and development of a robust college financial strategy.'

Comments (12)

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2:50pm Fri 18 Jul 14

not too distant says...

The principle repeatedly ignored the sage advice of many long-term staff throughout her time in charge. Money has been squandered, A-level courses were intentionally not funded or advertised until eventually abandoned altogether. Senior and highly experienced lecturers (many who tought me) have been pushed into early retirement or made redundant. There is a litany of complaints in respect of her ability to properly run an education institute, and in a private sector business she would have most definitely been for the chopping block. Such a sad waste of what was a top college... Send your children elsewhere.....
The principle repeatedly ignored the sage advice of many long-term staff throughout her time in charge. Money has been squandered, A-level courses were intentionally not funded or advertised until eventually abandoned altogether. Senior and highly experienced lecturers (many who tought me) have been pushed into early retirement or made redundant. There is a litany of complaints in respect of her ability to properly run an education institute, and in a private sector business she would have most definitely been for the chopping block. Such a sad waste of what was a top college... Send your children elsewhere..... not too distant
  • Score: 17

3:24pm Fri 18 Jul 14

CoogarUK.com says...

Seems nothing much has changed there since I was 'restructured out' just over ten years ago.
Seems nothing much has changed there since I was 'restructured out' just over ten years ago. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 7

4:08pm Fri 18 Jul 14

NotSurprised? says...

What's the hidden agenda? Have the outsiders been tasked with running the college into the ground? Well they're doing a great job!
In November 2013 the College employed 492 staff of which 14 'student facing roles' were made redundant, 6 months on the College now employs over 500 staff of which 21 'student facing roles' are being made redundant......no wonder finances haven't improved, none of them can do the maths!
What's the hidden agenda? Have the outsiders been tasked with running the college into the ground? Well they're doing a great job! In November 2013 the College employed 492 staff of which 14 'student facing roles' were made redundant, 6 months on the College now employs over 500 staff of which 21 'student facing roles' are being made redundant......no wonder finances haven't improved, none of them can do the maths! NotSurprised?
  • Score: 5

6:27pm Fri 18 Jul 14

weymouthfox says...

Are Ms Myles and Mr Jones among the staff to be made redundant? If not, why not? They were brought in to sort out the finances and have clearly failed. As Principal and Vice Principal, they should be sacked at once.
Are Ms Myles and Mr Jones among the staff to be made redundant? If not, why not? They were brought in to sort out the finances and have clearly failed. As Principal and Vice Principal, they should be sacked at once. weymouthfox
  • Score: 20

7:31pm Fri 18 Jul 14

La Vigneron says...

As an ex lecturer at the college there are several problems involved here. One is the amount of money being spent to 'solve' the problem. £70,000 would cover a first class problem solver but, they are very unlikely to get one as no one I am aware of is worth anywhere near that sort of money.
Secondly, while the college continues to give jobs to people who are not qualified either to teach nor have any meaningful qualification in the subject they are supposed to teach the whole enterprise is doomed to 'go to rats!'
It took about six years to get rid of a 'senior lecturer' who had lied at his interview, was woefully inadaquate and gave students totally wrong information.
I had a teaching qualification, had many years experience in my subject and was 'asked' to leave if favour of a lecturer who had no qualifications of any kind, had attempted to take a class in a City and Guilds course and failed miserably but was a friend of one of the Senior lecturers.
While so called 'managers' allow this sort of behaviour, the college is going to continue to fail. A great pity as, when it was the Dorset Institute of Higher Education is was a respected enterprise.
As an ex lecturer at the college there are several problems involved here. One is the amount of money being spent to 'solve' the problem. £70,000 would cover a first class problem solver but, they are very unlikely to get one as no one I am aware of is worth anywhere near that sort of money. Secondly, while the college continues to give jobs to people who are not qualified either to teach nor have any meaningful qualification in the subject they are supposed to teach the whole enterprise is doomed to 'go to rats!' It took about six years to get rid of a 'senior lecturer' who had lied at his interview, was woefully inadaquate and gave students totally wrong information. I had a teaching qualification, had many years experience in my subject and was 'asked' to leave if favour of a lecturer who had no qualifications of any kind, had attempted to take a class in a City and Guilds course and failed miserably but was a friend of one of the Senior lecturers. While so called 'managers' allow this sort of behaviour, the college is going to continue to fail. A great pity as, when it was the Dorset Institute of Higher Education is was a respected enterprise. La Vigneron
  • Score: 12

7:06pm Sat 19 Jul 14

portlandboy says...

Oh wonderful.
My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship.
GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level.
Oh wonderful. My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship. GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level. portlandboy
  • Score: 5

7:55pm Sat 19 Jul 14

La Vigneron says...

portlandboy wrote:
Oh wonderful.
My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship.
GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level.
I wish your son the very best of luck.
Demand, from the college Principal, to be informed of the lecturers and tutors he will encounter on his chosen course and their qualifications to carry out these duties. Any reticence on the part of the college to give this information might well 'flag up' a red signal.
[quote][p][bold]portlandboy[/bold] wrote: Oh wonderful. My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship. GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level.[/p][/quote]I wish your son the very best of luck. Demand, from the college Principal, to be informed of the lecturers and tutors he will encounter on his chosen course and their qualifications to carry out these duties. Any reticence on the part of the college to give this information might well 'flag up' a red signal. La Vigneron
  • Score: 3

4:59am Mon 21 Jul 14

OhHolyPretender says...

portlandboy wrote:
Oh wonderful.
My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship.
GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level.
Ah the traditionalist approach. We aren't making enough money so instead of fixing the actual problem, we'll fire people.

We will then find this hasn't fixed the problem, we don't have enough folks to operate correctly and then hire back more people as a quick fix, thus completing the circle.

I mean for god sakes, they were having money issues while I was at college there, I come back 6 years later and they've completely redone the lobby area, reception of one of the buildings etc etc. Oh we have money problems, lets spend a bunch of money on cosmetics because that always helps. Why spend money on lecturers who can teach worth a ****, because people sure don't go to college to learn now do they.
[quote][p][bold]portlandboy[/bold] wrote: Oh wonderful. My son has just experienced 5 of the worst school years imaginable under the Gove regime, studying for exams that he was never likely to take, having the curriculum changed whenever the wind changed and any teacher with a good reputation jumping ship. GCSE exams battled through, he and we thought his next step on the education ladder would be an upward one...but he's got a place at Weymouth College. Too late to change now and we're probably looking at another 2 years of education under the same cloud, this time caused by inadequate management at a local level.[/p][/quote]Ah the traditionalist approach. We aren't making enough money so instead of fixing the actual problem, we'll fire people. We will then find this hasn't fixed the problem, we don't have enough folks to operate correctly and then hire back more people as a quick fix, thus completing the circle. I mean for god sakes, they were having money issues while I was at college there, I come back 6 years later and they've completely redone the lobby area, reception of one of the buildings etc etc. Oh we have money problems, lets spend a bunch of money on cosmetics because that always helps. Why spend money on lecturers who can teach worth a ****, because people sure don't go to college to learn now do they. OhHolyPretender
  • Score: 1

4:35pm Mon 21 Jul 14

MarkSwan says...

Twenty One redundancies this month and then next month there will doubtless be many more. The Principle and her protected cronies, who have singularly failed everyone except themselves (including students) will not face losing their livelihoods at any time soon, nor will they face any tribunal or scrutiny for their continued mismanagement of the institution, even though they are the ones that continue to risk not only the employ and well-being of every member of staff, but also our children as well.
Twenty One redundancies this month and then next month there will doubtless be many more. The Principle and her protected cronies, who have singularly failed everyone except themselves (including students) will not face losing their livelihoods at any time soon, nor will they face any tribunal or scrutiny for their continued mismanagement of the institution, even though they are the ones that continue to risk not only the employ and well-being of every member of staff, but also our children as well. MarkSwan
  • Score: 3

9:47pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Weymouth4 says...

Yes, all FE colleges struggle with continuous funding cuts which is what the Principal uses as her excuse for redundances but there has been much unnecessary spending at Weymouth College which has resulted in many job cuts. Unfortunately, support staff hold no value except when it comes to redundancies. Their salaries are just numbers on a page; there is no respect or value to them as people.

Ultimately, the Principal is responsible for the mis-management of finances and should be held accountable. No doubt when her day comes that she walks out of the college for the final time she will walk away with an enhanced pay-out; little comfort to those struggling to pay their mortgages because of her inadequacies.
Yes, all FE colleges struggle with continuous funding cuts which is what the Principal uses as her excuse for redundances but there has been much unnecessary spending at Weymouth College which has resulted in many job cuts. Unfortunately, support staff hold no value except when it comes to redundancies. Their salaries are just numbers on a page; there is no respect or value to them as people. Ultimately, the Principal is responsible for the mis-management of finances and should be held accountable. No doubt when her day comes that she walks out of the college for the final time she will walk away with an enhanced pay-out; little comfort to those struggling to pay their mortgages because of her inadequacies. Weymouth4
  • Score: 3

10:11am Mon 4 Aug 14

elloello1980 says...

Very unfortunate for those it concerns, but the college needs some smarter people at the top if it's to survive at all.

Unfair on our children to stuck with such a joke of a place!
Very unfortunate for those it concerns, but the college needs some smarter people at the top if it's to survive at all. Unfair on our children to stuck with such a joke of a place! elloello1980
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Tue 5 Aug 14

La Vigneron says...

The consensus of opinion is accurate! The old story, persons promoted to positions above their level of competence, 'management' secure from censure because too much embarrassment would be caused by the whole sorry history of the cosy 'old boys net' being exposed.
The closing paragraph of ' Weymouth4's' comment sums it all up neatly.
Regrettably, as always, the 'guilty' will be protected to save the even more guilty from being exposed.
Quote:
Ultimately, the Principal is responsible for the mis-management of finances and should be held accountable. No doubt when her day comes that she walks out of the college for the final time she will walk away with an enhanced pay-out; little comfort to those struggling to pay their mortgages because of her inadequacies.
The consensus of opinion is accurate! The old story, persons promoted to positions above their level of competence, 'management' secure from censure because too much embarrassment would be caused by the whole sorry history of the cosy 'old boys net' being exposed. The closing paragraph of ' Weymouth4's' comment sums it all up neatly. Regrettably, as always, the 'guilty' will be protected to save the even more guilty from being exposed. Quote: Ultimately, the Principal is responsible for the mis-management of finances and should be held accountable. No doubt when her day comes that she walks out of the college for the final time she will walk away with an enhanced pay-out; little comfort to those struggling to pay their mortgages because of her inadequacies. La Vigneron
  • Score: 0

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