Funding cuts force John Leggott College principal's 'bold decisions'
Bold decisions have been made to keep John Leggott College in Scunthorpe moving forward in the future, according to its principal.
Some National Union of Teachers (NUT) members at the college were due to observe the third of three days of strike action today (Thursday).
The action came in response to compulsory redundancies, increased working hours and the appointment of non-teachers to carry out pastoral duties with students.
But college principal David Vasse insisted teachers were only being asked to work hours equivalent to the average sixth form college teacher and stressed only teachers would be recruited for teaching posts.
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And Mr Vasse said he was determined to ensure the college remained a centre of excellence, despite funding cuts equating to 17 per cent over the next three years. He said: "The impact of Government funding cuts will mean millions of pounds of funding will be lost to North Lincolnshire over time, of which John Leggott College is one provider.
"If I am truly going to support the staff who work here to ensure they are able to work in a place that is alive and creative, then I need to make some bold decisions about what students really need and how best we can look after our students.
"I know this college can come out of the next three years of funding cuts with its head held high."
Mr Vasse said a number of investments were being made at the college, including a £4 million campus development.
A new catering contract will see a major coffee retailer open a franchise at the college, while investment is also being made in new technology and IT facilities.
Mr Vasse said: "The model of the college is changing, the benefits of being here as a student are increasing and the benefits of being here as a member of staff are a matter of real importance.
"We are not cutting back on the performance-related element of teachers' pay.
"We are only making reductions in staff where there is overstaffing in specific departments and we are asking staff to step up and teach what is the average for all 88 sixth form colleges across the country.
"What we have done has enabled us to not increase class sizes, protect the number of hours that students are taught on their courses, protect our enrichment programme, protect all the activities we do to help students prepare for university and protect our curriculum offer."
Other changes include establishing a team of community mentors, who will provide study support for students at the college, as well as helping with any social or personal problems. The college is also set to launch a variety of new courses in September, such as a B-TEC course in public services.
Mr Vasse said: "We want Scunthorpe to be a place to live that meets the aspirations of young people who leave John Leggott College, go off to university and come back."
Nick Raine, regional officer for the National Union of Teachers, said talks were continuing between the union and the college.
He said: "We have made progress on the compulsory redundancies and we are looking to make progress on the other issues that are of interest to our members and students."