Two-month wait over Sussex Coast College jobs

27/4/11- Sussex Coast College, Hastings
27/4/11- Sussex Coast College, Hastings

ANXIOUS teaching staff will have to wait until September to find out if their jobs are safe.

Bosses at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said they faced tough times ahead and cuts had to be made.

Last week, the college’s principal Janak Patel told the Observer that the future of 50 posts was uncertain but in reality the number would be equivalent to 15 full-time positions.

He said the Station Plaza college is facing a 25 per cent cut in funding from Whitehall over the next three years.

It currently gets £20 million each year but from September it will only be £15 million.

The college has also suffered due to the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which paid up to £30 a week to students from poor backgrounds to help towards travelling to college and so on.

It also has to pay back an £8.5 million loan, Mr Patel said.

The principal said it was his ‘ambition to minimise redundancies’.

Sussex Coast College Hastings, which has more than 5,000 students, has seen a 10 per cent drop in applications for September, compared to last year.

Dr Julian Freeman, branch representative for the University and College Union (UCU), said: “At the present time meetings and consultations are continuing, and are likely to do so for many weeks yet.

“We have reached an agreement with management in that they are extending the consultation until mid-September.

“It should be emphasised that neither the union nor the college have any desire to entertain the possibility of compulsory redundancy, and both are intent on proactive action to prevent this.”