Jobs under threat at Sheffield College

Heather MacDonald, Chief Executive, The Sheffield College.
Heather MacDonald, Chief Executive, The Sheffield College.
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A second wave of job cuts is being planned at Sheffield College - with around 30 specialist teaching posts in the firing line.

The move follows plans announced last month to shed 75 staff, mostly lecturers, in response to Government budget cuts of £4 million over the next two years.

The changes will affect full and part time teachers who support students with special educational needs and disabilities.

College managers say they are responding to Government reforms which mean new posts will be created but staff will work in a different way to look after young people and their families.

Consultations have begun on how services should be reshaped, as part of the wider changes announced previously.

The college hopes the majority of existing staff will be redeployed to keep their expertise in house.

Chief executive Heather MacDonald said: “We have a long tradition of successfully supporting students with additional needs, and we are committed to continuing that.

“The changes to some of our staffing in this area are being introduced because of national policy changes, and coincide with our wider strategic review involving a broader reshaping of some roles.

She added: “On a day to day basis our students with special educational needs and disabilities will continue to receive the same high quality support they have benefited from so far.”

In future, special needs students must be covered by a single plan covering their education, health and general care, replacing the current statements and assessments.

Lecturers affected by the previous shake-up are considering whether to take industrial action over the potential job losses.

Apart from Government cutbacks the college has other financial problems, with income set to fall next year in any event.

Union officials have warned that the college seems to be on the brink of a financial crisis.