September 28th, 2016

Further cuts in pipeline at Warwickshire College

Further cuts in pipeline at Warwickshire College Further cuts in pipeline at Warwickshire College
Updated: 4:04 pm, May 07, 2015

FURTHER spending cuts are in the pipeline at Warwickshire College with 60 jobs also set to go in the coming months.

The troubled college – with sites in Leamington, Warwick, Henley, Moreton Morrell, Rugby and Pershore – was already looking to make savings of £3 million before the shock departure of former principal Marianne Cavalli in the summer.

And this week temporary principal Sue Georgious revealed it was likely further cuts would have to be made.

Mrs Georgious said: “There are indications additional cuts to the college’s funding are in the pipeline although these are yet to be confirmed.

“We are lobbying hard to protect our funding from central government and will continue to be prudent and plan carefully for years to come.

“This year we are cutting courses and jobs to save money. The staff at risk are those working on courses which are no longer in demand.

“If savings need to be made next year we hope to make these through business costs like printing and materials.”

She said a ‘difference of opinions and priorities’ had led to Ms Cavalli’s decision to quit, but did not elaborate further.

Ms Cavalli left the college – which has some 16,000 students – at the end of July following claims by the University and College Union (UCU) that tax payers money had been ‘lavishly spent’.

Ms Cavalli had a salary of £230,000 and under her leadership the college had paid £500,000 to the Gazelle group of colleges – a group Ms Cavalli co-founded in 2011 which claims to develop new learning models and links with business.

Both expenses were approved by the board of governors – chaired by Mrs Georgious until she took on her new role.

Mrs Georgious said the college’s financial situation had nothing to do with Ms Cavalli’s departure.

She added: “We have nothing to hide about the principal’s decision to resign. There were no financial questions or questions of impropriety. It related to a difference in opinion and priorities from the board and Ms Cavalli about the college’s direction.

“The Skills Funding Agency – a government group which funds nearly 60 per cent of the college – were happy with the money spent on the Gazelle group and did not want to investigate or look at our books.”

Mrs Georgious confirmed no decision had yet been made on the college’s future links with the Gazelle group, which costs £35,000 a year to be a member of.

Warwickshire and the 22 other colleges who make up the group say they are waiting to see Gazelle’s future plans before they decide whether to sign up in January.

The UCU are watching developments carefully.

Spokeswoman Theresa Corr said: “It is clear Mrs Georgious is looking at mistakes at Warwickshire College in the past and trying to make them good so we will have to wait and see.”

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