On 1 November 2016 the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) was established following a merger between Newcastle-under-Lyme College and Stafford College. The Group is led by the senior management team and Corporation of Newcastle-under-Lyme College who bring with them an established record in leading a high performing and financially strong organisation.
In the months following the merger a detailed strategic review of the newly formed organisation has been undertaken, including a current and projected view of the Group’s financial position.
Having conducted this exercise it is clear that, following under-recruitment of students at Stafford College together with the associated reduction in funding, a significant programme of savings needs to be delivered in order to maintain a secure financial base for the Group and allow for current and future investment in student facilities on both sites.
We have, therefore, announced a number of specific actions we wish to take including the reorganisation and consolidation of some support service functions across the Group to ensure an efficient support structure which will underpin the delivery of high quality teaching and learning for our students in all areas, a key recommendation from the 2016 Staffordshire Area Review.
We will also review areas of the curriculum which are no longer financially sustainable in order to create a strong and positive base from which to move forward.
Our absolute focus is to provide the best education and skills training for young people, adults and employers in Staffordshire and the surrounding areas.
In order to make the economies necessary to enable us to achieve our aims, we shall need to make savings of around £2m which means that around 100 posts are deemed be at risk. As a result, we have now commenced a 45 day consultation period with the recognised trade unions.
We are keen to stress that this exercise will not impact on core curriculum delivery and there will be little effect on front line teaching staff and our students. In line with established College policy, every effort will be made to minimise the impact upon those staff directly involved in this process.
Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG said:
“We are committed to re-establishing Stafford College as a high quality institution with a broad and innovative curriculum offer. We have already provided significant investment for much needed improvements in student facilities and resources. In addition, the redevelopment of Broad Eye will provide a state-of-the-art building to house the new Combined Pathways and A Level provision. In order to deliver our strategic plan, difficult decisions have to be made and job cuts to ensure an efficient support staffing structure are an unfortunate but necessary action that we have to take to bring the financial stability needed to allow for ongoing investment in our students, curriculum and facilities. We are looking to ensure the effect on front line teaching staff is minimal and will, of course, be supporting affected individuals throughout the process.”