12:59pm Tuesday 10th April 2012
By Rachel Blundy
All the teachers at the borough's biggest college have been handed redundancy notices following a damning Ofsted inspection.
Lecturers and managers at Lambeth College, the borough’s largest education provider, have been served with the notices and told they must re-apply for their jobs and face pay cuts of up to six per cent.
The college maintains it needs to improve the quality of provision and services to learners after Government inspectors said it had one of the lowest success rates in the country and its plan is aimed at creating the "right structure" for "learner success".
But Many Brown, representative for the University and College Union (UCU) at the college, challenged Ofsted’s findings and said many teachers felt resentful towards senior managers who look set to keep their jobs despite redundancies and pay cuts for other workers.
She said: “The people in the top have kept their jobs. It is a small group of people at the top who have failed to even get us a good Ofsted.
“I would say there is anger and confrontation towards senior management. Massive redundancies are very damaging and very destabilising.”
Ms Brown, who has worked as an English teacher at the college for eight years, added inspectors had judged the college unfairly and were too focused on a “tick box approach”.
She said: “We are providing second-chance education. Sometimes it is third or fourth chance.
“We are making a change here between the type of students we have.
“How we measure success is very different from Ofsted. They have a tick-box approach.”
In a final report published on March 30, Ofsted inspectors said leadership and management at the college was “inadequate”, adding that senior leaders and governors “had not secured sufficient improvements in students’ achievement”.
They gave the college an overall mark of “inadequate” for capacity to make and sustain improvement, as well as for outcome for learners, saying “In comparison with other similar general further education colleges, success rates overall are amongst the lowest in the country”.
The college, which has seen a sharp decline in student numbers and £9million of government cuts, has previously defended its record.
A college spokesman said the proposed restructuring was not a reflection on “the quality of managers”
He said jobs would be offered to internal staff first and only unfilled posts would be advertised externally.
He said: “These current proposals will be subject to collective consultation and the college will be entering a period of consultation with both staff and unions on them.”
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