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Union slams BMet decision to sell off Stourbridge College

3 May 2019

UCU has today slammed a decision by Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) to sell off Stourbridge College, saying learners were paying the price for poor management.

The plan to sell off the college, which merged with BMet in 2013, was revealed to staff yesterday evening following a recommendation by the FE Commissioner.

UCU said the decision would be deeply damaging for the town and leave local learners in the lurch. Under the plans, students will be expected to travel to Dudley or Halesowen colleges to access courses from September.

The decision will affect hundreds of staff and students, but UCU said that there had been no meaningful consultation about the move with the local community, staff or students. The union also said the plan made little financial sense, as the college had recently spent millions refurbishing the Hagley Road campus.

The union urged BMet to halt its plans and consult properly with all those affected, as well as committing to no compulsory redundancies as a result of any changes.

UCU regional support official, Teresa Corr, said: 'BMet's decision to close Stourbridge College is a deeply damaging move. Learners and the local community are paying a high price for years of poor management.

'There has been a total lack of meaningful consultation with the hundreds of staff and students that will be affected, many of whom will be forced to travel to other colleges. The plans make no financial sense as the millions of pounds recently spent on refurbishing the Hagley Road campus will now go to waste.

'We call on the college to halt these plans and consult properly with everyone affected, as well as committing to no compulsory redundancies for staff.'

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