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North East college group threatens to axe up to 19 staff

11 November 2022

Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northumberland College are threatening to sack up to 19 staff before Christmas.

Most of the staff set to be sacked are academic mentors who earn just £20k per year supporting, motivating and guiding hundreds of students at the colleges to reach their full potential.

The colleges are run by Education Partnership North East, which will bank £280k by making the cuts. The employer is in surplus, has over £23m of reserves, and as part of this restructure is increasing the marketing budget and the number of marketing staff. It claims to be "passionate about positively contributing to the social, economic and educational outcomes" of the local area.

UCU regional support official Jon Bryan said: 'Academic mentors provide crucial support to students and help them reach their full potential. If senior managers push ahead with sacking these vital staff they will do untold damage to the students who rely on their support.

'There is zero financial need to make these cuts and it is perverse to be putting money into marketing whilst cutting the very staff who work directly with students. Any employer that claims to be passionate about contributing to social, economic and educational outcomes cannot throw low paid staff onto the scrapheap at Christmas.'

Last updated: 15 November 2022