Stafford College principal quits after mass walkout by staff

The principal of Stafford College stepped down with immediate effect today in the wake of staff protests demanding that she quit.


In June, more than 100 workers at the college staged a mass walkout demanding that Beverley Smith step down.

Some staff were in tears as they took part in the protest, blaming the 'culture of fear' that had developed at the college.

And this week, it was announced that 14 jobs, including teaching posts, had been axed at Stafford College after a summer-long review into staffing levels.

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Today the college said it would begin the process of recruiting an interim principal, and they expect to announce the successful candidate on October 20.

Deputy Principal Donna Brown will continue in her role as acting principal until an interim is appointed.

The board of governors said today: "Principal Beverley Smith has decided to step down, and has agreed with the governors to pass the leadership of the college onto fresh hands for the next phase of its development.


The protest outside Stafford College in June
The protest outside Stafford College in June

"The many positives changes that took place during Beverley's tenure as principal have created the foundations for the college to move forward with confidence.

"The board wishes to thank Beverley for her leadership of the college during some difficult times and wishes her well for her future career."

UCU and Unison representatives, Marina Bowler and Mike Steer said: ""Following today's announcement we are keen to continue our work with the leadership team and governors."

"Recent events have demonstrated how much the staff care about this organisation and it has united us all together.

The protest outside Stafford College
The protest outside Stafford College

"We would like to thank the staff, leadership team and governors for their support during this time."

Mark Winnington, chair of governors at Stafford College, said:

"We are still the highest achieving college for 16 to 18 year olds in the region and that is down to hard work of our staff throughout the organisation. The board would like to thank staff for their continued professionalism over the last few months.

"The college will continue to deliver outstanding education to our students, work with employers and provide a vital service for the local community.

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