Union blasts 'deeply-damaging' Stourbridge College closure

Education bosses have been urged to halt "deeply-damaging" plans to close Stourbridge College.

A Save our College sign has been placed in the window at the entrance to the Hagley Road campus
A Save our College sign has been placed in the window at the entrance to the Hagley Road campus

Union chiefs have slammed Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) over its handling of the closure and said there had been a "total lack of meaningful consultation" with students and staff.

The Hagley Road site will close in the summer and be sold off by BMet as part of cost-cutting measures.

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Students will be moved to Dudley and Halesowen colleges.

The decision has sparked anger among students and politicians.

A banner went up in the windows overlooking the main road saying 'Save our college'. Kidderminster Academy will also close.

Stourbridge College

Stourbridge councillor and former Dudley Council leader Pete Lowe has urged students and staff to fight the closure and says he will hold talks with union bosses. The town's college was taken over by BMet in 2013.

The University and College Union (UCU) said millions had been wasted on upgrading the campus over recent years.

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.”

BMet has said the decision to close the college was "not taken lightly" but that the move to Dudley and Halesowen was "in the best interests" of students.

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